Hurricane Prep

sunedog

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(Mods --please consider making this a sticky.)

My buddy is in the dock business. He shared the following information you may find useful:


We would take a number of factors in to account when deciding what to do with a boat prior to a hurricane. The safest place for your boat may be the trailer, especially if it could be stored in a building/garage or away from trees potentially falling on it. If this isn't an option and the lift or tied to the dock is decided to be the best location here are my recommendations:

- If you are leaving the boat in the water, extra lines, and much heavier than normal use are required.

- Make sure the boat is tied to something substantial, your normal dock cleats may not be enough. If there are pilings tie to them.

- When securing your boat keep in mind the water levels can change rapidly during a severe weather event.

- If at all possible spring the boat between the dock and another structure, second dock, tree or anything substantial. Anything you can do to hold the boat between two objects to prevent it from beating against the dock is highly recommended.

- Make sure your battery stays charged to keep Bilge pump operational if applicable.

- If you are storing your boat on a lift raise the lift to a height well above any potential wave action. I would not however raise the lift all the way to the top. Having your boat at max elevation could cause the lift pilings to fail in a very heavy wind.

-Install ratchet straps to all four corners of the lift to prevent the cradle from swinging in the wind.

-Tie the boat to the cradle using the trailer eyes if possible.

- Turn power off to the equipment and the dock itself.

- In either case of DRY storage it is EXTREMELY important to make sure your boat can properly shed water. Make sure that the covers will not hold water. You may even decide that leaving the cover off is a better situation to keep it from being damaged and potentially holding water. I highly recommend pulling the drain plug in all cases in case there is a bilge pump failure. The number one cause of lift damage is a boat that is holding water and pushes the capacity over the limit.
 

DanOnTheRiver

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Thanks for the information above. I know that the mooring cover should not be used when trailering the boat. What about during a hurricane? Probably the same applies?
 
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6kidsurf

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Sunedog - thanks for this post. I had not thought of ratcheting the lift to the piling so it does not sway and then watching the pontoon to the lift cradle - great advice!
 

BigKahuna

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Thanks for the information above. I know that the mooring cover should not be used when trailering the boat. What about during a hurricane? Probably the same applies?
Over the years our boats have been in numerous windstorms. In my opinion I think the mooring cover has been key in keeping the interior like new and protecting it from all types of weather and that includes hurricanes/high winds. Just make sure it is properly fastened to your boat whether you have clips or snaps. Make sure your poles are nice and tight so the water can't pool on it!
 

lakeliving

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My lift cover came off last night. Apparently the bungees that held it on failed one by one. I’m not home but my neighbor cut it down this morning. Overall he didn’t see any tears but some of the eyelet tabs ripped. Could have been worse.
 

PartyBarge

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I finally got motivated to replace an old 3/8" galvanized cable on the dock. Finished the job two days ago and now have 3/8" stainless primary cables and armored secondary cables too. They got a pretty good workout yesterday! All lift/boat and pontoon supports/lines still look good today. Looks like they need to survive a couple more days....
 

CharlieTraci

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Live in Punta Gorda. Wish I had taken the boat cover off. Made it through the first part of storm and then when it turned the 135+ winds destroyed it. We did have it tied down pretty well so know other damage but there are a lot of boats floating in our surrounding canals. We did not get the storm surge as expected and that helped.
 
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