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Us South Floridians are all too aware of the unpredictability that comes with hurricane season. There’s the ever-changing forecast cones, long lines for gasoline, and empty Publix shelves that used to hold bottled water. The last thing any boater wants to deal with in the middle of pre-hurricane pandemonium is creating a boat hurricane plan.

This is why you should begin finalizing your yacht or boat hurricane plan well before there’s a storm approaching. Our diesel specialists outline what to include in your yacht hurricane plan and how to get started.

Boat Insurance and Hurricanes

When developing your hurricane plan, you should start by looking at your boat insurance policy. Some policies have requirements for your boat hurricane plan, such as removing the boat from a marina and using certain storage facilities. Others may even require you to get your yacht or boat fully out of hurricane-prone areas before the season picks up, or into designated spots throughout the state for safe storage. So, check your boat insurance policy when developing your hurricane plan.

Storing Boats at a Marina During a Hurricane

The first step in your yacht hurricane plan should be where you’ll choose to store your yacht or boat. While there is a marina hurricane plan in place at the marina where you normally keep your yacht, you may want to review the marina’s hurricane plan to see how safe it actually is. A good marina hurricane plan should include steps such as:

  • Tying a boat for a hurricane
  • Surge-specific plans
  • Dock safety or fortification
  • Emergency employee contacts
  • Plans for haul out
  • Harbor evacuation plans

If you do choose to keep your boat or yacht in the marina, make sure that the hurricane plan covers every aspect of safety and that the marina can follow through with the plan.

If you plan on utilizing a dry storage facility for your vessel, check the building’s overall safety and hurricane ratings. Many boat storage facilities have been improved after damage from previous hurricanes.

Moving Your Boat Before a Hurricane – Hurricane Holes

If you’re not keen on storing your yacht or boat in a marina or dry storage during the storm, you may consider finding a hurricane hole for the vessel. Hurricane holes are watery areas that are inland enough to avoid the high tides and strongest winds associated with a storm, but close enough for boaters to reach in short notice. Consider these features when picking a hurricane hole:

  • Surrounding hills or trees to block wind
  • Enough space between the hills so the wind doesn’t funnel
  • Few docks or surrounding boats for your vessel to bump into

When you anchor at a hurricane hole, you need to do more than simply anchor your boat. Many boaters choose to set twin anchors at 45 degrees to each other, which is especially useful when wind changes are predicted in the storm.  There are also more complex anchoring techniques that incorporate both off shore and in water anchoring.