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Old 05-05-2014, 10:42   #31
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

You may have seen the Caliber advertisements showing my boat on the beach in a Cat-1 hurricane. You may have read the many, many heated debates about my decision to stay in a "hurricane hole" while we knew the storm was headed our way. Or, you may have read my long blogs about hurricane track forecasting, my decision not to move, and the very long, painful, and expensive recovery from my encounter with Hurricane Marty.

At the time I decided to "ride out" our encounter with Marty (September 2003) by staying in a relatively secure anchorage that was hundreds of miles from the predicted landfall of Hurricane Marty- I had been cruising for four years, had prepared the boat for five other hurricanes, and had encountered the edges of two hurricanes and several tropical storms. I had also been sailing for 30+ years and had a great deal of experience, and in retrospect, Hubris regarding anchoring in very difficult conditions.

I was pretty sure I knew about everything there was to know.

The hurricane behaved as no previous hurricane behaved, the National Weather Service made several significant errors in forecasting and tracking, we had an unanticipated equipment failure, and the conditions were far worse than I could ever have imagined (solid waves over the bow breaking behind the mast). At times the bowsprit, with me on it, was 10 feet above the water. Five seconds later the bow sprit would be three feet under water.

It was not the wind that caused the problem – it was the enormous waves coming from an unexpected direction. It was not just a few waves; it was eight hours of huge waves coming directly into the anchorage because the hurricane stalled just 25 miles NE of us when it had been forecast to move ashore 125 miles SE of us with a forward speed of 25 knots.

NO hurricane in recorded history (since 1950) had ever got that far north on a NE track, and then curved NNW, then stopped. Not one of the hundreds of hurricanes I had on a CD showing historical tracks behaved that way, so I knew Marty would not behave that way.

The five boats that decided to ride out the storm endured absolute terror for 12-hours as everything we thought we knew proved wrong.

End result was my boat on the beach relatively undamaged, a friends boat sunk and everything they owned destroyed, and two other boats with significant bow damage. All this was on a remote desert island that was days from help. I spent half a day huddled under a rock in driving rain. The couple from the sunken boat spent two days on a tiny little island where their boat had dragged and sunk.

I too wanted to cruise in a summer hurricane region and was very confident I had the knowledge and technical skills to manage the risk and to deal with unexpected situations.

I was wrong – my boat was saved. My friends were just as wrong and their boat was lost.

I would seriously reconsider your plan about cruising in a remote hurricane prone area, with children, and few rock solid hurricane anchorages.

I may be all wrong about this whole thing because I only know Western Mexico hurricanes and have only sailed on the US East coast in November - April so you can take my concerns with a large grain of sea-salt.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:09   #32
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Originally Posted by TacomaSailor View Post
.................................

It was not the wind that caused the problem – it was the enormous waves coming from an unexpected direction. It was not just a few waves; it was eight hours of huge waves coming directly into the anchorage .................................................. ...
I respect your caution and experience; however, it might not be suitable to compare the ability to find hurricane protection on the Pacific Coast of North America compared to the Southeast US. You describe a choice of an achorage during a hurricane that was exposed to a long fetch subjecting you to waves. I would never accept such a location as suitable for a hurricane. During the ten hurricanes and tropical storms that we have experienced on board our boat, with five of these at anchor, we have always sought locations with the following traits: Inland, little fetch, good holding, shallow water, forgiving banks, high surrounding topography, few other boats and limited loose debris. We do not often find all these qualities, but we have ALWAYS found the first four. I think those first four needs are rare on the Pacific Coast.

We do not crusie in areas during times that hurricanes are likely where protected anchorages are out of reach.

BTW, that "little fetch" requirement must be for all directions!
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:17   #33
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Making one thing clear

I wanted to make one thing clear. I'm not suggesting by any means that she ride a hurricane out on her boat with her kids. I'm suggesting you get to the safest area you can, which is not on the boat. To high ground and you properly shelter yourself. You take appropriate hurricane preparedness when one is approaching. Never risk yourself or your kids for your boat.

