For Cape Cod boaters, keeping a watchful eye on hurricanes is a necessary part of life. Sure, we might not get these powerful storms as often as places farther south, but, when we do get them, they can cause all kinds of destruction. Here are a few tips to help boaters be prepared to act should a hurricane target the Cape this season.
Plan ahead. Hurricanes are notoriously unpredictable. Even if one seems like it’s going to miss you, you should still take precautions and be prepared to act.
Head inland. If a hurricane is approaching and you can pull your boat out of the water, do so and head inland. The best way to keep you and your boat safe from a hurricane is to not be there when it hits. Act early, as you don’t want to be scrambling last-minute with everyone else.
Secure loose items. If you can’t get out of the area, get your boat ready for the storm by removing loose items that could fall off the boat – appliances, chairs, coolers and more.
Make sure your boat is watertight. Check that all of your boat’s windows, doors, hatches and portholes are secured and watertight.
Cushion your boat. Chances are high winds and stormy seas are going to knock your boat around pretty hard. Cushion your boat from any impacts by surrounding it with extra fenders, old tires and anything else that can protect it.
Grab your insurance policy. Remove your boat’s insurance policy and any other important documents off your vessel. If you need them, you’ll want them to be secure.
Record your boat’s pre-storm condition. Make sure to take lots of photos and even video recordings of your boat’s condition prior to the storm. That will help when dealing with your insurance company.
Tie your boat down. Secure your vessel by dropping anchors fore and aft, and double-check that they’re secure. Double all lines and set up crossing spring lines fore and aft. All lines should be secured high on pilings because of strong storm and tidal surges.
Never ride out a storm. The coast during a hurricane is an extremely dangerous place and conditions can deteriorate rapidly. Don’t even think of trying to ride out the storm on your boat. Your boat can be replaced; you can’t.