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Old 05-05-2014, 15:54   #46
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Insurance prices vary so widely based on coverage, boat, deductible, location, restrictions, age of boat, survey, personal history and credit.

The general range of rates I've seen have been from a low of 0.5% to a high of 1.6%. The high side is more typically a small boat while the larger and more expensive the boat, the lower the rate often gets. Then multiple boat discounts are available too.

Our policy required that we have a hurricane plan. Note a huge important thing as policies vary. Ours does not require that we carry that plan out or even try to. We can't promise that. If safety became an issue, then we'd forget the plan. On the other hand our deductible is quite high so there in addition to just not wanting a boat damaged we have a substantial financial incentive to protect the boat the best we can.

As to our house, we have no plan to move it in the event of a hurricane. Storm rated glass. A level that has historically been ok. It would take an incredibly unique hurricane though to make the ICW and canals rise that much due to surge. I grew up in NC, 200 miles from the ocean and I vaguely remember Hurricane Hugo hitting when I was about 10 years old. Trees were ripped up everywhere and we went weeks (actually looked it up just now, 18 days) without power. Obviously we were not prepared for it. All it did was get the old timers talking about a hurricane from the 50's.

I have a very healthy respect for hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other such events. That is essential. There are steps you can take to minimize the risk of loss of life.
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Old 05-05-2014, 16:25   #47
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Originally Posted by GalaxyGirl View Post
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.
Well, "real value" is a factor. I'm living on my 1973 Morgan OI 41 and I've lived aboard Morgan Out Islands since 1973. No doubt, this is not an expensive boat, but it's still expensive to buy full hull coverage and relatively more expensive than insuring a more valued vessel. I do very well by paying less for a boat that serves me well and bypassing insurance. I cruise on about 65% of my income. There are many choices to be made.
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Old 05-05-2014, 18:11   #48
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Well, "real value" is a factor. I'm living on my 1973 Morgan OI 41 and I've lived aboard Morgan Out Islands since 1973. No doubt, this is not an expensive boat, but it's still expensive to buy full hull coverage and relatively more expensive than insuring a more valued vessel. I do very well by paying less for a boat that serves me well and bypassing insurance. I cruise on about 65% of my income. There are many choices to be made.
You're right that while liability is very necessary, and I do hope you have it, hull coverage on a 73 Morgan is exceedingly expensive compared to the maximum they'd pay. It's similar with cars. Your cost doesn't go down with age, or very little. Meanwhile the maximum they'd pay drops rapidly. The reason is that most losses aren't full losses. They're relatively small claims. You need some fiberglass work done and damage patched. That costs the same on a 73 Morgan as it does on a brand new boat. In fact, if parts are involved, it can become more expensive. So there is definitely a point at which it can make a lot of sense to not have hull coverage.

I would toss one warning. Generally if you have salvage and environmental it's attached to your hull coverage. They can run many times the value of your boat. They can be $500,000 on a $20,000 boat. What we actually do on our least expensive boat is have a deductible equal to half the value of the boat. Also, don't forget tenders/dinghies. We carry liability and salvage and environmental only. Actually to get the policy that way, we have a policy where the deductible is the value of the boat.
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Old 05-05-2014, 18:18   #49
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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.
Hi GG,
Wow, quite the selection of responses to a fairly simple question! I do a lot of reading on CF, but as you can see I don't spend a lot of time posting ( I type pretty slow)...
We have spent a lot of time in the Bahamas, it's my fav cruising grounds. In the Bahamas, we did a year on our 40 footer 20 years ago, and we have spent another 4 months on charters or on friends boats over the past few years. We chartered once in the BVI's in late July and didn't die... Most of our summer sailing these days is in the San Juan's for convenience, not for the water temp...

From some of these posts one would think they shut down the Bahamas in the summer! I'm pretty sure not everybody runs away for the hot months. I think inland boaters take bigger risks being in their little ski / pontoon boats when unexpected strong squalls can come up on local lakes. I have friends who run their boats year round in the Bahamas, one in the Exumas and one from around San Sal. I was thinking of taking my boys again this summer, but we are heading to the west coast instead this year. I wouldn't hesitate going in June or July, August and September are pretty darn hot. September is when a lot of locals take their holidays, because tourism is slowest.