And, incidentally, same with car. Never take off too late and let yourself be caught on the road in a car during a hurricane.
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Old 05-05-2014, 11:53   #34
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

I was in the Bahamas (Abacos) last summer as TS Chantal was approaching. There was some possibility it would develop into a Hurricane by the time it hit the Abacos. (Fortunately some sheering winds, ended up downgrading it instead)

I felt there was a lot of good information being broadcast well ahead of time, so boaters could make decisions. Had it developed, I probably would have picked up a slip in one of the sounds in Green Turtle and used a town shelter. As it turned out, a protected bay was more than adequate.

Over the past 15 or so years I've owned 4 cruising boats, with 3 different insurance companies and they were all insured for Bahamas and/or Caribbean summer cruising. Personally, I've often cruised the Bahamas in June-July, but am not as comfortable with the risk after that, but that's a decision everyone needs to make for themselves.
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:12   #35
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

I would like to know of those of you that insure boats for summer hurricane zone use what the approx. $ cost of the premium is in terms of X dollars premium for X dollars of insured value.
Would any of you share some approx. #'s ? (and boat type/details are not wanted or needed)
Thanks

Bob
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:42   #36
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Does anyone cruise the Bahamas during hurricane season? Is there anywhere to shelter if a big one blows in?

Boston
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Old 05-05-2014, 12:58   #37
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Isn't The Pond at Normans considered a good hurricane hole if your draft allows.
Well be there in June. So if a minor storm comes thats where wed probably be. Major storm who knows. Hurricanes go pretty Much where they please w no regards for spaghetti models

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Old 05-05-2014, 13:23   #38
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Hurricanes are unpredictable.

I lived in S. FLA when Andrew was approaching but the forecasts showed the storm heading north to maybe hit the NE US or just go out to sea. Whew!

Instead, Andrew made a sharp turn to port...

I was moving that week.

All of my moves have been under time pressures, but this move I had planned so I could take my time. Andrew changed my plans to say the least. I literally was climbing into the cab of the moving truck to drive Nawth, when the first rain bands of Andrew arrived.

The traffic was stop and go until West Palm Beach which was because I95 had construction and limited to two lanes. The construction was all but complete but the lanes were still closed. Just as I passed the choke point, FHP was picking up the traffic cones. Not sure WHY it took that long to open the lanes....

I was not in an evacuation area and the place I was living was pretty well built, well inland, and I was on the second floor. However, if a window had blown out it would have been ugly. If Andrew had hit farther north the damage and loss of life would have been much worse. Andrew hit about the best place in mainland FLA to minimize money and life losses.

One of the canes that hit Miami in the 20s or 30s put a storm surge that was 2 to 3 stories tall in down town Miami. That size of storm surge today would be unreal anywhere along the SE FLA cost from Miami north.

Most times there are long lead times before the hurricane arrives but sometimes a cane can just pop up out of nowhere and with little warning.

Later,
Dan
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:03   #39
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Re: Bahamas during hurrican season?

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Gee! I wonder why there wont be any other kids there?

Brains perhaps? Because even a kid could tell you its a crazy place to be in a hurricane.

Maybe the reaction to Rebel Hearts taking kids on a passage totally missed your attention. They were sailing in the right season, but you are heading into an unprotected area in the wrong season.

As for this piece of advice:



I would read that over. Ten times. Maybe 20.

Now, as you havent been to the Bahamas let me show you a map of where they are:
Mark, I'm not storm chasing, just planning a vacation in the summer. I think your being a bit dramatic. People travel to the Bahamas all year. The place doesn't get evacuated for 6 months a year, just in case.
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:06   #40
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Re: Bahamas during hurrican season?

