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Old 22-02-2007, 09:03   #1
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Anchoring for a Hurricane

I have just looked at my insurance bill for the coming year and have decided its robbery and have decided to forgo it in the future. $2500 per year is almost 8% of the value of the boat. This just isnt honest. I live on the South Texas coast where the last "real" hurricane to come ashore here was over 30 years ago, "Celia" in 1976. Two years ago my insurance on a 44' Bruce Roberts worth $80,000 was $700 a year. This year I paid $2500 for a 36' Gulfstar worth $35,000. Its all because some huricanes devastated Florida and Louisana two years ago. They want me to pay for their losses in other areas.

So now I am going to anchor out, or in , or haul before a huricane comes ashore...if ever.

The question is HOW.

I have three choices:

1.) I can tie to either side of a canal with three lines each side and maybe an anchor off the bow. The canal is 6' deep (boat is 3.5' draft) and 60 feet wide. It is off a cove that is off Corpous Christi Bay which is protected by barrier islands. Its probably one of the best hurricane holes in Texas. The surge in here form even a BIG huricane would probably not exceed 15 feet. The disadvantage here is the other boats in the canal might break loose and then all my skills with lines would be wasted.

2) I can take her out in the cove and anchor with a 45 pound CQR burried ashore on a spoil island with another 45 pound CQR of the stern to keep her from swinging on to the spoil island. I would have 3/8" chain and 7/8 anchor lines. Of course I could go into the middle of the cove with one anchor maybe a 75 pound CQR or Danforth (mud bottom) and let it swing. The problem with the cove is a lot of people use this area when a huricane threatens and I would be dependant upon their good anchoring skills to keep them from draging on to me in the storm.

3) I can take her to the yard and have her hauled out and blocked for a week. The cost of this would be about $500 round trip so I could do it 5 times a season for what I am paying for insurance. The chance of having to do it once a year is unlikely. The yard where she would be blocked is subject to a 15' surge as well so it might not be safe there if it was floated off the blocks.

Are there other options? Which of these looks best?
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:11   #2
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First thing I'd do is check out other insurance companies. $2,500 for a boat valued at $35K is ridiculous.

I recently renewed insurance on my boat valued at more than three times that sum. Premium was $1,140 including 500K liability, and no-claims credit.

While insurance rates do vary by area, the amount quoted you would seem to be WAY out of line.

Check out others, beginning with Boat U.S.

Bill
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:29   #3
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My insurance is with Boat US and was the cheapest I could find last year.

Who are you with?

In the past I was with National Marine Underwriters. They canceled my insurance on the BR 44 because they decided to no longer insure steel hulled boats. Then they decided to no longer insure boats in our area. So they are no longer an option.
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:32   #4
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Did you try the like for insurance that is on yachtworld? YachtWorld.com Boats and Yachts for Sale
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:37   #5
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BOAT U.S.

Don't know what I'd do in your situation; probably contemplate moving and/or self-insuring as you're doing.

Jeez....what is our world coming to? Is their no sanity anymore?

Bill
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:41   #6
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Allstate has the best rates oin sailboats that I found but the boat can not be more than 25 years old.
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:44   #7
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Insurance or no insurance this seems to be a question for many cruisers. The insurance company is betting you that you will not have a problem. You are betting the insurance that you will. It sounds a little counter productive. I hope you don’t win your bet. I went with out insurance at 7% of my boat value in 14 years I have broke even. I know people that have went through hurricanes myself included. The others that had insurance had to fight with there insurance for every penny. The insurance was trying to find any excuse not to pay. You best insurance is your knowledge, good ground tackle and chaffing gear.
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Old 22-02-2007, 09:45   #8
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Follow the shrimp boats up the Nueces River BEFORE they close the flood gates. I assume they still do that. Last time I was in a hurricane in CC was the big boy in 70, Celia? Anywho, at the time the shrimpers would head up river and tie off across to both banks and their families would come out and park along the highway and they'd have a big hurricane party. It's been awhile so things may have changed, or maybe not. There's suppose to be a good hurricane hole over behind Ingleside. FYI, in that blow in 70 the storm surge was so large that the seaside HALF of CC bay was dry. Shoreline drive, downwind, was under water. 20' surge? Something like that. ALL the boats that were put on the hard across Shoreline drive were toppled like dominoes. The ones left in the water at the L head and T head piers were picked up and drop on top of the pilings. Boats were left sitting 3-6' above the water with the pilings stuck through their bottoms. There was one old salt who made it through fairly well at the docks. He stripped his boat of everything, inside and out, and sunk her to the bottom, which is only 6' away. After the blow, he pumped her, cleaned her out and was back living aboard a month later!

