As one of the worst hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S., Hurricane Ian was undoubtedly a devastating event. Its sweeping winds and heightened storm surge wreaked havoc on both the lives and property of many Florida residents.
While hurricanes can be tracked, planned for, and braced for, a relentless storm can still overtake everything in its path - no matter how prepared you may be. If you were hit by Hurricane Ian, the recovery process to assess and rebuild can be extensive.
When the worst is over, use these tips to get you and your boat up and running again.
Get To Your Boat Once It’s Safe To Do So
Following any hurricane, get to your boat quickly once the storm has passed and the authorities have deemed conditions safe. It’s important to protect your boat and other property from any further damage or theft.
A marina can be a hectic environment following a major storm or hurricane. Some marinas will require you to show proof of ownership before allowing you to venture out onto the dock. Stay out of damaged areas and look out for perils like exposed electrical lines, fuel spillage, and missing dock boards.
» MORE: The Best Marinas for Hurricane Season
Assess Your Boat’s Damage
Recovery and repairs following Ian may take some time. After your boat was hit by a major storm, take pictures to inventory damage, secure broken rigging or railings, seal cracks/holes, and remove debris (i.e., salt, mud, and moisture) that could potentially clog bilges and pumps. But, only do this once it’s safe to do so.
Check engine systems for damage and make sure the bilge pump is working correctly. There may also be underwater damage, so monitor water level in the bilge as well. If the boat appears undamaged, still inspect for line chafe/breakage and broken ports/hatches where rainwater could enter.
If the boat is in need of salvage, report it to your insurance company right away. While you have the right to salvage your own boat if it’s sunk or beached, this is a job better left to the professionals. Inexperienced, poorly-equipped moving, towing, and salvaging can cause further damage and additional repair costs.
Contact Your Insurance Company
After a storm, it is crucial to review applicable insurance policies for coverage and contact your insurance company to report the damage. Your boat insurer will need to know the location and condition of the vessel. Then, they can better assist you and inform you of the next steps.
The SkiSafe phones are always well-staffed after a storm. You can also file a claim by logging into your SkiSafe account online, which will help to save time.
To better assist our customers in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, we partnered with local marine surveyors to coordinate and deliver the following services:
- Survey damage
- Raise/refloat sunken boats
- Recover boats from yards, trees, roads, etc.
- Relocate/Remove as required
- Estimate the cost of repair