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Protecting your boat from Hurricane Storms

Hurricanes are any boater’s worst nightmare. A sudden storm on the water can become a potentially fatal situation that should be avoided at all costs. Always prepare in advance by checking the weather before you head out, especially for a long trip. Having certain things on hand will help you stay safe if you happen to find yourself on the water during a storm unexpectedly. Take action to stay safe by using some basic tips.

What to Do on the Water

Life jackets should be worn by all passengers any time there are rough waters ahead. Gradually reducing the speed of your boat will help you stay in control through choppy waters. You should angle your boat at 45 degrees towards the dock to reduce the risk of tipping over, as with a straight course. Before the wind picks up, remove extra items from the boat deck and close the windows to prevent flooding. A heavy piece of luggage or furniture could knock you overboard during heavy winds. By gathering with your passengers in the cockpit, you reduce your risk of being struck by lightning. For the same reason, be aware of your surroundings and avoid touching any metal objects during a storm.

What to Do on Land

As a boat owner, it’s your responsibility to have proper insurance coverage in the event of a hurricane. Not all boat insurance policies cover hurricanes, so be sure to get clarification on this from your agent before making decisions on which additional coverages to include. Collision insurance typically covers your boat in an accident caused by bad weather conditions. Damage from high winds, flying debris, hail, lightning or flooding could be separate issues that need to be covered as part of a comprehensive insurance plan. If you live in a storm-prone area, it’s especially important to figure all this out before a storm is looming. Checking the weather, keeping your boat stocked with emergency supplies, and being properly insured are three key ways to hurricane-proof your boat this season.

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