Preparing your boat in hurricane’s path
Published on September 15th, 2015
By Christopher White, Sail Magazine
You’re watching the weather, you see the announcement and your heart sinks, your boat is in the path of an oncoming hurricane. What do you do? Head to the boat, throw off the lines and find a hurricane hole where you can weather the storm? Maybe you don’t have time, and the only option is to haul the boat. Or maybe you think you’re fine on the dock, and your choice is to double up the dock lines and hope for the best.
Preparing for a hurricane is something many sailors have to deal with, particularly on the East and Gulf Coasts, but what is the best technique? We caught up with Beth Leonard, Assistant Vice President and Director of Technical Services at BoatUS, to talk about mistakes she has seen and the best ways to prepare your boat for an oncoming storm.
“The reality is, if you get a hurricane warning you typically only have about 72 hours,” Leonard says, adding that it is therefore critical to have a plan in place before a hurricane hits. “The perfect hurricane hole away from the storm is obviously one of the best solutions, but it takes planning and it takes the ability to jump on your boat and move it,” Leonard says.
“And any time you decide you’re going to be in the water, you are dependent on every boat upwind of you to hold. You’re taking the luck of the draw. You have to be very careful of where you decide to be, and if the wind direction is not as forecast you may find a bunch of boats upwind of you that you didn’t think would be upwind of you. The reality is that you’re dependent on other people,” she added.