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Old 07-01-2008, 03:17   #1
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How Far South is Hurricane-Safe in Caribbean ?

Hi Folks

How far south is Hurricane safe in Caribbean?

I know all areas have the possablity but many havnt had one for donkeys years. for the reasonable rash... oops, prudent, sailor how far would you go before putting donw the hook May - Nov?

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Old 07-01-2008, 03:39   #2
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For the actual latitude you need to consult your insurance agent. Most insurance will indicate how far north or south you have to be and the exact dates. It's be thee or be uncovered. Some friends were able to head south the beginning of week 4 in October. The line moves a bit year to year as well as the dates. Trinidad was once the line. So that would make the extreme southern Caribbean considered safe in general. Prior to the last big one Grenada was not hit for a very long time. The time since the last hurricane isn't a good indicator of where you should be at any one point in time.
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Old 07-01-2008, 03:53   #3
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For the actual latitude you need to consult your insurance agent. .
Thanks Paul

Its not insurance that worries me as I self insure. Its the line that a reasonable prudent person would stay south of.
I was hoping it was a bit further north than Trinadad. So Grenada is really out? Even though it has only been hit 3 times in living memory, 1963, 2004 and 2005 (and that was a 'mere' 80 kts)?

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Old 07-01-2008, 04:01   #4
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If you plan to stay in the water, most believe keeping south of 11 N latitude is prudent. Trinidad (Chamauragas) is viewed as safe (from hurricane, anyhow). It was last visited by a hurricane in 1963, so it's possible to be hit by one there, though unlikely. Of course just about everyone, including the insurance companies, thought southern Grenada was safe until Ivan raked the island with 170 mph winds in 2004. It had been 50 years since the last one. And then hurricane Emily came by the next summer--two in less thatn 12 months!

There are a number of other spots cruisers hunker down in--Isla Margarita, marinas on the Venezuelan mainland, and the ABCs.

I chose to keep my boat on the hard last summer in Antigua, snuggly lashed into a steel cradle. My insurance company agreed to allow me to keep her there for an extra premium.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:28   #5
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Like Paul says, check with your Insurance carrier.

As tropical storms move westward through the Caribbean Sea, they are barred from moving southward by a ridge of high atmospheric pressure, which is generally agreed to occur near 12.5 degrees North, hence the southern boundary of the Caribbean hurricane belt has been defined as about 12º 40' N.

Union Island @ 12º 36'N, (just South of Bequia @ 13º N) , and Petite St. Vincent @ 12º 32'N, in The Grenadines, would be near the Southern extremity of the traditional hurricane belt.

Grenada, at 12º 07' N, was considered to be South of the hurricane belt, until hurricane “Ivan” (2004).

The islands of Trinidad and Tobago (about 11º N ), Bonaire, Curacao, Aruba, Panama, and the islands off of Venezuela lie beneath the traditional hurricane belt.

The incidence of hurricanes in Tobago is about one in every 50-100 years. Trinidad, just 22 miles to the south, has never had a hurricane.
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Old 07-01-2008, 04:54   #6
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I chose to keep my boat on the hard last summer in Antigua, snuggly lashed into a steel cradle. .
I've heard that Antigua used to have anchoring in Hurricane Hole but its now illegal? Cost to much to hang out on Antigua anyway lol.

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hence the southern boundary of the Caribbean hurricane belt has been defined as about 12º 40' N.

The incidence of hurricanes in Tobago is about one in every 50-100 years.
Mayreau sounds nice! thats right on 12º 40'

I can deal with a 1:50 probability especially when its a quick drive south to get out of the area.
Most seem to start and give a few days warning on the tracking chart I have.

There is certainly enough space there and interesting places to visit.



Thanks for all the thoughts


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Old 07-01-2008, 05:21   #7
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um..quote ..Its not insurance that worries me as I self insure. Its the line that a reasonable prudent person would stay south of.
..its a cultural thing !! Ozzies dont really get the "spend as much on insurance as your going to eat for the next year thing" I am sure that what Mark is asking is a practicle "mariners" question, relating purely to sensible, historically based wisdom as to safe practices. Given the changeability of the weather, I apreciate that history will less and less be a comforting guide. That as a fact means that insurance companys who are all ready just betting agents ( you make more money buying shares in them than policies) ....while I grump ..stand up any insurance company and tell me that statisticly in the long term you will be better off spending your cash in premiums than investments. __they will put up there premiums as the predictability becomes harder. Thats what they do.
.....Legal or otherwise.. you make more money on the GG,s than betting in insurance. Get third party while you can and spend your money on helping to keep the odds or your side. ........

Question...what is the differance in dollars between the premiums collected and the pay outs to cruising boats ? 2% ? 1% ? less ?? I dont think you are ever going to know !!Lloyds didnt run into difficullty because of cruising boats. : ( The concept started as loss sharing , not profit making..
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:15   #8
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Insurance companies are in it to make money so from the consumer perspective it is a negative sum game. From a risk management perspective there may be an appeal.

If, as a consumer, you are insuring a large number of similar items which are not subject to simultaneous loss, insurance is not necessarily a good idea. The premiums you save across the large set of items is very likely to exceed to cost you will incur replacing a few items that become lost or damaged.

It's when you have potential situations that would incur a large loss that insurance become attractive to the consumer. A large loss which is unlikely to occur, nevertheless could wipe you out. If you are comfortable with this risk then you don't need insurance. If you are not then entering into an insurance contract you are trading capital (your premiums) for risk mitigation. Looking at it purely economically doesn't work as this does not factor in the "value" you receive from avoiding the possibility of financial catastrophe. This all implies you have a reputable broker / dealer.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:33   #9
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Self insurance requires you to assess risk as you see fit. One method is to assume that you will never be hit in which case every place is safe all the time. Insurance companies see it by statistics. If you want to be self insured then you need to first create your own risk model. If you just take the approach of ""well a bunch of folks have said" and sleep at night then you have something that works.

