Ways to Secure Your Boat and Lift During a Hurricane
When a hurricane alert is issued by NOAA’s National Weather Service, you need to begin to implement your marine emergency plan. Initially a hurricane watch will be issued when hurricane conditions (sustained winds of 74 mph or higher) are possible in the next 48 hours. If the storm advances, a hurricane warning will be issued, which means these conditions will definitely happen within 36 hours. The time to begin putting your plan into effect is when a hurricane watch is first announced.
So, what about your boat and boat lift? There are some downsides to keeping a boat on a lift during a storm, e.g., being blown off the lift or the boat being overcome by storm surge. If your boat is on a lift and there is no option to remove it during a storm, there are some precautions you can take to minimize damage from wind and storm surge.
One thing that will help is to attach heavy duty ratchet straps to securely tie the boat to the lift. You can also use the straps to secure the boat to any available dock cleats or dock piles. This will prevent the boat from blowing off the lift or being carried away with the surge. Another precaution is to raise your lift high enough to keep your boat above the expected storm surge.
Also, you should remove the boat’s drain plug so that the weight of the boat won’t increase significantly as it fills with water from rain or storm surge. Even though the surge can fill the boat when the plugs are removed, once the water recedes, the open drains will allow the water to escape. You should also plug the engine exhaust ports so that any surge does not back up into the exhaust system.
If you’re away from your boat during the time a warning is issued or interested in having someone tie your boat down for you, then Hurricane Boat Lifts South can handle the job. If interested, go to: largomarinesupply.com/tie-down-service to learn more.
It’s also very important to prepare a plan so you know exactly what to do once a hurricane warning has been issued. You don’t want to be creating your emergency plan and gathering supplies at the last minute. Make a list of items that must be removed from your boat, have your documentation handy, review your marine insurance policy, and take photos of your boat and the items onboard in the event you need to make a claim.
Hurricane Boat Lifts South offers a free checklist you can download that lists items to consider when preparing your emergency plan. You can find it here: largomarinesupply.com/tie-down-service.