How Boaters Should Prepare for Hurricane Season

The beginning of June is a magical time for boaters, as it means the boating season is officially underway. But for East Coast boaters, it also means the start of the hurricane season.

While hurricanes don’t occur as often in the Northeast as they do in the Southeast, these powerful storms are wildly unpredictable. When they do hit, they can cause enormous devastation. So it’s important for all East Coast boaters to keep an eye on these storms and be prepared to act if one does approach. Here are a few tips to help you be prepared if a hurricane comes your way.

If you can haul your boat out of the water and take it inland, do it. Act early, as you don’t want to be caught in the crowds of other boaters at the last minute. Also, even if a close storm looks like it might miss you, you should still take precautions. The path of these unpredictable storms can change suddenly.

  • If you can’t take your boat inland, prepare for the storm by getting any loose items off your vessel. Remove loose appliances, chairs, coolers and anything else that can fall off your boat.
  • Get ready for a potential insurance claim by taking photos and video of your boat to record its pre-storm condition. Also, take any important documents, like your boat’s insurance policy, off your boat.
  • Check that all of your boat’s portholes, hatches, doors and windows are secure and watertight. Secure anchors fore and aft, and double all of your lines. Set up crossing spring lines fore and aft.
  • Secure your lines high on pilings in case of strong storm and tidal surges.
  • Get your boat ready to possibly be knocked around by surrounding it with extra fenders, tires, and anything else that could help cushion it from an impact.