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Old 06-08-2009, 11:05   #1
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Hurricanes...

Looking at boats - expect to buy a boat anywhere from the next few weeks to the next year...

But if I find the right boat at the right price, it could be the next few weeks. Which gets me a great boat (I hope), but lets say after all the paperwork, surveys etc gives me delivery at earliest in late Sept or Oct. Still hurricane season.. this year is a LOT less active (none yet!) as opposed to last year which which was literally every week...

So taking delivery of my first boat *potentially* during hurricane season I must be prepared to put it somewhere. I'm located in St Kitts. We really don't have proper places here. The Marina is small and crowded and will still take a beating if we get a hurricane from the east. Rare, but it did happen last year when we got glanced by Omar. There is a yard here to pull the boat out, but they don't have proper tie downs and the area is full of things that will fly around and damage the boat. Christophe Harbour isn't ready yet.

So I'm assuming St Martin is my best bet as I don't think Statia or especially (barely room for an airport!) Saba have places.

St Martin is close, and so if hurricane season picks up I can make it there in less than a day easy. But I'd like to be prepared as possible in case I get a boat before then and we do have some hurricanes. So any tips or advice? Of course take it over and tie it up well... But that aside? Are there "services" in St Martin that can assist me in securing the boat properly once its there?
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:08   #2
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St martin was not safe in the past, the lagoon is filled with sunken boats... Grenada Trini better but further... I might opt for the land storage, make your own tie downs?
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Old 06-08-2009, 11:39   #3
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Grenada & Trinidad and Tobago too far unless I take the boat "out of commission" for the whole season. Eventually Christopher Harbour will open up, but for the next few years I need a place that I can "run" the boat to within a day.

Could make own tie downs, but the yard her is full of old boats and loose items that would fly around and hit the boat.

So St Martin is really that bad in Oyster Pond? What about Antigua?
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Old 06-08-2009, 12:50   #4
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... Eventually Christopher Harbour will open up, but for the next few years I need a place that I can "run" the boat to within a day...
Do you mean the new Christophe Harbour at Cockle Shell Bay, planned for St. Kitts?
I believe this is intended to be basically a “mega-yacht” facility, with dockaminium-type ownership.
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Old 06-08-2009, 13:29   #5
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Have you looked at Reggie Francis' yard over by Brimstone Hill?

"Big" news from St. Kitts

I haven't seen it up close, so maybe you've looked at it and decided against it. If not, it should be possible to set a few yard anchors and reserve them for your haul-out so you can strap your boat down. I talked with him a couple of years ago, but he wasn't ready for prime time then, so I went to Antigua.
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Old 06-08-2009, 13:30   #6
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The trouble with seeking emergency haul out in other islands is that all such facilities will be overwhelmed with marina and other local boats. Cockle Shell Bay provides good shelter in most conditions, but probably not for a hurricane. There are not too many good huricane holes in the Leewards. Simpson Bay in St. Maarten might be a decent one, but maybe not - Here's a Caribbean Compass article:

Hurricane Holes
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Old 06-08-2009, 16:19   #7
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Do you mean the new Christophe Harbour at Cockle Shell Bay, planned for St. Kitts?
I believe this is intended to be basically a “mega-yacht” facility, with dockaminium-type ownership.
It is, I would not berth my boat there. But as a hurricane shelter on a short term basis... Also they just announced a new marina at Cockleshell bay, will post an announcement in separate thread.
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Old 06-08-2009, 16:20   #8
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Have you looked at Reggie Francis' yard over by Brimstone Hill?

"Big" news from St. Kitts

I haven't seen it up close, so maybe you've looked at it and decided against it. If not, it should be possible to set a few yard anchors and reserve them for your haul-out so you can strap your boat down. I talked with him a couple of years ago, but he wasn't ready for prime time then, so I went to Antigua.
I had "planned" in the past to use it, but I had some friends check it out and they say there are no tie downs. You can make your own, but worse yet, they say the area has some much debris and boat parts etc, that any boat put there would get trashed by debris...
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Old 06-08-2009, 16:21   #9
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The trouble with seeking emergency haul out in other islands is that all such facilities will be overwhelmed with marina and other local boats. Cockle Shell Bay provides good shelter in most conditions, but probably not for a hurricane. There are not too many good huricane holes in the Leewards. Simpson Bay in St. Maarten might be a decent one, but maybe not - Here's a Caribbean Compass article:

Hurricane Holes
I wouldn't wait for absolute last moment... And I'd like to have something scoped out ahead of time. For example, last year we had nearly a hurricane a week. This year its August and not a single hurricane anywhere yet... so I would prefer to keep the boat here until at least the season gets active or in sparse years just hole it up as needed if possible.
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Old 06-08-2009, 16:40   #10
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Here's a Caribbean Compass article:
Hurricane Holes
Looks like Antigua is best bet?... Can be made easily in a day and even if one has to use engines to get there - getting to safety will be worth it.

Will recheck Reggie's place locally.. but several people haven't been very positive about the grounds there.
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Old 06-08-2009, 17:00   #11
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never mind, wrong boat....
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Old 06-08-2009, 18:20   #12
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Wrong boat?
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:06   #13
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In water hurricane holes in the Leeward/Windward Islands are not viable for a direct hit. For glancing blows some are better than others. Antiqua has established yards and fairly deep inset bays. St. Martin was a disaster and still is. St Croix has hurricane haul-out yards and a deep set back river. BVI's have many hurricane haul-out yards and a few deeply set-back rivers/bays as does the USVI and Puerto Rico.
The islands to your west would be quicker and easier to get to - downwind - than beating eastward. The main problem with hurricane haul-out yards is that they normally require a reservation and prepayment of storage fees of up to 3-4 months just for the privilege of reserving a space - whether you actually use it or not. That can get expensive, but you can rationalize it as hurricane insurance fees.
In water "hide-outs" are more problematical as the good places is soon filled with dozens or hundreds of boats crammed in tightly. Significant damage happens as the boats bounce around against each other or break loose and "take-out" their neighbors.
Depending upon the topography of your place or a friends place on your island - you might be able to construct a custom boat trailer that can be launched and recovered over a beach by a truck or tractor. Then you position your boat and build up sand bags around it to support the hull and use screw in anchors to tie the boat down. Total cost might be less than the hurricane haul-out yard pre-payment costs.
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Old 07-08-2009, 09:49   #14
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Thanks for the great ideas. Looks like for this year I will look up at St Kitts Marine works. They have a 165 ton lift, certainly will handle my boat. I like the idea of a trailer. We have land here but its up high, can't get the boat there. But there are enough places that in emergency I could pull it too and lash it down. Possibly could even pull it out in an emergency at Cockleshell and sit it on public land for a few days. I'm sure that wouldn't fly for normal storage, but with an approaching hurricane I bet no one would mind.
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Old 07-08-2009, 11:17   #15
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Majors Bay is much superior to Cockleshell as a storm anchorage, but neither are very protected from the southern sector.
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