CALL US TODAY Fort Lauderdale: 954-467-9010 Punta Gorda: 941-505-2400

Did you know that hurricane season is approaching? Between the months of June and November, there is an increase in hurricanes and tropical storms that can affect the safety of boats, yachts, or other watercraft.

Our Marine Diesel Specialists in Fort Lauderdale have valuable tips to help you prepare and protect your boat, yacht, or watercraft for an upcoming hurricane.

How to Prepare and Protect Your Boat Before a Hurricane

Make an Evacuation Plan

Making an evacuation plan will help you stay organized while preparing your boat or yacht for an upcoming hurricane. Your evacuation plan should include how to tie up your boat for a hurricane. Include contacting the marina operator or storage facility on your list to see where to store your vessel properly.

Create a Boat Checklist or Take Inventory

Preparing your boat for a hurricane is similar to preparing your home. Create a boat checklist and take inventory of all your boating equipment. This checklist should include personal belongings that are to be left on board and items that are to be removed for safety measures. Before the storm, take as many pictures or videos as possible of your vessel and boating equipment in the event that the boat becomes damaged during the storm.

Our MAN maintenance specialists suggest keeping your important documents safe and easily accessible. Important papers include:

  • Boat Registration
  • Equipment Inventory
  • Insurance Policies
  • Lease Agreement with Marina or Storage Facility
  • Recent Photos of Vessel and Boating Equipment

Give Yourself Plenty of Time to Prepare

Once a hurricane warning is issued, it is too late to prepare and protect a boat for a hurricane safely on a dock.  Our marine diesel mechanics in South Florida highly recommend giving yourself plenty of time to prepare for a hurricane properly.

Move your boat to a protected area that is away from water and trees and pull the drain plug.

Install Fenders Along Side of Boat or Yacht

Install fenders or protective boards along the side of your water vessel to keep the boat or yacht rubbing against the dock, pier, pilings, or other water vessels. Cover all lines with tape or leather to prevent chafing.

Remove Detachable Items

Remove all detachable items from your watercraft and store them somewhere safe to prevent damage to your vessel.

  • Canvas or Sails
  • Cushions
  • Dinghies
  • Equipment that isn’t bolted or tied down
  • Radios

Stock up on Emergency Supplies

The best way to prepare your boat for a hurricane is to stock up on emergency supplies such as water, food, cash, batteries, flashlights, a first aid kit, duct tape, medications, and other supplies you may need. Remember to charge your vessel’s radio as much as possible.

Tie Down Anything that Can’t Be Removed

Our marine engine repair specialists in Fort Lauderdale strongly recommend tying down anything that can not be removed or safely stored. If you have time, wrap protective coverings and seal off doors, hatches, and windows.  

Tie your boat properly and secure the trailer from rolling with blocks. Do not leave your boat on a hydraulic lift.

Turn off Vessel’s Electrical System

Turn off your vessel’s electrical system, remove the battery, remove moveable electrical equipment, and turn off boat fuel lines to prevent electrical damage or failure.  

How to Prepare and Protect Your Boat During a Hurricane

Charge Batteries

Charge all batteries, including the radio, while you have power. Consider running automatic bilge pumps and turning off non-essential electrical equipment that can consume power.  

Check Your Lease or Rental Agreement

Review your lease or rental agreement with the marina or storage facility housing your boat to see what they cover and any damages they are responsible for.

Do Not Stay Onboard During a Hurricane

Due to high winds and rains, staying onboard during a hurricane can cause damage or even fatalities.

Monitor Weather Broadcasts Frequently

Have an emergency radio available so that you can monitor the weather broadcasts before, during, and after the storm.

How to Prepare and Protect Your Boat After a Hurricane

Contact Local Authorities to See if Waterways are Safe to Navigate

Even after the hurricane, one should remain cautious. Even if not working correctly, electrical wires could still be “hot” or a potential danger. Check for hidden gas links by smelling for them, but do not use flammable items such as matches or candles.  Hidden debris can also be a potential threat, so wear sturdy boots or sneakers while maintaining your boat after a hurricane.

Contact local authorities to see if it is safe to navigate and to go in the water.

Safely Try to Remove as Much Debris, Mud, Moisture, and Salt as Possible  

Bring anti-corrosion spray, cleaning materials, duct tape, extra line, flashlights, trash bags, and anything else you may need to help take care of your boat after a hurricane.  

Does Your Boat or Yacht Need Marine Diesel Parts or Repairs?

Both our Marine Diesel Specialists in Fort Lauderdale and Gulf Coast Diesel Service in Punta Gorda deliver top-quality parts and services in the marine diesel engine industry. For over 20 years, we have offered premium marine product lines, maintenance, and service repairs.

Contact or call or diesel specialists and MAN maintenance experts for all your parts and service needs.

prepare and protect boat for hurricane infographic

Related Reading:

Ride the Wave: How to Save the Ocean

Does My Yacht Need an Oil Change?