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  #1  
Old 08-22-2011
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Lets hope the forcasters are wrong as they are just about 90% of the time. I am in Norfolk, Va and I am really paying close attention. I am new to keeping boats at the marina, all of previous sailboats have been on trailers. I was at the marina this morning and no one seemed overly alarmed....... I was thinking about posting as well. Looking forward to hearing from the experienced.
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Old 08-22-2011
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Hurricane Irene advice

Not sure if this is the right area, but couldn't find a specific thread on the topic of hurricane preparedness.
With Irene possibly imminent here in Charleston SC on Friday night, what would you suggest as a couple possible plans to minimize damage. 30' Newport and currently in a slip. When Hugo came through in the 80's, boats from this marina ended up as far inland on shore as a mile. Would you suggest going up river as far as possible, and double anchoring off the bow?

Thanks, much appreciated!
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Old 08-22-2011
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Can you haul the boat? Are you insured? What's the wind pattern likely to be? Same as Hugo or different? Lots of relevant questions. I'd suggest you find someone who's been through it before to advise you -- a harbor master, fisherman, commercial operator of some sort.....what are they doing? Ask them about your plan.

I'm on a mooring in Provincetown, MA and because I'm going to a wedding in Chicago over the weekend and may not be back until the storm hits, here's what I did today:

1. removed jib and staysail from furlers
2. lashed the main under it's sail cover with several lines
3. secured all haulyards and lazy jacks to the mast to minimize chafe/windage
4. removed the anchor from the bow to minimize chafe with mooring penants
5. doubled up the mooring penants, adding chafe gear and lashing them so they won't come out of the rollers on the bow
6. removed all extraneous gear from the deck and stored it below
7. secured all hatches, and dorades
8. closed all non-essential thru-hulls (I left the engine thru-hull open in case someone ohter than me needs to move the boat).
9. pumped the bilge and set the electric bilge pump to automatic
10. charged the batteries and turned off everything but the electric bilge pump
11. double checked all mooring shackles
12. contacted the local Sea-tow guy and told him that if the boat's in danger he has a blank check

I"m now going to watch the tracks for the next two days (until I am scheduled to leave for Chicago) and if it looks like we might get hit but we could ride it out, I'll dive on the mooring to double check all the gear.

If it looks like we're going to get clobbered the happy couple in Chicago will have to get married with out me and I'll go find a hole up a river in Maine over the weekend.

Anyone up for a fast trip to Maine? It's lovely this time of year.
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Old 08-22-2011
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Northerly winds of a hurricane blowing down the Chesapeake will blow water from the north bay to the south bay, and can create very high water conditions in the south bay around the mouth of the Chesapeake. A hurricane that blows southerly will blow water from south to north. To see the effects of this, look at the pictures on the net of the effects of Hurricane Isabel in 2003 that put about 3 to 4 feet of water in the streets of downtown Annapolis.

Some great advice above. You didn't say whether you are on floating or stationary docks. If they are floating, evaluate piling height. If the surge exceeds the height of the pilings, the finger piers can be floated off the pilings. Happened in marinas in Pensacola with Ivan's surge (CAT 3). Many were holed by the tops of pilings.

First rule of boats and hurricanes is don't stay on the boat to ride it out. Make the boat as ready as you can, and then go to a safe place. If that safe place is close enough, the storm is not too bad, and the boat is at the pier, you may be able to check it during lulls in the storm.

You on the Elizabeth? York? James? LaFayette? Nansemond? Little Creek?

I'd watch the Navy. If and when the fleet sorties, you got about 48 hours to be ready for a blow.
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Old 08-22-2011
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The plan is to wait till Thursday to decide, but as it looks now I'm hauling out to higher ground. This storm has all the potential to trash the bay not only with killer winds but a big storm surge and massive flooding rains.

Time will tell, but as it stands it's not looking good....
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Old 08-23-2011
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Weather service just said that Irene is expected to be a cat 4 by early friday morning or late thursday night and it's headed y'alls way. I don't think I would wait to haul out to higher ground. I was born and raised in south Florida and been thru a few 'canes. If you wait you are likely to be in a traffic jam of people trying to all haul out at the same time. Even if you get lucky and it veers at the last moment, why gamble with your boat ? A cat 4 'cane is not a gamble I would be willing to take. Haul to high ground and secure the boat NOW.
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Old 08-23-2011
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I would make arrangements to haul now and see if you can defer until 48 hrs out. NOAA is currently showing landfall in Carolinas on Sunday. If I'm inside the cone of uncertainty within 48 hrs, I'm going on the hard. As another said, if you wait until then to arrange, you may be too late to get in line.

I made that mistake last year, because my marina didn't have the equip to haul us, and got out of Earl's way in the nick of time. That according to the forecast anyway, Earl died off and went south of us after all, but we were in the cone 48hrs prior. We have insurance that pays 50% for named storms. They paid, but wanted me to sign a letter that acknowledged they weren't required to pay, since the storm never landed. I refused to sign that letter.

Still, I do not regret hauling. We were, however, one of the few boats that went back in the water last September.
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Old 08-23-2011
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Hurricane prep advice from BoatUS

This BoatUS Hurricane Preparation Article is one I found particularly valuable.

The bottom line I have taken from hurricane preparation articles over the years is this:

1) Early preparation is the key. If you wait until you are fairly certain a hurricane is coming your way, you have waited too late to do anything.

2) If you can get hauled on ground high enough to remain above the storm surge, hauling is your best bet. If you can use extra jack stands and tie-down points, your boat is less likely to be blown over.

3) If you can't get hauled, try to tie up in a protected spot with very tall pilings. Run your lines extra long to pilings farther away to help account for the rise of the water level from the storm surge and the fall of the water level from wind blowing it away from you. Use as many lines as you are able, and use chafing gear.

4) Regardless of where you put your boat, do everything you can to reduce windage. Remove all sails and sail covers, and unmount everything you can on the weatherdecks -- dinghy outboard motor mounts on the rail, your grill, your anchor, and so on.

5) Twist halyards around the mast so they don't slap and chafe and so they don't slap and chafe.

6) Close and dog all the openings you can and set through-hulls appropriately for your situation.
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Old 08-23-2011
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As others have said, local knowledge and it's a good idea to get to know your marina's staff so when severe storms come along you have someone you can ask for advice whom you trust. Now's the time to start cultivating that relationship for the next time. Ask what they advise and then note if they were correct this time.

The storm surge created by Isabel wiped out my marina a few years before I got there. When another storm was predicted two years ago I asked the marina manager how I should prepare. He wasn't overly concerned but told me to put out extra lines, take more turns and extra line around the furled jib, take off the main, remove the dodger and wrap up the bimini with extra line. Then he told me what was likely to happen depending on which way the storm turned and the wind direction, etc. how that usually affects that part of the Bay and the marina. I followed his instructions to secure the boat and was just ahead of the edge of the storm driving home.

I ended up being the only one in my marina to prepare my boat and we only got a lot of rain.

Also read your insurance policy carefully. Haul out for named storms is included in my policy. For some it's an add-on but it is part of my policy without having to request it and pay extra. Well, I'm sure I'm paying for it but my point is I didn't have to ask for it, it's just there. Chances are if you don't follow your insurance policy instructions for what to do in your particular part of the country during a severe storm, they may not pay any damage claims.
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Old 08-23-2011
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years ago with out first boat (early 90's) we took every measure possible with a cat 1 hurricane however the tide rose so high it snapped ALL the lines off including the extra ones we had put on. the boat didnt do damage to anyone elses vessel, but did ping pong against a bulkhead for about 6 hours.
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