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Old 06-05-2014, 06:59   #61
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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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. ...............
Of course, I agree about the liability as I said that I keep a strong liability policy in effect for the reason I posted above.

You are quite correct about the variables, especially the age of the boat. Another factor that changes rates is the impact of severe hurricane seasons. After the devastating seasons of 2004 & 2005 the rates for hull coverage for my boat was quoted at 8% the market value of my boat per year. Since that time rates have gone back down, but they will rise after an increase in claims when a "big one" hits.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:02   #62
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Being along the East Coast of the US where there are hundreds of yards available to haul a boat if you think a storm is arriving and hundreds of marinas that you could also use, is totally different than being out in the Bahamas. The risks in the early part of the season might be reasonable for some, latter in the season is no time for a rookie.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:13   #63
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Being along the East Coast of the US where there are hundreds of yards available to haul a boat if you think a storm is arriving and hundreds of marinas that you could also use, is totally different than being out in the Bahamas. The risks in the early part of the season might be reasonable for some, latter in the season is no time for a rookie.
I keep mentioning Sandy because it was not really that strong but it hit an area not really experienced with hurricanes and did massive damage to boats in yards in NY/NJ. There are also places like New Orleans and Miami that have allowed development in areas that simply are not suitable for any type of permanent buildings. When you drain a wetland and build on it don't be shocked if the ground subsides and floods.

Hurricanes can hit anywhere and the Bahamas are not the worst place to be when one hits.
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:18   #64
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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You park the boat in the best way you can, get to high ground and protect yourselves.
What High Ground? We are speaking of the Bahamas right?
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:27   #65
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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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... ............................... 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. ........ Mark
I'd like to highlight these words from Mark. During this thread accounts of hurricane anchorages in Baja California and the US East Coast have been included and some of my own accounts have been in reference to finding safe hurricane holes in places other than the Bahamas. I want to repeat my stand that is in much agreement with Mark. Our summer cruising in the Bahamas has been restricted to only the Abacos and in June and July when the risk is far less and the run to safety is shorter. Yes, we were caught once in early august and ran as far as West End without the time to make Florida safely. At that time we were with our children and we secured our boat in a no fetch location (less than thirty yards), in a slip behind the Grand Bahama Hotel. During the maximun hurricane winds we were all within the a building ashore.

I do find secure locations on the US East Coast that meet the requiements I posted above, but as Mark says, these are rare in the Bahamas! I do not want to claim or support any hubris regarding hurricanes!
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Old 06-05-2014, 07:50   #66
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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....
Hurricanes can hit anywhere and the Bahamas are not the worst place to be when one hits.
It may not be the worst place, but it is up there on my list. No haulout/dry storage available, few safe slips, few and crowded hurricane holes, no high land, and lots of it just a bit too far from FLA to comfortably make it back once you decide that the storm risk is higher enough to warrant bailing out.

It isn't that the East Coast is safe, it is that there are many, many choices that can be made and options are available even as the storm is getting pretty close.

One place that I thought was pretty good in the Bahamas was Coral Harbour canals on New Providence.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:34   #67
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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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.If a hurricane comes through where you are, what other choice do you (or at least your boat) have?

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? Because it IS much more dangerous than many other areas. Maine is also on the east coast and to compare the risk of damage from a hurricane to Florida or the Bahamas would be silly. There's no comparison. Even in south Florida it's pretty easy to get your boat into a canal or some other protected location, whereas in the Bahamas those few places are very limited and full of boats owned by locals. Do you really think that someone brand new to cruising, and brand new to the Bahamas is going to be savvy enough to recognize/find a secure location and then be able to properly rig chafe gear and enough lines to hold the boat with strong winds shifting from all directions?

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 agree 100% but "the best way you can" for a novice in the Bahamas isn't likely to be very well secured. As I'm quite sure you're aware, securing a boat so it will be held in all directions in high, shifting winds and at least some waves, and so that the lines won't chafe through, approaches being a fine art form, not something anyone should take for granted they can do the first time correctly.

High ground, in the Bahamas, LOL? It's likely that she could ride out the season in the Bahamas without encountering anything close to a hurricane, but IF one does come along, once her rather large boat is "secured," with her not knowing anyone local, where does she go with her kids that is really secure? More and more, airlines proactively cancel flights before a weather event so their airplanes aren't stuck in a bad place.


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. Technically true, but only for Freeport or Bimini. The rest of the Bahamas are 2 or 3 or 4 days from Ft Lauderdale. Do you really think it would be smart of her, with 5 kids in tow, to attempt to outrun a hurricane in an attempt to scurry in to Ft Lauderdale from wherever in the Bahamas she was when she realized the hurricane was going to be a serious threat? What if she has even a minor mechanical problem that slows her, or the hurricane shifts direction or speeds up, or the winds are out of the north when she'd like to cross the Gulf Stream? I know some present Okeechobee as a hurricane hole. Well, history says they've had 15' surges too.
I don't think that the Bahamas should be evacuated every July and I do realize that many people live their whole lives there and they aren't constantly in fear of a hurricane. But many of them, even those who have lived their entire lives on the water and with a lifetime of local knowledge and numerous friends to help them, would not want the responsibility of a large motorboat and 5 kids with an approaching hurricane. If I were her(not you, novice cruiser, big boat, 5 kids), I'd plan to enjoy the Bahamas through about mid July while keeping a close eye on long range weather forecasts, and would already have made arrangements to be hauled out or secured in a canal in Ft Lauderdale in late July or whenever I showed up at their docks, whichever happens first. If she was more experienced with boating in general, and with her particular boat, and if she had scouted the area where she intended to stay before and had a workable hurricane hole plan in mind, I'd say that it might be OK to roll the dice by spending hurricane season in the Bahamas. But for her particular situation, I don't think it would be a very smart way to begin her cruising life.
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Old 06-05-2014, 08:48   #68
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

