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Old 18-03-2019, 18:13   #31
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

Hurricane tracks are pretty good now. You're not going to get blindsided by one.
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Old 18-03-2019, 19:56   #32
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Originally Posted by kmacdonald View Post
Hurricane tracks are pretty good now. You're not going to get blindsided by one.
The Atlantic/Carib cyclones are certainly well tracked and better behaved than storms in many other places of the world. You are not going to be surprised about the existence of a storm. There are a ton of studies looking at the prediction uncertainty in Atlantic storm forecasts. Just looked at a NOAA report for 2011 and it shows the distance error at the 5 day forecast averages 245 miles with a max of 400 miles. Not easy to escape from on a 5kt slug.
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Old 20-03-2019, 21:48   #33
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

It sounds like you go about 8 kts, so only go as far as you can and still get back to a safe place. Green Turtle has a marina for putting up on the hard, but it fills up. Maybe make sure you're in Bimini when a storm gets to the windward islands. You still have to reserve a berth in FL.

I've been in the Bahamas in August, but I can cruise at 20kts and I have a permanent berth in Cape Canaveral.

I used to work on ships. They have a hard time in hurricanes. Don't take too many chances. I'd assume you lose the engine and can only proceed under sail.

If you can get to Canaveral, boats tie up to trees in the barge canal on Merritt Island.

Good luck!
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Old 21-03-2019, 00:44   #34
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

Thanks to everybody for this discussion. In this undeniable climate change times it’s obvious that older pattern do not work any more, as Chesapeake proofs. I do not think that’s the last two years we’re an exception, even more a new standard. That’s why it does not make any sense to me to get there just because the insurance covers the area, what I do expect will be a subject of change soon.

I take your comments very seriously so it will be southern Caribbean. Europe is no option as I come from there and the plan is to continue and circumnavigate.

However thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts
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Old 21-03-2019, 14:42   #35
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Originally Posted by Nelsons View Post
Thanks to everybody for this discussion. In this undeniable climate change times it’s obvious that older pattern do not work any more, as Chesapeake proofs. I do not think that’s the last two years we’re an exception, even more a new standard. That’s why it does not make any sense to me to get there just because the insurance covers the area, what I do expect will be a subject of change soon.

I take your comments very seriously so it will be southern Caribbean. Europe is no option as I come from there and the plan is to continue and circumnavigate.

However thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts
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Old 22-03-2019, 07:19   #36
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

The Bahamas should not be missed, as they are some of the most beautiful waters and islands anywhere in the world. Just don't be there between about mid-July and November.
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Old 25-03-2019, 08:50   #37
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

Not bad to stay in the Bahamas for a hurricane. We kept our 40 foot sailboat for three years in Abaco. Green turtle key stores on land with great tie downs. Marsh Harbour can haul but also gets full. Man o war a good hole on a mooring. We rode out sandy there. You need to plan way ahead for those options, probably securing a spot for the season and using as needed. Getting out of the Bahamas quickly is not a good plan. The Gulf Stream in a Northerly wind is often uncrossable for small boats. So if you can’t get out you can’t run.
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Old 25-03-2019, 09:54   #38
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

Outrunning a hurricane.... I am reminded of the fate of the tall ship Fantome caught in Hurricane Mitch in Oct 1998 off the island Guanaja . Sunk with all 31 crew aboard lost. Yes tracking and forecasts are better than in 1998, but the consequences of getting caught at sea in a high category hurricane are life threatening. Hurricane Mitch made some unpredictable moves which sealed the fate of the Fantome.
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Old 25-03-2019, 11:51   #39
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Outrunning a hurricane.... I am reminded of the fate of the tall ship Fantome caught in Hurricane Mitch in Oct 1998 off the island Guanaja . Sunk with all 31 crew aboard lost. Yes tracking and forecasts are better than in 1998, but the consequences of getting caught at sea in a high category hurricane are life threatening. Hurricane Mitch made some unpredictable moves which sealed the fate of the Fantome.
The Fantome was a spectacular ship. Sad ending. The Captain held too much confidence in outrunning a storm and placed a higher value on the vessel than the safety of the crew. Probably should have just kept the ship in Belize where the passengers and the "non-essential" crew were safely discharged and to have chosen to weather the storm ashore, but then it is easy to say with twenty twenty hindsight.

Per Wikipedia.

On 24 October 1998, Fantome departed the harbor of Omoa in Honduras for a planned 6 day cruise. Hurricane Mitch, then over 1,000 miles (1,600 km) away in the Caribbean Sea, was expected to pose a risk to Jamaica and possibly the Yucatán Peninsula. Captain Guyan March decided to play it safe by heading for the Bay Islands and wait for the storm to pass.

