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Preparing your Boat for Hurricane Season Indepth Boating Here ph

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Prepare your boat for hurricane season: With hurricane season upon us, you want to be prepared and know what to do with your boat. Modern technology allows us to be warned of an approaching hurricane, so we can get ourselves to safety. However, it is slightly more work to get your boat out of harms way. The most important thing to remember is not to ever stay with your boat during a hurricane. You will not be able to do anything to help, and will only put yourself in danger. The hurricane is much stronger than you are. Before the storm: There are precautionary measures that should be taken now, in the event that a storm hits. Make sure the insurance on your boat covers hurricane damage. Check with your marina on their policy for handling hurricanes. Some marinas may make you take your boat out of the water. Find a safe place on dry land ahead of time, preferably a garage or barn. Decide the best routes to take in the event of an evacuation. Take inventory of the items on your boat, and make a list of what should be removed. This will make it much easier when the time comes. A storm is approaching: The best thing to do is to take action as soon as you are warned of an approaching hurricane. Do not wait until the storm has hit, and you are fighting strong winds to get to your boat. If your boat is easily trailer-able your best bet is to take it out of the water to be on the safe side. You should take it far away from the danger of rising water. The safest thing for your boat is to put it in a covered garage. However, everyone does not have access these facilities. If your only option is keeping the boat outside, secure it by tying it to strong trees. The heavier it is, the less likely it is to be carried by a strong wind. To add weight to your outboard motor boat, fill it with freshwater and leave the drain plug in. If it is an inboard motor you cannot fill it with water because it would damage the engine. To support the extra weight, put wood blocks between the trailer and the springs.

Keeping your boat in the water: Sometimes you have no other option but to leave your boat in the water. Perhaps you didn’t

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have time to take it out. You can still take measures to make the boat as safe as possible. If your boat is docked, make sure it is at a strong dock with sturdy pilings. Double up on mooring lines as you tie it to the dock. Be sure to provide enough slack to compensate for rising tide waters. Cover the lines with a garden hose cut lengthwise. Put these pieces of hose where the lines will need protection from wearing away as they are rubbed against the dock. Put extra bumpers and fenders along the boat. If your boat is anchored in a harbor make sure that the bottom of your boat will hold strong to the anchor. Anchoring your boat allows for it to move around a little more than at the dock. There is less chance of damage because there are no docks or boats to bump into. Be sure to use heavier anchors than usual and using more than one is better. The best place for your boat if it must be in the water is a hurricane hole. These are deep inlets or coves that are surrounded by tall, strong trees and tend to be more protected from strong winds and rising tides. Tie your boat to the surrounding trees for anchor lines. It is a good idea to look for these hurricane holes, and know where they are before a hurricane hits. Whether you keep your boat in the water, or take on dry land; make sure to take off everything that can be ripped off in strong winds. This would include canvas, seat cushions, rods, radios, documents and anything else that is not securely bolted down. You are out on your boat during a storm: Worst case scenario: you decide to go out on your boat because you think the storm you heard about on the news this morning won’t hit. Not a great idea. If there are reports of an approaching storm, always take extra precautions. Check the weather reports and forecasts on your radio continuously. If you hear static on your AM radio, there may be a thunderstorm nearby. Keep your eyes alert to any change in the weather, such as darkening clouds. If you do get caught in a thunderstorm make sure that everyone puts on a personal flotation device immediately. The best place to be is below deck, and away from metal objects.

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