Hoping it would be further north than Trinidad really isn't a correct approach. Pretending it is farther north could be OK if you can still sleep in comfort. If you don't pay for insurance than all you can do is pretend you are OK because you accept an all or nothing scenario. I don't see anything wrong with that approach but I don't think I would do it that way.

Insurance companies only bet with other peoples money (premiums). So what if a few boats get crunched they still make money and pay claims. When you make your own risk assessment the stakes are a little bit higher. I still think the "sleeping well at night rule" works for insurance as well as safe financial investments. It says how much risk is comfortable for you. It's Ok to buy a little bit of insurance if it helps you sleep.

The latitude that is safe is a fluid idea - it's not exact. Being able to sleep well is an exact measurement you can test.
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Old 07-01-2008, 07:43   #10
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Is this why so many cruisers drink?
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Old 07-01-2008, 08:53   #11
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Quote:
Is this why so many cruisers drink?
No, it's why there are so many hurricanes. You need a positive outlook.
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Old 07-01-2008, 09:28   #12
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Mark,

Here's a little more specific information:

Sunday, July 30 2006

The Miami Herald identified Trinidad as one of the safe places to visit when dodging hurricanes. However, weather experts warn against a false sense of security and say that nowhere is safe.

OUT OF STORMS' PATH
Staying clear of the hurricanes is as easy as ABC
BY GARY LEE
Washington Post Service

Finding a dry Caribbean beach in hurricane season is always a gamble, but travelers can greatly sweeten their odds by choosing the right island.

The safest bets: Aruba, Bonaire or Curac¸ao, the so-called ABC islands, all located at the southernmost tip of the Lesser Antilles; Trinidad and Tobago, perched beyond the southern end of the Windward chain; and Margarita Island, just off the coast of Venezuela.

Visit any of these islands in hurricane season, and you'll face only a 2 percent chance of encountering a serious storm.

And the islands most likely to be hit? Grand Bahama Island has been hit by 40 hurricanes in 150 years. Bermuda and the Virgin Islands are also frequently affected by heavy storms and hurricanes.

Weather experts are quick to point out that no island is totally hurricane-free. But the last major hurricane to slap the ABCs directly was in 1877.

ARUBA

• Key attractions: Beaches, casinos, nightclubs

• Storm history: Hurricane Ivan blew through in 2004, causing minimal damage. Joan brushed past in 1988. Last major hurricane hit: 1877.

BONAIRE

• Key attractions: Diving, ecotourism, sport fishing

• Storm history: Suffered some flooding from Lenny in 1999 and Ivan in 2004. Last major hurricane hit: 1877.

CURACAO

• Key attractions: Beaches, snorkeling, diving, ethnic heritage.

• Storm history: In 1999, Lenny caused some damage to northern beaches. Last major hurricane hit: 1877.

TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO

• Key attractions: Beaches, ecotourism, birding, carnival.

• Storm history: Ivan caused damage on Tobago in 2004. Last major hurricane hit: 1963.

MARGARITA ISLAND

• Key attractions: Beaches, shopping, windsurfing, affordable package deals

• Storm history: Ivan caused flooding and damage in 2004. No major hurricane recorded.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:42   #13
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Here's is a good website that has some iinformation relating to your question; traveling to the islands.
Getting the Best Weather for Your Caribbean Trip
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Old 07-01-2008, 11:34   #14
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This last season the ABCs went on hurricane alert, but it passed to the north (although closer than usual). Let's just say you increase your chances of hurricane avoidance south of 12N. The further south, the better the chances.
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Old 07-01-2008, 14:29   #15
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Ozzies dont really get the "spend as much on insurance as your going to eat for the next year thing" I am sure that what Mark is asking is a practicle "mariners" question, relating purely to sensible, historically based wisdom as to safe practices. .


You hit that nail right on the head!
And if, touch wood, I am ever unfortunate enough to lose a boat I am not destitute. I'd could go get another. (No, not a Swan or Oyster lol)

Quote:
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""well a bunch of folks have said" The latitude that is safe is a fluid idea - it's not exact. .


Thanks for your thoughts, Paul.
I think the "well a bunch of folks have said" is very important. I lived up in Cairns, Australia for 6 years and we had a variety of cyclones from tiddlers to biggies to near misses to long misses. But when I came south the Sydney the news reports on the north look like the place is devastated a couple of times per year and the folks live in permanent tarpaulins and tie themselves to a tree all cyclone season.
So without going to the Caribbean first, nor having ever been, the best info I can get is from you bunch who have been

I really don't want to be in the area at all for the season but may not have enough time to scoot up the US coast before June. Have a look on the Global Cyclone Tracking Map HERE (Wikipaedia) at a rhumb line from Trinidad to CapeHatteras. :shock: Now thats one line I am not sailing June to Nov even if I was insured to the hilt!

I would much prefer the northern summer 2008 to be cruising up the Chesapeake to Philadelphia and then New York for a cup of tea in the Waldorf Astoria. To miss the window of opportunity means missing US till 2009 and Europe till 2010! My wrinkles will be having kids by then!


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Here's is a good website ..traveling to the islands.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HAwkcharter View Post

Great article. thanks for that
If you read about an Aussie nicking your Libery Bell just come down the marina and I'll show it to you Its cracked and dented anyway. Is there a marina in downtown?

Thanks for everyones help

Mark
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