Consider the following points from NOAA and the University of Florida:
• Create or update your plan well before a storm has even been spotted.
• Identifying where to secure your boat is the key to your plan. Consider your options based on several potential storm intensities and tracks.
• Locate hurricane moorings in advance and obtain permission for use from the appropriate authorities. For keel boats, make sure there is enough water at low tide.
• Plan how you will remove valuable equipment from the vessel and how long it will take so you have an estimate of the time and work involved.
• If the vessel will not remain in the water, remove the battery to eliminate the risk of fire or other damage.
• A practice run should be made to check accessibility, depth of water, bridges, location of aids and/or obstructions to navigation and locations to secure lines or drop anchors.
• Consolidate all documents including insurance policies, boat registration, equipment inventory, lease agreements, and telephone numbers of appropriate authorities. Keep the documents in your possession in a locked water-proof box.
• If your boat is in a marina, learn their plan, give them a copy of your plan, and have a clear understanding about your responsibilities.
• Delegate a local caretaker or captain to learn and carry out your plan if you are away or unavailable during a hurricane or severe storm.
The most important part of hurricane preparedness is ensuring the safety of yourself and your loved ones. As far as protecting your vessel, Marsh Private Client Services Yacht Practice can help you gain peace of mind knowing you have a specialized insurance program in place. For a complimentary risk analysis, contact John Gaffney at 954 765 5682 or [email protected].
John Gaffney is Senior Vice President and Yacht Leader at Marsh Private Client Services and an avid boater for nearly 40 years.