By dawn on the following day, however, Mitch seemed to change course. Fantome immediately changed course for Belize City, where it disembarked all of her passengers and non-essential crew members. The schooner then departed Belize City, first heading north towards the Gulf of Mexico, in order to outrun the storm. Storm predictions proved extremely difficult, as the steering currents in Hurricane Mitch were very weak. When word reached Fantome that Mitch would most likely hit the Yucatán before she could get out of harm's way, Capt. March changed course for the south. It was too early to know that he was heading directly into the storm's path.

The plan was to make for the lee side of the island of Roatan. In case Mitch made landfall in the Yucatán or Belize, by being on the southern side of the island, it would provide her with enough protection to keep it from getting damaged by large swells and high winds. However, Mitch, now a Category 5 hurricane with winds up to 180 mph (285 km/h), took a jog towards the south, directly towards Roatan.

As Mitch moved in on Roatan and Honduras, Fantome made one desperate attempt to flee to safety, now heading east towards the Caribbean. Mitch's forward motion picked up, though, and Fantome was unable to outrun the storm. Around 4:30 P.M. on 27 October 1998, with Mitch having weakened but still at Category 5 intensity, Fantome reported that she was fighting 100-mile-per-hour (160 km/h) winds in 40-foot (12 m) seas. They were just 40 miles (64 km) south of Mitch's eyewall. Radio contact was lost with Fantome shortly after that.

Just three days after departing for the scheduled six day cruise when the storm was then more than a 1,000 miles [1,600 kilometers] away.

On 2 November, a helicopter dispatched by the British destroyer HMS Sheffield discovered life rafts and vests, labeled "S/V Fantome," off the eastern coast of Guanaja. It was all that was found of Fantome. All 31 crew members aboard perished, and a memorial service was held for them on December 12, 1998.
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:31   #40
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

Just a late thought, why not plan to get to Bermuda ? Its position is compatible with many insurers plan (Pantaneus for exemple). Its a 5-7 days from Carribean. Many boaters in the Coconut Milk Run are ready to go up to Hawaii or down to NZ which are both farther than Carribean-Bermuda.


Does that option make sense ?
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Old 25-03-2019, 12:56   #41
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Originally Posted by gulfcoastsailor View Post
Wisest words on the thread. If you can get permission from the yard, dig a hole to bring your deck down to ground level and of course lower the mast. Don't know what else you can do if you are hell-bent on staying in the Bahamas.

Uh, I know of cases where the hole filled with water and floated the boat.....
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Old 25-03-2019, 13:51   #42
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Originally Posted by northcaptain View Post
Just a late thought, why not plan to get to Bermuda ? Its position is compatible with many insurers plan (Pantaneus for exemple). Its a 5-7 days from Carribean. Many boaters in the Coconut Milk Run are ready to go up to Hawaii or down to NZ which are both farther than Carribean-Bermuda.


Does that option make sense ?
Unsure as to whether Bermuda would avail lower cost or continued insurance coverage from storm related damages.

Bermuda is likely a reduced risk location but still gets whacked from time to time.

From Wikipedia:

The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has a long history of encounters with Atlantic tropical cyclones, many of which inflicted significant damage and influenced the territory's development. A small archipelago comprising about 138 islands and islets, Bermuda occupies 21 square miles (54 km2) in the North Atlantic Ocean, roughly 650 miles (1,050 km) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.[1] The islands are situated far outside the main development region for Atlantic hurricanes,[2] but within the typical belt of recurving tropical cyclones.[3] Most storms form in the central Atlantic or western Caribbean Sea before approaching Bermuda from the southwest; storms forming north of 28°N are unlikely to impact the territory.[4]

According to the Bermuda Weather Service, the islands of Bermuda experience a damaging tropical cyclone once every six to seven years, on average.[3] Due to the small area of the island chain, landfalls and direct hits are rare.[3] Strictly speaking, only nine landfalls have occurred during years included in the official Atlantic hurricane database, starting in 1851.[5] When hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo struck Bermuda just days apart in October 2014, that season became the first to produce two landfalls. Two damaging storms impacted Bermuda in September 1899, but the center of the first storm narrowly missed the islands.[6] Tropical cyclones, and their antecedent or remnant weather systems, have affected the territory in all seasons, most frequently in the late summer months.[3] A study of recorded storms from 1609 to 1996 found that direct hits from hurricanes were most common in early September and late October, with an intervening relative lull creating two distinct 'seasons'.[7]

