23 - Secure Boats During Hurricane Wilma
Hurricanes and tropical storms have the potential to damage boats even if the area is not directly hit with a storm. High winds and 12-foot seas can exist up to 150 miles away from the eye of a storm. Early preparation is the key to survivability of your vessel.
Trailerable boats should be moved from the water to a safe location on dry land. Partially fill boats with water to add weight and stability. Boat and trailer should both be housed indoors, if possible. If boat and trailer are housed outdoors, secure boat and trailer unit to the ground using ground hooks and straps. If you choose to evacuate out of town, it is best to take your trailerable boats with you to ensure its safety.
Moored boats should be secured with double mooring lines and double spring lines. Distribute the load on the boat using several cleats. Remove loose articles on deck and secure all hatches and doors. Shut off fuel lines and disconnect electric, water, and other connections.
If anchoring a boat out, position boat on the lee side of protective land when possible. The length of anchor lines should be a minimum of six to nine times the depth of the water to compensate for storm surge and swing. Be sure to use chafing gear. Please note that the position of the boat may change dramatically as a storm passes and the wind shifts.
It is strongly recommended that people who live aboard their boats seek shelter on dry land during a storm event. People who choose to remain aboard their boat during a storm event are strongly encouraged to notify someone on land of their intent. Be sure to dress in safety gear such as a dry suit and floatation devices. Battery operated radio and distress equipment are vital to monitor the progress of the storm and to call for assistance as needed.
For more information on boat security during storms go to www.collierem.org.
Please stay tuned to local radio and television for weather updates.