With Florida’s official hurricane season starting June 1st, the time is now to develop a plan of action to protect and secure your vessel to withstand powerful waves, devastating winds and torrential rain. Although Hurricane Irma wasn’t as catastrophic as forecasted, it’s better to be safe than sorry- Mother Nature can be highly unpredictable! While the best-case scenario is to remove the boat from your lift and relocate it out of the storm area, this may not be the most practical solution for everyone. If your only option is to leave your vessel on its boatlift, below are some tips to make sure your boat is protected.
1) Check your dock lines for deterioration and replace them!
2) Remove and store any exposed or loose items that may be destroyed by winds, such as your boatlift cover, boat canopy and cushions. Also, make sure to strip the sails, bimini, dodger, dinghy, etc. off of the boat.
3) Because of the potential of high tides, it’s important to raise your lift high enough to keep your boat above the estimated surge height.
4) Now, when securing your boat within the lift system itself there are a few steps you should take:
· Braid-on-braid lines are the best for securing your boat after you have removed your cover (less stretch)
· Rig multiple dock lines to shore
· Deploy three 120′ anchor rodes—two off the bow, which face the canal entrance, and one-off of the stern
· Do NOT tie more than two lines to a single cleat on the boat
· Use separate pilings to secure lines to shore. However, do NOT secure your boat to trees with shallow root systems, like palm trees
The key in protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe weather is planning and preparation! Therefore, each boat owner needs to develop a plan unique to your vessel and the weather conditions likely to occur in your area. Also, check-in with your neighbors and make an agreement with them to prepare each other’s boat in the event that one of you are out of town.
If you have any further questions about preparing your boatlift in the upcoming 2018 Hurricane Season, would like to schedule a cover removal or set up a maintenance package call us at (941) 505-0237.
Here’s to another season of safe boating!