Hurricanes late in the year are often in the process of undergoing extratropical transition and receiving baroclinic enhancement.[7] Bermuda is less likely to be impacted during years when the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and southeastern United States are favored targets.[3] Even in intense hurricanes, the islands tend to fare relatively well; ever since a cyclone in 1712 destroyed many wooden buildings, most structures have been built with stone walls and roofs, and are able to withstand severe winds. As a result, hurricane-related deaths have been uncommon since the early 18th century.[3] Ten storms have collectively caused 129 fatalities; 110 of them, or 85%, were the result of shipwrecks along the shore in Hurricane "Ten" of 1926. Hurricane Fabian in 2003 was the only system in the weather satellite era to cause storm-related deaths.

In total, 186 events are listed, with widely varying degrees of damage. A hurricane in 1609 was responsible for the first permanent settlement on Bermuda: in late July, the Jamestown-bound, British ship Sea Venture nearly foundered in the storm and sought refuge on the islands, which the passengers found surprisingly hospitable. Hurricane Fabian was the most intense storm to impact the territory in modern times, though officially it did not make landfall, and was the only storm to have its name retired for effects in Bermuda. The costliest storms were Fabian and Gonzalo, which caused about $300 million and $200–400 million in damage respectively (2003 and 2014 USD). Accounting for inflation and continued development, Fabian would have likely wrought around $650 million in damage had it struck in 2014. The most recent tropical cyclone to affect the islands was Tropical Storm Chris in July 2018.

September 5, 2003 – The island enters the eastern eyewall of Category 3 Hurricane Fabian, the most destructive hurricane in the territory since 1926.[175] Elevated stations record wind gusts in excess of 150 mph (240 km/h), while the south shore is subjected to 20 to 30 ft (6 to 9 m) waves and an estimated 10 ft (3.0 m) storm surge.[175] Seawater inundates beachfront structures and compromises the Causeway,[176] where four people are swept away in their vehicles. Fabian produces considerable damage to property and vegetation, unroofing some buildings in exposed locations and causing more severe failures in weaker structures.[175] The wind damage is possibly exacerbated by several small tornadoes reportedly embedded in the hurricane's eyewall.[176] About 25,000 electric customers lose power,[137] and total damage exceeds $300 million.[175] Fabian is the only tropical cyclone in the weather satellite era to directly cause fatalities on Bermuda.[3] In response to the hurricane's destruction, the name Fabian is retired and replaced with Fred for 2009

October 12, 2014 – Category 1 Hurricane Fay makes landfall in Bermuda, causing an unexpectedly great degree of damage. Wind gusts over 100 mph (160 km/h) clog roadways with downed trees and utility poles, and leave most electric customers without power. Along the coast, Fay damages or destroys numerous boats and inundates streets.[202] The terminal building at the airport suffers extensive flooding after the powerful winds compromise its roof and sprinkler system.[203] Insured losses from Fay likely total "tens of millions of dollars."[

October 17–18, 2014 – While cleanup and repairs from Fay are still underway, Category 2 Hurricane Gonzalo makes landfall on the southwestern coast, severely compounding the damage.[6] The territory experiences up to 12 hours of hurricane-force winds, peaking at 144 mph (232 km/h) at St. David's Island, Bermuda; consequently, widespread roof and structural damage is reported.[204] At the height of the storm, about 31,000 out of 36,000 electricity customers are without power, including 1,500 residual outages from Fay.[205] The hurricane destroys many boats and inflicts minor damage on Causeway, limiting traffic to one lane for several days.[204] Tees and utility poles once again leave "barely a road passable" across the island,[206] and the Bermuda Weather Service building endures wind and water damage. The most significant storm to affect Bermuda since Fabian in 2003, Gonzalo is generally less destructive, and causes no deaths or major injuries.[204] Insured losses are estimated at between $200 and $400 million.[6]

October 4–5, 2015 – Category 1 Hurricane Joaquin passes about 70 mi (110 km) to the west-northwest, producing several inches of rain and strong winds, gusting as high as 115 mph (185 km/h) at exposed and elevated locations.[207][208] A structure at the Bermuda Maritime Museum is partially unroofed,[209] and about 15,000 households lose electricity,[210] but damage is generally inconsequential.

