Join Date: Jan 2000
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Hurricane Dockside Preparation
Reduce windage Strip all the canvas off your boat. Dodger, bimini, sun awning, boom cover, etc. Strip off sails and stow below. (If only a tropical storm is expected, you may get by with just wrapping your mainsail boom cover very tightly with line and securing your roller furling jib with multiple tight turns of the sheet. This practice is definitely not recommended if a hurricane is likely). Remove the boom and lash it on deck. Eliminate extra halyards. Attach the shackle end of each halyard to one line, then raise all halyards together to the top. This leaves you with just one line running down from the top of the mast and reduces windage. Remove all loose gear from the deck. If a dinghy is usually stored on deck or on davits, secure it ashore or place it in the water and fill it with water with the plug in, then secure it to the dock.
Secure your boat Make sure you have properly sized fenders for your boat. Secure your boat with double lines on each cleat. Use long lines to allow for possible storm surge. Use only three-strand nylon for dock lines. This provides the proper stretch and shock absorbing characteristics. Add chafe guard to your lines at all rubbing points. (Cut up water hose or fire hose, if you can get some old ones from your local fire department, work well.)
Miscellaneous tips Clean strainers and ensure all your bilge pumps are properly functioning. Ensure boat is completely closed up to protect from torrential driving rains. Stay informed with the latest weather updates. Prepare your boat as if you expect a direct hit each and every time, and be happy if it misses you. Don't be a hero. If a direct hit is coming, leave your boat and tend to your own safety.
S.H. and L.H.