Developing a Storm Preparedness Plan for Your Boat
Prepare Your Boat to Weather a Storm
The summer season offers the perfect opportunity to get out on the water and enjoy your boat. Experienced mariners know how unpredictable the weather can be out on the water. Stormy weather is known not to give much warning; sometimes less than 24 hours is all it takes for the skies to darken and the winds to pick up. This means that you don’t have a lot of time to prepare your boat to withstand extreme wind, rain, waves, and storm surges. Minutes count when there’s a storm coming. It’s wise to develop a written plan that addresses what to do to protect your boat if a storm is coming! Here’s what you should consider.
Secure the Boat
When you hear there is a storm coming, consider hauling your boat out of the water to store it away safely. Keep in mind that other boat owners will consider this, and the boat ramp or marina may get congested very quickly as the storm approaches. If you manage to get your boat out of the water, move it further inland to a convenient area or store it in the garage until the storm has passed.
Leaving your boat at a dock during a storm will have its challenges, but if this is your only option you should aim to reduce damage as must as possible. If you cannot remove your boat from the water, plan to improve the location of where it is docked or moored. Double up all lines and ensure they are in good condition. Inspect the cleats and dock conditions where these are to be secured. You may benefit from securing additional lines around fixed pilings, if possible. Consider the use of additional anchors to keep your boat stable, too.
The Calm After the Storm
Once the storm has passed and it is safe to tend to your boat, it’s time to inspect the damage. Take pictures of the damage and the location as well as writing down a list of all missing items. However, given that storm surges are possible, it’s critical that you consider your safety before boarding your vessel, especially when inspecting for engine and electrical damage.
Preparing for a storm is essential, not only to prevent damage to your own boat but to consider the damage you could possibly cause to neighboring boats or property. If you fail to plan properly for a storm, you could be held legally liable for damages caused by your boat. As such, it pays to take the time to draft a storm plan so that you are prepared to execute the plan if a storm watch is issued.
We understand the specialized insurance needs of Massachusetts boaters, and we are here to give you the peace of mind so you can enjoy your boat throughout summer and beyond! Contact us today and let CAV Insurance Agency put our decades of boat insurance expertise to work for you.