best of luck
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Old 22-02-2007, 10:15   #9
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There is another string concerning hurricane anchoring around Corpus from a few months back. You may want to review that also.
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Old 22-02-2007, 11:04   #10
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Finding good (reasonable?) boat insurance seems to be a constantly moving target. When we bought the “big” boat I was declined by Boat US. This despite both my wife and I having over 20 years of sailing experience. On the other hand, the guy who bought the boat next to me was offered insurance, Boat US, without ever even owning a boat and having only sailed once... ONCE. In that the two boats were similar to each other, the only difference that we could find was our home address. Mine Minnesota, his Annapolis Maryland. (looking at the number of boats and boaters there, I can almost understand) So not only is the target moving, but those stetting the targets can be incredibly ignorant...IMHO

We did end up with National Marine Underwriters, and were happy with them until we tried to get a rider for south of Chesapeake Bay. The company they had set up us with would no longer insure boats over 30 feet. NMU then found us a policy that was not only expensive, high deductibles and came with almost four pages of exceptions for which they would not cover anything. In effect we coughed up the money and they provided us with proof of insurance. No real coverage, but proof of insurance.

There were more “adventures” after that, but we wound up with Blue Water Insurance. At this point I can’t say enough good things about them. Since they deal in insurance for cruisers my expectations are that they will continue to offer excellent choices but, as they are only underwriters, their choices are narrowing also.

Bottom line, it can be a tough task but there are some options out there, you just have to really work at it. Good luck with it.

Greg
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Old 22-02-2007, 12:13   #11
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"Follow the shrimp boats up the Nueces River BEFORE they close the flood gates. I assume they still do that. Last time I was in a hurricane in CC was the big boy in 70, Celia? Anywho, at the time the shrimpers would head up river and tie off across to both banks and their families would come out and park along the highway and they'd have a big hurricane party. It's been awhile so things may have changed, or maybe not. There's suppose to be a good hurricane hole over behind Ingleside. FYI, "

Unless I am mistaken, Celia (cat 5 they now say) was 1976, but since then only Cat 2 huricanes have come close.

The River is too far away for a last minute dash.

That Huricane hole behind Ingleside is where I am now, in a canal. Its Ingleside-On-The-Bay which is where I live.
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Old 22-02-2007, 14:17   #12
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I suspect a stern anchor in a hurricane is a pretty bad idea. The wind/waves shift as the storm blows through, so you'd have to anchor in a very protected area for it to work.

If you are going to self-insure, make sure your marina doesn't have a problem with it. My marina requires insurance.

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Old 22-02-2007, 15:15   #13
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The marina is not a concern. I have my boat on my own private bulkhead. I have talked to the neighbor across the canal and he has no problem with me tieing my boat to his side of the canal as well as mine. He doesnt have a boat.
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Old 22-02-2007, 15:17   #14
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Oh yes, it is a well protected area. The fetch is less than on half a mile in any dierction and there is no water to build up seas. The water will either be blown out or pushed in but nothing significant in seas.
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Old 22-02-2007, 15:54   #15
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Jimi, it sounds like the biggest questions for you are:

1-Are you sure nothing else will hit you? From other boats, or for that matter, from the neighbor's roof coming off?

2-Are you sure about that 15' storm surge? What were the max surges in Katrina, and how sure are you that you wouldn't get a stronger storm with higher surge in your area?

After that it is just a question of how well you can secure and how lucky you feel, I guess. For $2500 you can buy a lotof nice new storm lines and install some robustly anchored cleats to run them off to, that's for sure.

You might still want liability insurance, though. In case your's gets torn loose, etc.
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