Hurricane Preparation - Page 15 - SailNet Community
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post #141 of 143 Old 02-04-2014
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Re: Hurricane Preparation

Where I live, we probably go through more hurricanes than any place on earth. My boats have survived three of them at anchor, two Cat I's and one Cat III, with only very minor damage.

I was between sailboats for Katrina, and probably 98 per cent of the boats here were destroyed (mostly by not being prepared for the 30 plus foot surge, rather than the wind). But, I had a friend who rode it out successfully on a gigantic storm anchor, who even stayed on his boat (I wouldn't have). His biggest concern, he said, was not the wind, but rather the hundreds of boats he watched get blown by his boat, during the storm.

The main thing, is to have a plan, before a named storm is heading your way. Pick out your hurricane hole, and a back up, and go explore them with a sounder. Pick out exactly where you will tie your lines, put out your anchors, etc. Having a smaller boat with an engine is really handy, for running out lines and anchors easily, and for getting back if your hurricane hole is in the sticks, which most good ones are.

Strip off the sails, canvas, dodgers, and biminis: they will be damaged or destroyed if you leave them on. Windage is your enemy. I always run my spare halyards as back ups to the forestay. I don't know if it helps, but it has never hurt.

They are survivable by your boat. We survive them on a regular basis here, mostly from having learned what to do and not do, from trial and error.

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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post #142 of 143 Old 02-04-2014
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Re: Hurricane Preparation

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The main thing, is to have a plan, before a named storm is heading your way. Pick out your hurricane hole, and a back up, and go explore them with a sounder.
I would only add that you consider how your hurricane hole might be cut off by silting or flood debris due to surge - or runoff of the extensive rains through creeks or rivers. When your boat survives you have to be able to get it back to deeper water.

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post #143 of 143 Old 02-04-2014
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Re: Hurricane Preparation

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I would only add that you consider how your hurricane hole might be cut off by silting or flood debris due to surge - or runoff of the extensive rains through creeks or rivers. When your boat survives you have to be able to get it back to deeper water.
That can come later, if it survives. I know of a Cape Dory 33 that survived Katrina up in a canal, that was trapped in it for almost a year, because so many trees had fallen across the canal and blocked it. But, we weren't doing much sailing for a year after Katrina, anyway (too much debris in the water).

On the northern Gulf of Mexico.


"Best thing to do is get her out on the ocean. If anything's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." Captain Ron Rico
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