October 13, 2016 – The eye of Category 3 Hurricane Nicole passes over the islands, though the exact center remains just offshore. Gusts as high as 136 mph (219 km/h) blow down trees and power lines, which cuts power to nearly 90% of the territory's electric customers.[215][216] Dozens of boats are damaged or destroyed, and entire fields of crops are lost, although property damage is less severe than anticipated.[217][218][219] The hurricane drops 6.77 in (172 mm) of rain, becoming one of the wettest recorded storms to impact Bermuda
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Old 25-03-2019, 14:14   #43
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Uh, I know of cases where the hole filled with water and floated the boat.....
Tropical storms typically bring large amounts of rain which of course would flow to a hole and literally float the boat but the boat may not float out of the hole. Boats stored on dirt or sand surfaces are prone to having the substrate soften and the stands recede into the ground causing tilting of the boat.

An EXTRA WIDE BASED cradle positioned on asphalt or concrete is probably the most protective method of placing on the hard and with straps tying the hull down to the cradle base and / or deep set helical anchors to hold the cradle to the ground. Definitely reduce windage and leverage by stepping mast, removing everything from the deck, including bimini. Boats with deep keels, e.g.,, fin keels are prone to tipping because they stand tall from the ground and have much higher wind induced roll moment. Reference of images of a cradle system and adjacent boats that dominoed over and of a deep keeled boat placed on a narrow based cradle. Indeed tipping of one adjacent boat can lead to many boats being damaged, just as one boat dragging anchor can pull up several others downwind. Hence pay attention to what boats are placed near yours and seek to avoid precarious adjacent boats, e.g., boats without mast removed. Boatyards can become very crowded when a hurricane is anticipated so it is unlikely that the boats will be spaced far apart and also the boatyard may not have the ability to lower the masts of all the boats to properly prepare for the storm.
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Old 25-03-2019, 14:24   #44
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Originally Posted by Montanan View Post
Unsure as to whether Bermuda would avail lower cost or continued insurance coverage from storm related damages.

Bermuda is likely a reduced risk location but still gets whacked from time to time.

From Wikipedia:

The British Overseas Territory of Bermuda has a long history of encounters with Atlantic tropical cyclones, many of which inflicted significant damage and influenced the territory's development. A small archipelago comprising about 138 islands and islets, Bermuda occupies 21 square miles (54 km2) in the North Atlantic Ocean, roughly 650 miles (1,050 km) east of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.[1] The islands are situated far outside the main development region for Atlantic hurricanes,[2] but within the typical belt of recurving tropical cyclones.[3] Most storms form in the central Atlantic or western Caribbean Sea before approaching Bermuda from the southwest; storms forming north of 28°N are unlikely to impact the territory.[4]

According to the Bermuda Weather Service, the islands of Bermuda experience a damaging tropical cyclone once every six to seven years, on average.[3] Due to the small area of the island chain, landfalls and direct hits are rare.[3] Strictly speaking, only nine landfalls have occurred during years included in the official Atlantic hurricane database, starting in 1851.[5] When hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo struck Bermuda just days apart in October 2014, that season became the first to produce two landfalls. Two damaging storms impacted Bermuda in September 1899, but the center of the first storm narrowly missed the islands.[6] Tropical cyclones, and their antecedent or remnant weather systems, have affected the territory in all seasons, most frequently in the late summer months.[3] A study of recorded storms from 1609 to 1996 found that direct hits from hurricanes were most common in early September and late October, with an intervening relative lull creating two distinct 'seasons'.[7]

Hurricanes late in the year are often in the process of undergoing extratropical transition and receiving baroclinic enhancement.[7] Bermuda is less likely to be impacted during years when the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and southeastern United States are favored targets.[3] Even in intense hurricanes, the islands tend to fare relatively well; ever since a cyclone in 1712 destroyed many wooden buildings, most structures have been built with stone walls and roofs, and are able to withstand severe winds. As a result, hurricane-related deaths have been uncommon since the early 18th century.[3] Ten storms have collectively caused 129 fatalities; 110 of them, or 85%, were the result of shipwrecks along the shore in Hurricane "Ten" of 1926. Hurricane Fabian in 2003 was the only system in the weather satellite era to cause storm-related deaths.

In total, 186 events are listed, with widely varying degrees of damage. A hurricane in 1609 was responsible for the first permanent settlement on Bermuda: in late July, the Jamestown-bound, British ship Sea Venture nearly foundered in the storm and sought refuge on the islands, which the passengers found surprisingly hospitable. Hurricane Fabian was the most intense storm to impact the territory in modern times, though officially it did not make landfall, and was the only storm to have its name retired for effects in Bermuda. The costliest storms were Fabian and Gonzalo, which caused about $300 million and $200–400 million in damage respectively (2003 and 2014 USD). Accounting for inflation and continued development, Fabian would have likely wrought around $650 million in damage had it struck in 2014. The most recent tropical cyclone to affect the islands was Tropical Storm Chris in July 2018.