The main thing is having a plan. You will have phone / data service most places, so you will be able to follow the weather closely. If there is a tropical wave or named storm, you can have a few days to get to your planned 'parking spot' then rent a house or condo inland somewhere. One idea is to see what the charter companies do with their boats and customers in the summer months. There is one company in the Exumas, and a couple in the Abacos. Emerald Bay Marina outside of Georgetown has space, and offers pretty good protection. If I were cruising Long, Cat, or the Exuma chain, that would be my first choice for a hiding spot.

Good luck with your plans!
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Old 05-05-2014, 18:35   #50
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

"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."

What you describe above is exactly what I thought about our anchorage.

Our anchorage was landlocked except for a 200 yard wide opening in the reef.

Our exposure to an extended fetch was only about 15 degrees wide. There was a large rock reef to the west and a point of land extending to the NE. There was a island extending 36 miles south (toward the hurricane) and was 5 - 7 miles wide. It protected us from 54 Mag to 345 Magnetic. The only way waves could get into the anchorage was the 13 degree opening from 357 Mag to 008 Magnetic.

There were two large islands about 2 miles outside the reef that I was sure would prevent any swell from getting into the anchorage.

The storm was to our SSE and there was a set of 4,000 foot (FOUR THOUSAND !) mountains between our anchorage and the hurricane. There were 1,000' high hills to our east which was the expected swell direction when the low center went ashore 100 miles SE of us.

The bottom was solid sand and was 15' deep - I had been anchored there for three weeks and the shank of the Spade 66 pound anchor was deeply buried whenever I dove on it. I had 180' of chain and 150' of 3/4" rode out (14:1 or so). I had triple layer chafe protection.

There were only four boats in an anchorage that had 30 boats in it two weeks earlier. We all had unlimited swinging range.

There was NO debris to fly around - it was a desert island.

I was able to gently park the boat on it's port side on a soft sandy beach that I eventually was able to sail off. However, the boat did suffer $15,000 damage.

Our friends lost their boat and they stayed because I stayed.

AND - despite meeting everyone of my thoughts about a good anchorage - we were devastated.

Three of the boats in my anchorage survived and could tell the same story you have told. I was beached and a fifth boat was sunk.

Unusual things do happen - One has to weigh the risk -vs- reward.
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Old 05-05-2014, 19:32   #51
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Well, being a poor country boy from the Texas Gulf Coast, I might as well add my 2 cents FWIW comments. I'm real familiar with Hurricanes, and have cruised the Bahama's. Not sure about your boating experience GG, but I know this boat is new to you. So for whats it's worth, I'm with Mark on this one. Don't GO!!! Even near miss cat 1 storms will beat you to junk. Hurricanes are still baffling the experts as to intensity, direction, where they spawn. Not one person here can tell you if a Cat 5 storm will hit the Bahamas in June, July, August, or ever. I've seen what they call hidey holes in the Bahamas, I wouldn't want to ride out a minor storm there. I know you will do what you want, but please pause to consider all aspects. You might not have much warning.
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Old 05-05-2014, 20:06   #52
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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, I wouldn't want to ride out a minor storm there..
I'm confused why everyone keeps talking about riding one out. It's never wise to ride a hurricane out. Not if safety is considered most important to you.

And if not the Bahamas, where? There is no where on the East Coast or the Gulf Coast immune from hurricanes. Why the assumption that the Bahamas are more dangerous than those areas?

Now her lack of experience is a concern, but not regarding hurricane safety. You park the boat in the best way you can, get to high ground and protect yourselves.

I'm not trying to be argumentative, just confused as to the reaction. You would think the Bahamas should shut down and be evacuated those months and that everywhere else was safe. The last five years NY and NJ have been more hurricane prone. The east coast of NC has always been. When we're home and consider the Bahamas, it's either home in Fort Lauderdale or to the Bahamas. Not much difference. I don't recall what boat she is ending up with if it's firmly decided but the Bahamas are within a day of Fort Lauderdale. I know some present Okeechobee as a hurricane hole. Well, history says they've had 15' surges too.
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Old 05-05-2014, 20:35   #53
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

"The main thing is having a plan. You will have phone / data service most places, so you will be able to follow the weather closely. If there is a tropical wave or named storm, you can have a few days to get to your planned 'parking spot' then rent a house or condo inland somewhere. One idea is to see what the charter companies do with their boats and customers in the summer months."

