Depending on your location and situation, you may choose to:
1) Haul your vessel out of the water (normally the best option and most policies will help with haul-out costs if a warning is issued in your area),
2) Move it to a safer harbor away from the storm, or
3) Secure it in its berth in the marina. If your best option available is to keep it in its berth, the following steps are advisable:
- Double all lines. Rig crossing spring lines fore and aft. Attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal rise or surge. Make sure lines will not slip off pilings. Inspect pilings and choose those that appear the strongest and tallest and are installed properly. Cover all lines at rough points or where lines feed through chocks to prevent chafing. Wrap with tape, rags and rubber hoses or leather. Install fenders, fender boards or tires if necessary to protect the boat from rubbing against the pier, pilings and other boats.
- Remove all portable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, electronics cushions, biminis and roller furling sails. Lash down everything you are unable to remove such as tillers, wheels and booms.
- Fully charge the batteries and check to ensure their capability to run automatic bilge pumps for the duration of the storm. Consider backup batteries. Shut off all devices consuming electricity except bilge pumps, and disconnect shore power cables.
- Do not stay aboard. Winds, during any hurricane, can exceed 100 mph and tornadoes are often associated with these storms. Above all safeguard human life.
Another valuable source of valuable hurricane information is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). NOAA provides excellent updates on the path and strength of all major hurricanes, and you can track the storms’ progress by clicking on their link at www.nhc.noaa.gov.