Thru Hull Fittings Distributors Share the Frustration of Damaging Storms & How to Prepare You and Your Boat for the Next Hurricane

Frank Lanier

Your Thru Hull Fittings Suppliers Discuss How to Prepare Your Marina Bound Boat for the Next Tropical Storm

Raritan Engineeringyour thru hull fittings experts would like to share with you this week some great information regarding how to avoid the frustrations of damaging storms to your marine bound boat.
With Hurricane Irma poised to rake Florida and other states with storm surge and 100-plus knot winds, the storm poses a serious threat to boats all along the East Coast.
Practical Sailorhas covered storm preparation on several occasions. The two most extensive articles appeared in July 2008 Gear for Battening Down Ahead of Storms, and Tropical Storms Dos and Don’ts, from November 2011.
Our first choice in a storm is a haul outfacility, preferable well-inland and out of the path of the storm.The facility shouldn’t be vulnerable to storm surge, and it should be equipped with fixed anchors to tie your boat down. Second choice would be a hurricane hole with good holding, again well inland and out of the storm’s path.
Dock line size varies both with boat size and expected wind speed. Boats docked in hurricane or other severe weather areas should consider going up a size from common recommendations.
Loads on the cleat of a 35- to 40-foot boat during an actual hurricane can exceed one ton. While boat buildingstandards (the American Boat and Yacht Council in the U.S.) specify load-carrying ability, some older dock cleats are not up to snuff.
If your boat is 30-feet or longer and you do not yet have mid-ships cleats for attaching spring lines, consider adding them at the next opportunity. These should be sized and backed in the same manner as bow cleats, since loads are the same or greater. t is best aligned to withstand the loads (see above point).
Remember the chafing gear. Preferably something water can permeate for cooling and lubrication. For a round-up of effective chafe gear see Round 2: Chafe Gear for Mooring and Dock Lines, October 2012.
Removing canvas and sails reduces windage. Specifically, remove the furling jib, one of the most common storm casualties. Dodgers and other canvas will also suffer if left up during the storm.

Your Thru Hull Fittings Manufacturers Continue Talking About Protecting Your Valuable Boat During Stormy Times

Use plenty of fenders. Yourthru hull fittingsprofessionals talk about how fenders need to protect you from the dock and neighboring boats. A fender board can be particularly useful in some scenarios.
Check your neighbors’ lines. If the boat appears to pose a threat to your own, try to contact the owner, and notify the marina staff. Failing these, deciding whether to take action yourself is a personal decision. What would you want someone to do if the boat was yours?
Floating versus fixed docks. Properly designed floating docks are generally considered a safer option than fixed docks, with some important caveats. The support pilings must be high enough for the predicted storm surge.
Using anchors. If you side-tie and you don’t have a tie-off point opposite to your dock, well-set anchors with plenty of scope can help relieve the pressure on your fenders. Unfortunately, many marinas offer very poor holding.
Lastly, any marina facing significant storm surge is simply not safe, but those protected from a long fetch by a low wave barrier are particularly vulnerable. Boat owners on the Chesapeake got an expensive lesson in this during Hurricane Isabel.

How To Protect Your Boat During A Hurricane

Land Storage
Boats stored on land tend to fare better than boats kept in the water. If you’re able to arrange haul-out and storage, choose a location on high ground, since low-lying areas are prone to flooding during a hurricane.

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