Please select your home edition
Edition
Maritimo 2019 HEADER

The secrets of a stormproof marina

by Scott Croft 11 Sep 2019 06:45 PDT
During a hurricane, a low breakwater like this one offers little protection to boats in a marina. © Scott Croft

The statistics prove that hauling your boat out of the water and storing it ashore before a hurricane strikes greatly lowers the chance you'll need to file an insurance claim after the storm passes.

However, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) also knows that it's often not possible to haul every boat out in time. For those boat owners whose options are limited to weathering a storm in a marina, here are four signs that boaters can look for to help them evaluate their own marinas and lower the odds for storm damage.

  1. What's the plan? A marina should have a comprehensive hurricane plan that outlines who does what when a storm approaches. Slipholders may have to sign a pledge to secure their boats properly, whether ashore on in the water. Remember that a marina is a community - just one poorly prepared or not-prepared-at-all boat can be the weak link that leads to wider damage to others. Joining a "hurricane club" (often with a deposit or fee) can put you on a priority list for hauling out when a storm approaches.
  2. Protection from wind and waves: Open water in front of a marina, even just a mile or two, is the biggest enemy of boats during a storm. Look for tall breakwaters with small channel openings to the big water outside. Smaller, lower breakwaters may be underwater during a surge. A marina's bulkheads should be on the tall side and not in need of immediate repair. High earthen banks or other landforms around a marina can help keep the worst of the wind at bay.
  3. For floating docks, think tall: According to the BoatUS Catastrophe Team, floating docks often fare better than fixed docks in a storm - but only if pilings holding the docks are tall enough to handle a high surge. Even a Category 2 storm (96 - 110 mph) will have a surge of 6 to 8 feet or more. Cleats should be heavy and well-attached through the framing.
  4. Fixed docks: Loose pilings and rotting wood are sure signs that a failure could happen in a storm. Taller pilings make it easier to attach longer lines to help adjust for the surge. Cleats need to be thru-bolted through a substantial structure in wood docks. Loose planks can be carried away in the surge, making accessing your boat after the storm harder and more dangerous. For all docks, larger slips allow more room for movement without banging into the dock.
If you would like to learn about more hurricane boat storage options, including what to do when storing a boat ashore or when it not may be a good idea to leave your boat in a lift, go to BoatUS.com/Hurricanes for a free downloadable copy of the new BoatUS Magazine Hurricane Preparation Guide.

Related Articles

Fourth of July holiday to be a busy one on water
TowBoatUS nationwide towing fleet expected to respond to 3500 requests for assistance At the nation's largest 24/7 on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, TowBoatUS, it's all hands on deck. Posted on 2 Jul
BoatUS says FCC's message to boaters: 'Tough Luck'
Controversial order threatens reliability of hundreds of millions of GPS units BoatUS, says an April 22 decision by the Federal Communications Commission to give mobile satellite services operator Ligado Networks, a private equity company, the green light to build and operate a land-based industrial 5G wireless network Posted on 26 Jun
Chris Edmonston elected to CSP Board of Directors
BoatUS Foundation President was one of 14 members recently appointed The Center for Sportfishing Policy, the nation's leading advocate for saltwater recreational anglers, elected BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water President Chris Edmonston to a three-year term on the group's board of directors. Posted on 4 Jun
BoatUS/NWSA Leadership in Women's Sailing Award
Margaret Pommert has been called 'a force of nature' for her enthusiasm and effectiveness Margaret Pommert of Seattle, Washington, has been named recipient of the 2020 BoatUS/National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA) Leadership in Women's Sailing Award. Posted on 21 May
TowBoatUS Old Hickory Lake opens to assist boaters
Fonte family expands local on-water assistance service Towing recreational boats is a family affair for the Fonte household of La Verge, Tennessee. Capt. Kirk Fonte began operating TowBoatUS Percy Priest Lake in 2014, offering towing, battery jump-starts and soft ungrounding services to recreational boaters Posted on 20 May
Capt. John takes helm of Lake Erie TowBoatUS ports
24-hour on-water assistance for recreational boaters A local small business with two locations is changing hands, TowBoatUS Lorain and TowBoatUS Vermillion. The 24-hour, on water towing ports on Lake Erie new owner is longtime manager and lead towing captain John Piskura. Posted on 19 May
A National Safe Boating Week like no other
Annual educational event carries additional message in 2020 National Safe Boating Week, which begins this Saturday, May 16, and runs through Friday, May 22, is the traditional early boating season reminder to help recreational boaters embrace safety all season long. Posted on 14 May
No one ever thinks about boat trailer insurance
BoatUS demystifies the coverage you need and explains which policy covers what damage Most insurance is straightforward, until it's not. When you have an accident or property damage, you file an insurance claim. But filing an insurance claim on a boat trailer isn't so straightforward. Posted on 12 May
TowBoatUS Islamorada take Tower of the Year honors
TowBoatUS Islamorada took honors, besting more than 100 TowBoatUS companies A local business that helps boaters with routine on water assistance was recognized for its professionalism at the 2020 BoatUS Towing Services Annual Conference held in Orlando, Florida. Posted on 8 May
BoatUS questions work stoppage on the Erie Canal
The New York State Canal System has long been recognized as essential transportation infrastructure The New York State Canal System has long been recognized as essential transportation infrastructure, important to irrigation and flood control, the upstate economy, and communities that line its 524-mile length. Posted on 22 Apr
Maritimo 2019 FooterRS Sailing 2020 - Summer Offer - FOOTERVaikobi 2019AUG - Footer 2