September 5, 2003 – The island enters the eastern eyewall of Category 3 Hurricane Fabian, the most destructive hurricane in the territory since 1926.[175] Elevated stations record wind gusts in excess of 150 mph (240 km/h), while the south shore is subjected to 20 to 30 ft (6 to 9 m) waves and an estimated 10 ft (3.0 m) storm surge.[175] Seawater inundates beachfront structures and compromises the Causeway,[176] where four people are swept away in their vehicles. Fabian produces considerable damage to property and vegetation, unroofing some buildings in exposed locations and causing more severe failures in weaker structures.[175] The wind damage is possibly exacerbated by several small tornadoes reportedly embedded in the hurricane's eyewall.[176] About 25,000 electric customers lose power,[137] and total damage exceeds $300 million.[175] Fabian is the only tropical cyclone in the weather satellite era to directly cause fatalities on Bermuda.[3] In response to the hurricane's destruction, the name Fabian is retired and replaced with Fred for 2009

October 12, 2014 – Category 1 Hurricane Fay makes landfall in Bermuda, causing an unexpectedly great degree of damage. Wind gusts over 100 mph (160 km/h) clog roadways with downed trees and utility poles, and leave most electric customers without power. Along the coast, Fay damages or destroys numerous boats and inundates streets.[202] The terminal building at the airport suffers extensive flooding after the powerful winds compromise its roof and sprinkler system.[203] Insured losses from Fay likely total "tens of millions of dollars."[

October 17–18, 2014 – While cleanup and repairs from Fay are still underway, Category 2 Hurricane Gonzalo makes landfall on the southwestern coast, severely compounding the damage.[6] The territory experiences up to 12 hours of hurricane-force winds, peaking at 144 mph (232 km/h) at St. David's Island, Bermuda; consequently, widespread roof and structural damage is reported.[204] At the height of the storm, about 31,000 out of 36,000 electricity customers are without power, including 1,500 residual outages from Fay.[205] The hurricane destroys many boats and inflicts minor damage on Causeway, limiting traffic to one lane for several days.[204] Tees and utility poles once again leave "barely a road passable" across the island,[206] and the Bermuda Weather Service building endures wind and water damage. The most significant storm to affect Bermuda since Fabian in 2003, Gonzalo is generally less destructive, and causes no deaths or major injuries.[204] Insured losses are estimated at between $200 and $400 million.[6]

October 4–5, 2015 – Category 1 Hurricane Joaquin passes about 70 mi (110 km) to the west-northwest, producing several inches of rain and strong winds, gusting as high as 115 mph (185 km/h) at exposed and elevated locations.[207][208] A structure at the Bermuda Maritime Museum is partially unroofed,[209] and about 15,000 households lose electricity,[210] but damage is generally inconsequential.

October 13, 2016 – The eye of Category 3 Hurricane Nicole passes over the islands, though the exact center remains just offshore. Gusts as high as 136 mph (219 km/h) blow down trees and power lines, which cuts power to nearly 90% of the territory's electric customers.[215][216] Dozens of boats are damaged or destroyed, and entire fields of crops are lost, although property damage is less severe than anticipated.[217][218][219] The hurricane drops 6.77 in (172 mm) of rain, becoming one of the wettest recorded storms to impact Bermuda
Hi have checked with Pantaenius and they are ok with that because Bermuda is North of the 30.5 latitude. But i have tried to reach marinas down there (or up there for those south) and i think the best i can expect is a mooring with 5/8 chain and a 7000 lbs block.
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Old 25-03-2019, 15:44   #45
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Re: Hurricane season in the Bahamas - a good idea?

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Hi have checked with Pantaenius and they are ok with that because Bermuda is North of the 30.5 latitude. But i have tried to reach marinas down there (or up there for those south) and i think the best i can expect is a mooring with 5/8 chain and a 7000 lbs block.
Is the 5/8 the lighter riding chain diameter? The heavier ground chain is typically twice the thickness of the riding chain.

For reference purposes:

https://www.westmarine.com/WestAdvis...manent-Mooring

I would not desire to keep my boat on mooring through a powerful hurricane. I would especially worry about chaff and breakage of the snubber. But now that I live in Montana we don't worry about such tropical matters, presently the snow is melting from much of the yard this week, but last week it was deep.
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