It's simply a matter of statistics, example I for one am not on the road on New Years eve, I sit that one night out.
Most probably she would be fine, no Hurricane, but as keeps getting pointed out, what if?
She has to have crew to run this boat for her, I assume, would they stay? Makes a difference.
Assuming if they could fly away before anything hit, I say fine no problem, but if they couldn't, then its crazy, nothings worth that kind of risk, certainly not a holiday.

Why not the Keys instead?
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:06   #69
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

Hurricane Irene Bahamas 2011

Hurricane Sandy Bahamas 2012

Tropical Storm Isacc Bahamas 2013

The Bahamas in 2014? 'Looks like it can be an awesome, fun place to vacation with the kids during the summer. "Follow the dream."
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:25   #70
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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Originally Posted by BandB View Post
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?

...........
I would guess that the Bahamas could be called the crossroads for Hurricane travel. Storms head north often up the coast /out to the Atlantic. Occasionally going West. The Bahamas general area seems to be the crossroads for the storms I'm thinking. Even many of the storms that go out east into the N. Atlantic seem to go nearby a lot.
It would be interesting to see the percentage of Trop Depressions that go NE how many pass within 150 miles or so of the Bahamas....
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:40   #71
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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What High Ground? We are speaking of the Bahamas right?
Yes and there are plenty of places in the Bahamas above storm surge levels. We're not in need of mountains. Just 30 or 40 feet would be nice.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:43   #72
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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It's simply a matter of statistics, example I for one am not on the road on New Years eve, I sit that one night out.
?
Yes, it is a matter of statistics and I posted the statistics for Nassau as an example. Not nearly what people think.

And people keep discussing her inexperience, but she's said previously she was going to have an experienced Captain. With her level of experience, I wouldn't suggest going anywhere.

Also as to distance. The last I heard she wasn't getting a full displacement yacht so if 300 miles from the east coast conservatively at 15 knots she's less than a day. If she is capable of 20 knots, then 15 hours.

There are many aspects of her entire escapade I question and am uncomfortable with. That includes knowing what to do in the event of a hurricane wherever it hits, having a plan to protect her kids (Boat not very important, kids extremely important). But the Bahamas are just not inherently that much more hurricane prone than most of the east coast of the US. I had someone I worked with had a house on the NC outer banks and in the twelve years we worked together he rebuilt it three times.
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Old 06-05-2014, 09:49   #73
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

It all really boils down to statistics. Whether you'll experience a tropical storm at any given location is a crapshoot. If you agree with that premise and want to gamble, it would behoove you to know a little about what the odds are.

Here's a NOAA website that has some pretty good graphics and discussion on when and where tropical storms form and track in the SW North Atlantic. It would lead me to believe that June and July in the Bahamas might be an acceptable risk. August and September, not so much.

Tropical Cyclone Climatology

For example, origins and tracks by month for July and August...
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:00   #74
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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I would guess that the Bahamas could be called the crossroads for Hurricane travel. Storms head north often up the coast /out to the Atlantic. Occasionally going West. The Bahamas general area seems to be the crossroads for the storms I'm thinking. Even many of the storms that go out east into the N. Atlantic seem to go nearby a lot.
It would be interesting to see the percentage of Trop Depressions that go NE how many pass within 150 miles or so of the Bahamas....
Hurricane City has a top 50 listed in frequency of hurricanes. The islands of the Bahamas are in the top list with Grand Bahamas being most affected. But numbers one and two in the list are in NC. Sable Island, Nova Scotia makes the top ten as does Boca Raton. Myrtle Beach and Savannah are in the top 20. Fort Lauderdale is only 34th. I guess frankly when you live in an area considered hurricane prone, whether it is or not, you become less inclined to plan things around the potential of a hurricane and react only to those headed your way. Our cruising plans are not in any way predicated on hurricane areas but are always subject to change because of one.

This has been interesting and it's clear that reasonable people can disagree on whether they'd go to the Bahamas during that period. I think also the OP's various posts and lack of experience make people justifiably less comfortable. I share those concerns. But I share them wherever she chooses to head. I'm hoping there is going to be a professional highly skilled captain who will keep an eye on hurricanes wherever they go and will make swift decisions when required.
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Old 06-05-2014, 10:14   #75
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Re: Bahamas During Hurricane Season?

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It all really boils down to statistics. Whether you'll experience a tropical storm at any given location is a crapshoot. If you agree with that premise and want to gamble, it would behoove you to know a little about what the odds are..
Statistics: Assuming that I'm sitting at my kitchen table writing a CF post on my computer, my chance of being mauled and eaten by a lion would statistically be zero. However, if I leave the house and head down to the zoo, walk over to the lion exhibit, ignore the signs warning me not to be an idiot and climb over the enclosure walls... my chances of being mauled and eaten by a lion will statistically increase to near 100%.

Why would anyone want to intentionally put themselves and their kids in the path of a lion?
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