Hurricane Preparedness for Boaters

Hurricane Fran
Although the winds of Hurricane Fran
missed us in Maine, her tropical
moisture gave us catastrophic flooding
in York and Cumberland Counties.
NOAA image.

Maine has thousands of recreational and working sea-going boats. Hurricanes and coastal storms have immense power, and as a boater you need to take them seriously. Here are some hurricane preparedness and safety tips from the US Coast Guard:

  • If you live or boat in an area prone to hurricanes or heavy weather, know your local and national weather sources and monitor them continuously. Get into the habit of reading weather signs and monitoring the weather.
  • Contact local marinas and ask for advice. You will find marina operators knowledgeable and helpful. They can advise you on the best methods for securing your boat.
  • Remove small boats from the water and move them to a secure location. Ensure the trailer and boat are secured above likely flood areas. Remove all loose items. Ensure the boat is tied securely to the trailer.
  • If your boat is too large to be removed from the water, move it to a safe haven well before the storm approaches. You should know where safe havens are in the area where you boat.

Do not go out to sea in a recreational boat to "ride out" a hurricane

  • If you are unable to move your boat contact local marinas for advice.
  • Some steps that may be taken are:
    • Use extra fenders. Some people even lash used tires to boats to protect them.
    • Double up and secure mooring lines.
    • Secure all hatches and portals and cover windscreens.
    • Take down mast whenever possible.
    • Remove all loose items from decks and superstructure and from area around mooring. Leave nothing unsecured.

Never forget that storms move quickly and they are unpredictable. You can always replace a boat; you cannot replace a life.