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View Poll Results: What's your approach to the hurricane season.
Put the boat on the hard and go elsewhere. 7 17.07%
Stay in hurricane safe ares. 12 29.27%
Keep sailing and watch the weather closely, stay within reach of a hurricane hole. 7 17.07%
Find a hurricane hole and stay there. 10 24.39%
Other (please specify). 6 14.63%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 41. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 01-06-2010, 12:41   #16
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Maybe someone can advise me as to the sense or lack there of of this.

I figure it's unlikly that a hurricane can hit both Port Isabeal, and Houston in the same 5 day peroid.

I figure if such a monster is headed for one, I'll go to the other, as I'm currently in the middle. It's roughly a 2 day sail from Houston to Port Isabeal, and I'm in the middle, so there should be plenty of time to figure out where the hurricane is going before it hits, and then get outside of the warning cone, and far enough away from the nasty weather.

I don't guess such would be possible in the Carabean, but in the Gulf Coast it seems completely dooable.
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Old 01-06-2010, 13:10   #17
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Poor plan IMHO. I got slammed by Ike becuase our marina floated away. Most of the floating docks in the area sustained minor damage. One of the other boats came TO Baytown from Freeport because the weather was forcast to go to Freeport. Someone forgot to tell Ike. This was a 2Million dollar fishing rig and it took heavy damage plus had to be craned back into the water at $253 per foot. If you can trailer away then that should be the plan. If not try to find a sheltered place and stay THERE until the storm passes. Trying to guess which way to go on a slow boat will get you in trouble........m
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Old 01-06-2010, 13:29   #18
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I'd never bet my boat on where a hurricane might or might not go.

In 2004, Hurricane Ivan was originally forecast to pass over Martinique. As the hours wore on and it got closer to the islands, the forecast tracks moved to the south--St. Lucia, then St. Vincent. The Moorings moved all their charter boats in Canouan (Grenadines) south to the southern bays on Grenada to get them out of harm's way. Guess where Ivan decided to go at the last minute--right smack over the southern bays of Grenada.
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Old 01-06-2010, 15:03   #19
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Originally Posted by MarcPro View Post
Does that mean you guy's wait out the hurricane season w/out sailing? I live on Long Island...and am no stranger to hurricanes. I would pull the boat a couple day's before it hit.
Most of the boats that come to Trinidad are put on the hard and there owners fly back to their home country.

Whenever I hauled in Trinidad I had to reserve a haul-out time at least a week in advance, this was because the travellift was guite busy. Payment for the haul-out was made in advnce.

Based on my experience during the seven hurricane seasons I spent in the Caribbean, the tracking and characteristics of hurricanes are very hard to forecast.

When Hurricane Ivan was first named it was five days from the Eastern Caribbean and forecast to pass to the north of St. Lucia. Four days later it was upgraded to a fair sized hurricane and was still forecast to pass to the north of Granada. Everybody guessed wrong.
Remember Lenny? It went from west to east.
All hurricanes turn to the north, right? Several boats were racing south to avoid Ivan and Ivan kept turning to the south. I know of only one boat that left Granada at the last minute and safely made it to Trinidad. A ninty foot sailboat with just the captian on board. He reported that the wind died during the crossing and he had to do a high rpm motor to just parely make the entrance before the wind began to build.

My advice would be to treat all tropical storms with respect because it only takes one to ruin your adventure.
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Old 01-06-2010, 17:01   #20
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Basically, YES. Depending upon your location on the planet if you can shift hemisphere's and cruise the other then hurricane/typhoon seasons are not a major problem. But if you are stuck in an area such as the Caribbean/SE US coast then you have to restrict your activities to outside or very near to outside as much as possible.
- - Hauling out a day or two before has to be pre-arranged and having pre-paid hurricane haul-out arrangements enable some to continue in their "prime" locations until a storm directly threatens. The percentages of actual boats in the "paths of destruction" is rather small considering the size of say the whole Caribbean.
- - But for lots of cruisers the area restrictions serve as good times to catch up on boat jobs or head home to see the family/take care of old business or even to fly off to locales like the Andres and other locales that you cannot take the boat to visit. So the restriction is not all that serious and is easily coped with.
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Old 01-06-2010, 17:40   #21
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My opinion is cruise in safe water& fair winds & most ofall Our Lord's Wisdom
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Old 01-06-2010, 17:57   #22
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I agree with Cantxsailor. It's a crapshoot on the Gulf Coast. I sustained "cosmetic damage" of 13k on a floating pier. If only my finger pier hadn't jammed and snapped 2 1/2" lines in half on the stern. I rubbed alot on my neighbors boat. Forget about the door, refrigerator, and water heater that banged on the broken line port side once an entry was found.

Once a storm gets close the cone of uncertainty is just that. Uncertain...
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Old 01-06-2010, 18:00   #23
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I've seen several pictures of boats in yards who knocked over during hurricanes, or had other boats fall over and knock them down.

