This year, summer came early on the Crystal Coast, heating up the water even more than usual. History has shown that this is the perfect recipe for an early hurricane season. Is your boat prepared? Many times, people will underestimate the strength of a hurricane and leave their boats in docks and lifts as they usually would. Not only can a hurricane do a great deal of expensive damage to your boat, but not prepping your vessel for a storm can also put others in danger.
Here are the best practices for hurricane boat preparation:
According to BoatU.S., people who’ve watched boats that were stored ashore reported that jackstands used to support the hulls have a tendency to rock back and forth in hurricane-force winds. While boats stored ashore tend to suffer less damage than boats left at the docks, the extent of the damage can be truly significant if your boat isn’t stored properly – think cracked hulls, broken bulkheads, and other expensive fixes. Have your boat stored professionally, and make sure your boat is strapped down securely using some sort of an anchor, such as eyes set in concrete or drilled into the ground.
If you choose to keep your boat in the water, the dock you choose should have floating docks and tall pilings, like Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina. In fact, 16 to 18-foot pilings allow the floating docks to rise and fall with the surge without stretching or stressing lines, and don’t allow any part of your boat to become caught under the lip of a dock. Marinas with short pilings commonly see very high surges during hurricanes, lifting the floating dock over the pilings and floating away.
Strip anything that could blow away or become ripped by strong winds, and always add extra lines. Too much slack and the boat will be slamming into pilings; too little and the boat won’t be able to easily rise with the surge.
During a hurricane, you don’t want your boat to be on a lift. Boats on lifts during a storm report the most damage, with some being blown off, bunk boards breaking, boats being overcome with storm surge, and boats filling up with rain water, causing the lift to collapse.
Above all, make sure your hurricane plan is set before the storm warning. If you own a boat on the Crystal Coast, you should already have a plan ready to be set in motion. If you currently store your boat on a lift and are looking for a safe way to keep it in the water during hurricane season, talk to Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina about finding a temporary home for your boat at one of our floating docks.
Homer Smith’s Docks and Marina serves boaters in Carteret County, Beaufort, Morehead City, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and the entire Crystal Coast. Contact us today to learn more about our leasing options.