The Best Marinas for Hurricane Season

Posted by SkiSafe         0

There are a multitude of steps to prepare your watercraft come hurricane season. You must understand what kind of hazards the vessel is subject to, organize supplies, take stock of unattached property, verify your insurance, and have a storage plan. In terms of storage, some choose to haul the watercraft in the event of a storm, while others choose to keep it afloat.

Regardless of your preferred method, you must find the right marina for your watercraft in the event of a storm. An ideal marina for hurricane season is one sheltered from wind and waves on all four sides, along with floating docks held in place by strong pilings that are 16’ above high tide. However, most marinas are not this protected. Let’s look at the different storage options that will help protect your craft in the event of a storm:

FLOATING DOCKS

As mentioned earlier, floating docks with tall and sturdy pilings are a great way to protect your boat against damage. This dock-type allows the boats to rise and fall with each surge, with the pilings accompanying this action. For reference, the surge typically causes more damage than the wind. If you opt for a floating dock, it is important to look for one with taller pilings. Shorter pilings are not able to handle large surges, which can cause your boat to be carried away.

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FIXED DOCKS

On the contrary, there are fixed docks. We’re just going to come out and say, fixed docks are not a great option for hurricane-prone areas. Your watercraft will be much more secure in a floating dock or hauled out of the water. Fixed docks subject your vessel to both vertical and lateral damage. They are often made up of wood, which is not equipped to handle the stresses of extreme weather conditions.

If you must leave your boat at a fixed dock during a storm, add longer lines to several pilings throughout the marina. For everyday use, you probably have nylon lines securing the boat. This will not work because they are not able stretch enough. By securing longer lines, it is more likely that your boat will move with the rising and falling of the water.

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STORING THE WATERCRAFT ASHORE

There is always the option to haul the watercraft out of the water. If stored on jack stands, be sure to also strap the boat to the ground. Jack stands alone are not sturdy enough to handle the effects of a hurricane. It is likely that your craft will fall over post-hurricane. The straps will hold the boat more securely in the stands, preventing movement. If the craft were to fall, sometimes the straps will help the boat from completely toppling over. Your insurance may also provide coverage for hauling your boat out and relaunching it after the storm has passed.  


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