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Maybe the reaction to Rebel Hearts taking kids on a passage totally missed your attention. They were sailing in the right season, but you are heading into an unprotected area in the wrong season.
And furthermore, I really don't think that the Rebel Heart situation is a fair comparison. I'm talking about taking my kids to the Bahamas in the summer. What they did is completely unrelated.
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:24   #41
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Originally Posted by REsCat View Post
I would like to know of those of you that insure boats for summer hurricane zone use what the approx. $ cost of the premium is in terms of X dollars premium for X dollars of insured value.
Would any of you share some approx. #'s ? (and boat type/details are not wanted or needed)
Thanks

Bob
Ins roughly 2400 year value 175k. Need a hurricane plan but don't need to be out of Florida during season.
Paranoia will destroy ya to those that live life in fear and worry. Back when Hurricane charlie was approaching Tampa, I mgd 15 retail locations. We made hurricane preparations etc closed the region for the 2 days all my managers and their families flex and went middle of the state where Charlie wasnt supposed to go but turned and ended up on top of them. I stayed and was fine. Where you going to run with something you cannot predict? Be smart be safe if you have time to make it to a safe hole than do so. Otherwise stay under your blankets till the lights come on....
Hearing people say" you may Die". Really? People die doing mundane boring sh#t everyday of the week. A girl fell 2 miles out of a plane, crawled for 10 days thru an unknown jungle and survived. When your numbers up its up amigos

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Old 05-05-2014, 15:27   #42
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Quote:
Originally Posted by REsCat View Post
I would like to know of those of you that insure boats for summer hurricane zone use what the approx. $ cost of the premium is in terms of X dollars premium for X dollars of insured value.
Would any of you share some approx. #'s ? (and boat type/details are not wanted or needed)
Thanks

Bob
I've already shared some advice on this thread that others would choose not to follow. so here's more regarding money and insurance numbers. We've been cruising by our own wiles in hurricane territory since 1971. I carry a liability only policy. If you let "X" represent the value of my boat; then I've saved 1.4X by not making payments for full hull coverage in Florida and the Bahamas for many years. When I first started liveaboard cruisng over forty years ago I accepted the potential loss of my boat. I'm very pleased that that event has not happened yet, but I'll do well if and when the time comes. I know this is not an option for those that cruise boats that are owned by banks or other lending institutions and they might have a better answer for Bob's question; however, there is some merit to not having the hull coverage if you can take the loss and you can protect your boat with a good risk management plan.

BTW, I keep the liability coverage because I would never allow my risk or confidence to be a risk to the property of others.
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:31   #43
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

I'd be super watchful August forward to Oct
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:41   #44
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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I've already shared some advice on this thread that others would choose not to follow. so here's more regarding money and insurance numbers. We've been cruising by our own wiles in hurricane territory since 1971. I carry a liability only policy. If you let "X" represent the value of my boat; then I've saved 1.4X by not making payments for full hull coverage in Florida and the Bahamas for many years. When I first started liveaboard cruisng over forty years ago I accepted the potential loss of my boat. I'm very pleased that that event has not happened yet, but I'll do well if and when the time comes. I know this is not an option for those that cruise boats that are owned by banks or other lending institutions and they might have a better answer for Bob's question; however, there is some merit to not having the hull coverage if you can take the loss and you can protect your boat with a good risk management plan.

BTW, I keep the liability coverage because I would never allow my risk or confidence to be a risk to the property of others.

My full hull coverage and liability (territory includes Bahamas & T/C year around), is 1.2%/yr of boat value. So, in 40 years I would have invested 50% hull value, I don't consider that exorbitant. I don't know what the rates will do as the vessel ages, but at the rates you're quoting, I would self-insure also.
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Old 05-05-2014, 15:44   #45
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
I've already shared some advice on this thread that others would choose not to follow. so here's more regarding money and insurance numbers. We've been cruising by our own wiles in hurricane territory since 1971. I carry a liability only policy. If you let "X" represent the value of my boat; then I've saved 1.4X by not making payments for full hull coverage in Florida and the Bahamas for many years. When I first started liveaboard cruisng over forty years ago I accepted the potential loss of my boat. I'm very pleased that that event has not happened yet, but I'll do well if and when the time comes. I know this is not an option for those that cruise boats that are owned by banks or other lending institutions and they might have a better answer for Bob's question; however, there is some merit to not having the hull coverage if you can take the loss and you can protect your boat with a good risk management plan.

BTW, I keep the liability coverage because I would never allow my risk or confidence to be a risk to the property of others.
I can relate. I don't carry full coverage on either of my vehicles. But I don't think I could sleep at night if I took that risk with anything of real value.
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