Stay away from the areas. They move too fast.
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Old 01-06-2010, 20:00   #24
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My rule of thumb is 12hrs. You don't know where it's going until 12 hrs before it gets there. Prep starts today. I will have food for 30days and 20ga of gasoline this weekend. Trees are trimmed and the house is tiddied up below. You get a feel for these things after a while and if I'm threatened at 48hrs I begin prep. If a storm threatens that I don't think I can survive in the house I have a spot picked out to run to that I can make in 12hrs in the conditions I'll face. I'm not looking forward to that day but it will come. Don't take these storms lightly, there are no small hurricanes. Dave
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:16   #25
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My rule of thumb is 12hrs. You don't know where it's going until 12 hrs before it gets there. Prep starts today. I will have food for 30days and 20ga of gasoline this weekend. Trees are trimmed and the house is tiddied up below. You get a feel for these things after a while and if I'm threatened at 48hrs I begin prep. If a storm threatens that I don't think I can survive in the house I have a spot picked out to run to that I can make in 12hrs in the conditions I'll face. I'm not looking forward to that day but it will come. Don't take these storms lightly, there are no small hurricanes. Dave

I’m just 3 Keys over from Dave and June 1st is also start up day for me to preparing for hurricanes. Having gone thru 2004 and 2005 hurricane season with a total of 8 storms coming close, hitting us, or was a major threat, we now know what to do. Having lived here for 37 years it is part of life and we just deal with it.
I have 6 tie downs, 3 per side on my canal. The boat looks like it is in a big spider web when tied in. I strip all of the sails off and remove the bimini. Fill the CarolAnn full of fuel and water. Water in case the water line from the main land breaks. Fuel is back up for the 15KW generator for the house if ever needed. Having the boat behind the house I can keep an eye on it and really have had no problem with it except keeping the dingy bailed out to get to and from the boat in the middle of the canal.
I am asked a lot why I don’t leave. I did once, in 79. Hurricane David was heading straight for us. I packed up my van, the wife, 2 dogs and 2 cats, 3 tool boxes (I was a marine mech. at the time) and headed for Ft. Lauderdale. 36 hours later, with no sleep I am sitting in Grandma’s house in Ft.L, dead tired only to see that the hurricane is heading now right where I am……Damn. We packed up grandma and headed for the turnpike to head north. Dead stop for 2 ˝ hours. Everyone else in south Florida had the same idea. It is 4:30 that next morning I am east of Tampa about 30 mile and finally find a motel. I sleep for 24 hours. Called home and was told the weather in the Keys is great, had no wind….HA! I told myself I would never do that again and have not regret it.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:30   #26
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There's no avoiding hurricane season in Houston. Here's a different take on the question. If you are berthed in a marina, and you know that you're not hauling the boat out before a storm, what precautions do you take to secure the boat before the storm hits?

I think I'd probably double tie my docklines and remove my mainsail and boom. What other precautionary measures do people take?
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:55   #27
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Weathering a hurricane while in a marina is highly problematical. A lot of marinas will not allow boats to stay if a named storm is declared to pass over the marina.
- - But the issues of importance are to remove anything that the wind can "grab" like mainsails, jibs/genoas, biminis/deck canvas, loose lines and other objects on the deck.
- - Docklines have to be rigged for the single major destroyer of boats - water surge or the radical lowering and then rising of the boat with the storm tides. You - on average - can expect up to 12 ft of variation between the low and high water. So if you are in 6 feet of water your keel will be into the mud and the boat leaning over for awhile. Then on the opposite end if the docks and pilings are too short you can expect your vessel to be above the top of the pilings. You might have seen photos in magazines of boats perched on top of dock pilings after a storm.
- - You certainly need to use "3-strand nylon" or the equivalent docklines that have the ability to "stretch" 50% of their length before breaking. Likewise old dock cleats with rusted bolts or broken ears can set your boat loose drifting every which way in or out of the slip. I have seen boats using old halyards as docklines rip 12 inch cleats right off the dock and 6 inch Samson posts off the boat.
- - The further "up the river" your boat/marina are the less likely the full storm surge will reach you. But winds can be fierce and you need to be prepared for "around the compass" shifts in the winds.
- - Other than that it's a piece of cake and time for a great hurricane party with lots of rum.
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Old 02-06-2010, 07:59   #28
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... I am asked a lot why I don’t leave. I did once, in 79...
... Called home and was told the weather in the Keys is great, had no wind….HA! I told myself I would never do that again and have not regret it.
Think Labour Day, 1935.
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Old 02-06-2010, 08:00   #29
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osirissail, should I still use the stretchy dock lines if I'm tied up to a floating dock?
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:27   #30
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Hey Jetexas,
As you know I had Turtle at the marina in Baytown. Bayland Park Marina(still unrepaired) was in a good place behind a fairly high breakwater but the pilings were too short and the marina management didn't bother to even attempt to chain down the floats or any other hurricane preperations. They locked the door on the office and that was about it.

Most of the floating dock marinas in the ClearLake area sustained pretty minor damage as their pilings are much higher than the ones at Bayland were. The fixed dock places got hammered and lost a large number of the boats.

I used the West Marine double braid dock lines and found they did a pretty good job of holding the boat to the dock. Too well actually. On one side of the boat the dock cleat held so well that my sheet winch was torn out of the deck when the docks broke apart. That was however the only damage actually caused by the dock lines. Everything else was from hitting things harder than the fiberglass.........m

None of the double braid lines broke but one of the three strand lines pulled so hard that when it broke it melted in the middle. The force required to do that is amazing.

None of the cleats on the boat pulled out but two on the dock did. Go figure.

The next time a hurricane threatens I know a little hole I'm going to try to get into even if I have to lower my mast to get there.
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