Having successfully weathered five....count 'em, 5....major hurricanes with over 100 knots of wind in the marina
, I offer the following:
specifically Ensenada Honda, is NOT a good place
a hurricane; it's much too big and unprotected; many boats went down and there were deaths there in one of the big ones;
2. Nanny Cay marina
, where my boat was in all five hurricanes, is maybe the best hurricane hole in the islands.
Far better than the traditional hurricane anchorages
in the BVI (like Paraquita Bay). However, it's crowded and if you're not based there you won't find a good spot. The only boats which suffered much damage in the five hurricanes were those which were hauled out ashore and blown over, or were hit by other boats which had blown over. I believe that they now dig holes for keels and require you to remove your mast
3. Hurricane Hole in the mangroves at the east end of St. John, USVI
is/was a traditional place to hide. However, you've gotta get there VERY early, and it's not all that good anyway.
4. The Lagoon in St. Martin,
likewise, is a traditional place to hide -- like Ensenada Honda in Culebra -- but in a severe hurricane it can be a killer. Many boats and lives lost
there in one of the big ones.
There are dozens of good anchorages
in the Antilles which offer some decent protection in tropical storm conditions, but if a hurricane is passing in just the right direction these, too, will be overwhelmed.
From what I've seen and know of first-hand, I'd say anyone who stays on his/her boat in hurricane conditions just doesn't understand the risk. It's not so much the hurricane itself, but the small tornados which often form around the eye, and which have winds in excess of 200 knots. NOTHING can withstand these. They can and do make entire houses disappear completely, as well as other structures -- a ham friend had five 150' commercial radio
towers completely removed by a hurricane; three of these were never found.