Hurricane Season 2007
Establishing a Plan and Preparing Your Boat for a Storm By Steve Morrell The following article is basically as it appeared in last year’s June issue kicking off the 2006 Atlantic hurricane season. This year, I am printing that same article with changes and improvements. I still believe that this is the best plan and thought process that the average boat owner should put in his head and use to successfully protect his boat. Along with the article in last year’s July issue (available on our Web site) on making the time to prepare your boat, this practical plan is the best I have found. This plan is for the boat owner who keeps his boat in the water at a dock, which is the greatest number of sailboats out there subject to damage resulting in significant financial loss. I also attended the BoatUS Marina Preparation Hurricane Symposium this year and learned a lot more about saving boats and marinas.
A well-secured boat with a “spider web” of lines should hold this Catalina 30 in place. Notice docklines running across the boat at the stern, to the opposite side, acting like spring lines. This mainsail and cover were wrapped in a “cocoon’ of lines. Also notice fenders on each side of the boat, on the starboard side nearest the closest piling and several located on the dock side. Photo by Gary Gray.
Boat Insurance Increases The biggest change that I have found in the last two years affecting boat owners is the cost of boat insurance. For many, it has become completely unavailable or very expensive—sometimes three to four times what they were paying before the 2004 season. Much of this increased cost is because boaters didn’t prepare their boats at all, or not enough, and insurance companies paid out a lot of money. Some boaters took advantage of their insurance and used it to get rid of their boat or get a new sail or Bimini. Some of the fault lies with the insurance companies, which didn’t plan out their losses correctly over many years. Many who suffered the greatest are those who prepared their boats the most, and the insurance companies didn’t care, dropping them because they were simply a statistic. A change must come about in the insurance industry as many just got out of boat ownership because of higher rates. Number One Priority: Get Yourself, Your Home and Your Family Prepared First In retrospect, I look at this as the number one roadblock to not preparing your boat. If you do not have these things in your life ready and prepared for a storm, then your boat will be sacrificed when you run out of time. Clearly, it is less important when it comes down to it. Of course, this does not apply to those people whose boat is their home.
SOUTHWINDS Hurricane Web Site Visit the hurricane page on our Web site for the best weather links, boat preparation information and links, and past hurricane articles in SOUTHWINDS. www.southwindsmagazine.com firstname.lastname@example.org. 36 June 2007