Nice idea - BUT - back to my experience

When we first learned about Hurricane Marty on Thursday ( almost six days before the storm) we KNEW that only 3 Sea of Cortez hurricanes in recorded history had gotten north of Santa Rosalia which was 160 miles SW of us on the other side of some really big, dry mountains.

60 hours before the storm hit us it was forecast to cross the 7,000' Baja California mountains 255 miles south of us and continue NW into the cold Pacific Ocean.

36 hours before the storm hit us it was forecast to die in the hot, dry, 7,000' Baja mountains 225 miles to our SSW.

Eight (8) hours before we had the hurricane park on top of us the National Weather Service was forecasting that it would go ashore 125 miles SE of us on a heading that would take it continually away from us. It would go ashore into desert mountains and quickly die.

The radius of predicted storm force winds was only 50 miles and gales were at 75 miles.

That forecast at 2 PM meant we might experience small craft winds for a few hours.

At sunset, 8 PM, there was not a breath of wind and the forecast was still for the hurricane to go ashore over 100 miles SE of us. That put 4,000' mountains on our island, and 1,200' mountains on another island between us and the storm.

At about 11 PM the NWS suddenly adjusted their position reports. The hurricane was 50 miles further west than reported at 8 PM and headed directly at us but forecast to head NNE into the Sonoran desert and mountains.

At 1 AM we had 10' breaking seas in the anchorage with 50 knots blowing into the anchorage. The barometer had dropped 12 MB since sunset.

My brother sent me a HAM radio e-mail message qat 2 AM "The NWS has moved the storm center again and it is now 25 miles SE of you and will slow to a 5 mph rate of advance and will turn NNW toward you"

Indeed, the storm stopped moving about 25 miles east of us and sat there.

So much for Hurricane tracking and forecasting.

To see a very detailed four day historical perspective of NWS hurricane tracking and forecasting, and my thought process about whether we should move to a more secure anchorage go to: TWO FAVORITE QUESTIONS ANSWERED

Hurricane Forecasting and tracking on the US East Coast is much better than in Western Mexico but, as many others have said here, it is not an exact science and hurricanes occasionally do very unpredictable things.
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Old 05-05-2014, 20:55   #54
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

GG. First off I don't think any Ins. Co. is going to Insure you to Capt your new to you boat to the Bahamas or anywhere else ! At least for a good while! Secondly I doubt very much you can find a GOOD Capt that will take it there for you, if you don't give him total final choice in and on when the boat will leave there !! If you wish to go there, then by all means go !But be aware that your stay may be short lived !! Just my 2 cents
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Old 05-05-2014, 21:17   #55
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I'm confused why everyone keeps talking about riding one out. It's never wise to ride a hurricane out. Not if safety is considered most important to you. And if not the Bahamas, where? There is no where on the East Coast or the Gulf Coast immune from hurricanes. Why the assumption that the Bahamas are more dangerous than those.
I'm with you, I don't understand the difference. Wherever you are during hurricane season, whether it's Florida, Georgia, or even the Canadian Maritimes, a plan needs to be in place. And for me and all the boaters I know that doesn't mean being on the boat and riding it out. It means securing the boat on the hard, or in a marina with as many lines as you can use with proper chafe protection, and get the heck to a safe place inland. All I'm saying is, Summer in the Bahamas is doable, but there needs to be a plan.

When we started out 20 years ago, I had all the courses and as much practice as I could, but I had to start somewhere. For me it was Boston (where we bought our boat, Oct 1994) to West Palm Beach with a friend who is a licensed and very experienced captain.

Hurricane Gordon came around when we were in South Carolina. We knew where it was, and made sure we were in a protected marina. We waited 3 days in the slip until the wind and rain subsided. I guess if we weren't paying attention we would have been in danger, but we had a great time touring around inland.

