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Preparing your boat for hurricane season

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

The 2022 Atlantic hurricane season began on June 1 and runs all the way through November 30. September 10 marked the climatological peak of the Atlantic hurricane season. This means the conditions in this region are most optimal for a tropical storm or a hurricane to form. This region covers the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA have also predicted this season to be “above average”. They have predicted there will be around 20 storms, which would include three to six hurricanes. 2022 will have been the seventh year in a row that NOAA has predicted an “above average” hurricane season.

With that in mind, it is important for marina owners and boat owners to prepare and understand what they need to do to keep their property safe and out of harms way as much as they can before the storm becomes a threat.

For boat owners, if possible, get your boat out of the water as soon as you can. You don’t want to be waiting until the last minute. If you are around a marina, other boaters will have the same ideas as you and you don’t want to be caught in the storm. If a storm is approaching between the 24–48-hour period, boat owners will be around the marinas and docks retrieving their vessels. Make sure you allow yourself enough time to retrieve yours, without putting yourself at risk.

After you get your boat out of the water make sure you locate and store all your documents in a safe place. This includes documents such as insurance, registration, a list of all important items stored in your boat, etc. If you aren’t able to get your boat out of the water this is especially important in case damages occur.

If you have no other choice but to leave your boat in the water, there are a few extra steps that need to take place. For starters, you need to remove all lose items and sails to reduce the size of your vessel and prevent any damage to those items. Second, if you have any type of electronic that could be damaged in the storm make sure you remove that as well.

Lastly, it is better to prepare yourself now than it is later when buying gear for the storm. When the storm is on its way, items are coming off the shelves, so prepare ahead. Some items you will need to pickup are dock and anchor lines, chains, anchor, and straps. This will keep your boat and items aboard secure.

For more in-depth information on preparing your boat for a hurricane, check out this video from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

[Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission via YouTube]

To keep track of tropical storms and hurricanes check out the National Hurricane Center. Find details of all storms in the central Pacific, eastern Pacific and the Atlantic.

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