On our first Gulf Stream crossing, our friend came along with us as well and I flew him home from Nassau. After that We were comfortable with our boat, and we cruised onwards! Ya gotta do what ya gotta do to follow the dream. Just do it reasonably, safely, and with a plan that covers emergencies like severe weather.
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Old 05-05-2014, 22:28   #56
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Am I the only one who wonders why it's a requirement to have other "kid boats"? The beaches, snorkeling, local people to meet, uninhabited islands to explore...etc.....none of this is good enough without other children? I know kids. I have three and work with them for a living. They will have plenty of fun and you'll find they suddenly like each other. (or as we used to say "Look, they forgot they hated each other") They might even find there is life outside video games, Facebook, and Snapchat!
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Old 06-05-2014, 04:05   #57
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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"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."

What you describe above is exactly what I thought about our anchorage.

Our anchorage was landlocked except for a 200 yard wide opening in the reef.

Our exposure to an extended fetch was only about 15 degrees wide. ....................................
What I have described is directly opposed to your choice. My first criterium is NO FETCH and your location had 15 degrees of exposure. One consistant trait of close passes by tropical storms is that the wind direction will change and you will be vulnerable from a number of directions. My selections for protection have always had a maximum fetch in all directions of less than 1,500 feet!

I should add that our times staying aboard have never been with our children and if we could not find a place that met the first four criteria of the eight that provide a good hurricane hole, then we would not stay aboard either.
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Old 06-05-2014, 05:01   #58
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Fetch is one important thing. In the Bahamas I dont know too many places where you can avoid it and where you can get in. All the local boats will have the best shelter... Refer back to Vascos post re Georgetown. Think all that shallow water. As soon as the waves build they will be breaking like on a beach.

See also Marsh Harbours broken marinas from the last hurricane.

The Bahamas are the 7th flattest country in the world: the biggest hill is only 63 meters high. There is no wind shelter.

"The calm before the storm" is a literary reference, not a meteorological one. The weather in front of a hurricane may be quite bad.

The passage from Georgetown to Ft Lauderdale is 300 nms. Thats not an afternoon run! Its not the 70 miles from Grenade to Trinidad... Its two days! Two days crossing the path of a hurricane. Is anyone serious about doing that? Let alone with a new boat, inexperienced skipper and children on board.

Even Nassau to Ft L is 170nms.

But as Tecoma says, who knows the exact track two or three days in advance?

It might not be that easy to fly a family out. Its $250 each way per person, but all flights may be cancelled or full. But at $2,500 per family round trip flight, how many near misses does one budget for?

When we were hit by a Cat 5 Cyclone Hamish we had been previously told we could go into one of two marinas.. But as soon as they heard it was a category 5 they said no way! We were stuck with a choice of an inhospitable coast, the Whitsunday islands where we heard the "hurricane hole" of Nara Inlet was the scene of 17 deaths in 1971. Some old guy told us about Gulnair Inlet near Hamilton and we went in there BECAUSE THERE WAS NOWHERE ELSE! My planning once there was which shore to wreck the boat on.. Rocks, or less rocks, and which we had the best chance of surviving.

Hamish was predicted to come right over the top of us. At the last couple of hours it were a fraction out to sea and missed us by 60nms. A long way, but not far wit the edge of a Cat 5!

I was at the wheel for 24 hours, engine on and in gear pushing into the gusts.

So the photo below is of Nicolle, brave girl, but the fear on her face is not the fear you want to put on your childrens face, especially when its your fault you put it there. They know its your fault too...


If the Category 5 cyclone had not missed us, but went as predicted straight over the top of us the girl in the photo above would likely be dead.



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Old 06-05-2014, 06:11   #59
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Hurricanes are a fact of life in many areas of the world. Folks who sail in those areas have had to deal with them through out history. The fact of the matter is few hurricanes hit few areas in any given year, but if you are in one of those areas it can be a disaster. Folks like me who have lived in Florida all their lives have lots of hurricane stories, been there done that.

One thing we have learned is not to base your life on fear of hurricanes. Sure you need to keep up with weather reports and take reasonable action based on them. But you can't let hurricanes rule your life.

Last year Sandy was the second most expensive storm in history. Most of that damage was in NY/NJ; not the place you would expect. There is a reason insurance companies require you to have a hurricane plan. But there is not really much more you can do but have a good hurricane plan and follow it.
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Old 06-05-2014, 06:51   #60
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I yam glued to me armchair for this sobering read.
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