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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 26-05-2010, 01:52   #1
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What Do You Do During Hurricane Season ?

What's your approach? I have the Caribbean in mind but those cruising other areas where there is a hurricane/cyclone season are welcome too

/Hampus
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On the way back to Sweden.
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Old 26-05-2010, 03:48   #2
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We stayed in the Cyclone area of the Great Barrier Reef last year.

And a Cyclone bit our ass real bad! LOL Never again!!
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Old 26-05-2010, 06:40   #3
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Hurricanes usually miss the southern Carribean. I'd head for Grenada, which also has several places where you can get hauled out on the off chance that a huirricane is coming.
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Old 26-05-2010, 06:42   #4
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I think hurricane season is the perfect time to lift your boat out of the water and do any required maintenance
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Old 26-05-2010, 07:10   #5
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We had a boat in the eastern Caribbean for three hurricane seasons, and kept it on the hard all three times, as required by our insurance underwriters. The first year, it was Grenada Marine in St. Davids, Grenada, a well-protected spot. I wanted it a bit closer to home after that, so I moved her up to Antigua for the next two summers--Hugh Bailey's yard in Falmouth, then Jolly Harbour. In all cases, the boat was strapped down to yard anchors, and the jackstands were welded together, with plywood pads under the bases. Hugh Bailey's yard provided a steel cradle at extra cost, but the underwriters lowered the premium a bit, though not enough to offset the total cost.

Luckily, we had no hurricane strikes in those years, so I don't know how we would have fared in a big blow.
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Old 26-05-2010, 07:10   #6
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There are some good reasons to head south of 12N (or is it 10N? now). You get a chance to relax, work on the boat, enjoy the fellowship, and keep the insurance company happy. That said, I don't think there are "hurricane safe" areas in the Caribbean, or most of the East Coast and Gulf. There are areas which historically, have fewer hurricanes, though.

I chose to sail, keep an eye on the weather, and boogie for the hole when things looked glum. The problems with that plan are sometimes the holes fill before you can get there, there aren't a lot of holes in the Caribbean, and you may be a week away from your designated hole, depending on weather.

When I cruised the Caribbean I worked at finding 3 good holes - in the North, Central, and Southern Caribbean. The North and Southern holes I found were the largest but also the most popular. I have been giving serious consideration to hanging out in Chag Bay, relax, do the maintenance in a more relaxed manner, and watch the storms heat North of me.
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Old 26-05-2010, 07:20   #7
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I'll put our Cape Dory 25D on it's gooseneck trailer, hitch it to our Ford F250 and head home to Austin, Tx. Hurricanes and the ability to haul out and run is the #1 reason we kept to a 25 footer... I can also ramp launch and retrieve and sail across oceans.. The boat can/has, me I'm working on it!
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Old 26-05-2010, 07:40   #8
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I would advise against being on the hard during a hurricane. I have ridden out several and viewed the aftermath in local boat yards. If you can anchor in a protected area with no other boats that is your 1st choice. If others are anchored anywhere near by go inland;up a tidal creek, river or canal. Cross tie so that you are bow to expected weather with lines oriented to adjust the bow angle to the wind. You will need 10-15 ft between you and anything hard and if you are keeled you will want to consider draft, you could loose as much as 10ft of depth in certain conditions. Reduce windage as much as you can and stow all sails below. If in a multihull, as I am, and at anchor or loosly tied you should ballast down by the bow because as the boat sails on the anchors and swings across the wind the bows will try to rise. Be sure the ballast cannot move. My float hulls are compartmentalised and I fill the forward compartments with water, it has to be full so as not to slosh and hammer out the bulkheads. In my old Piver tri I used sand bags. Watch for chafing and none of this works if you are not there to tend the lines. It is amazing how much a patch of mangroves knocks down the wind at sea level while at 10ft above the wind preasure is extreme. This advice has only been tested in winds gusting to 135mph. Dave
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Old 28-05-2010, 16:58   #9
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Quote:
There are some good reasons to head south of 12N (or is it 10N? now).
The latitude depends on the company, and even then you can get waivers to be above the line for an additional cost.

We spent last season in Trinidad, but won't go back there this year. The haulout faciliities were great, but I was not a fan of the oily water and increasing piracy. We're headed to the ABCs for this hurricane season.
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Old 28-05-2010, 17:37   #10
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One interesting idea I saw on Virgin Gorda was burying the keel in the sand. The yard figured that having the hull sitting close to the topsoil was far safer than having it on stands. I don't know how well it worked, haven't seen it many places, but short of being out of the hurricane area, it seems possible.
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Old 28-05-2010, 17:51   #11
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Quote:
burying the keel in the sand.
It's the pits!
Seriously, most of the claims I took during Ivan in Grenada were for boats falling over, so maybe that would have helped; I saw of the hurricane pits recently myself. I don't have much confidence in some of the tie-down straps I've seen though- some don't seem to be buried far enough into the ground. I did see some in Trindidad that were linked to a buried cable that ran the length of the yard, which might be OK.
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Old 28-05-2010, 18:53   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TabbyCat View Post
It's the pits!
Seriously, most of the claims I took during Ivan in Grenada were for boats falling over, so maybe that would have helped; I saw of the hurricane pits recently myself. I don't have much confidence in some of the tie-down straps I've seen though- some don't seem to be buried far enough into the ground. I did see some in Trindidad that were linked to a buried cable that ran the length of the yard, which might be OK.
The boatyard in Granada that suffered about 250 boats falling off their stands was the result of poor management and a false sense of security by being south of 12 degrees.
I investigated leaving my boat there the same year that Ivan ocurred. The dirt in the yard was still being graded and was not packed down to create a firm base for the stands. The stands were not placed on wooden pads and the stands were tied together with rope! The boats were placed six inches apart. It was ugly to see all the pictures of the aftermath.
I moved on to Trinidadi where I anchored out for the hurricane seasons of 2002 thru 2008, Island hopping north each cruising season.

The management of the yard in question has, of course, changed and practices have been put in place to prevent the disaster of that year.

I'd estimate that well over 3,000 cruisiers, from all over the world, bring their boats to Trinidad and Granada for the hurricane season.
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Old 29-05-2010, 07:45   #13
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Hampus, I looked back at your original post and see you will be leaving Sweden bound for the Caribbean in July. You will certainly be running the gauntlet, what route will you take? We are expecting a very active season this year and the statistical peak is mid September. I am unfamiliar with traditional routes but would give great consideration to traveling down the Eastern Atlantic if possible and not head West until the Cape Verde Islands. I expect the Eastern US coast to take a beating this year and would avoid it.
As far as riding it out on the hard, I put my Sea Pearl 21 on the trailer and tie it to the trailer and the trailer to a utility pole typically facing SE. Even without a storm surge it will drag the trailer so as to keep bow to wind. In a storm where we pass through the eye, which is rare, she is protected in the lee of a building and does not move. Being out of the water seems like a bad plan to me but I suppose many have no choice. Insurance for me is prohibitavley expensive so I assume all the risk. Good luck to us all this season, I guess it's time to dust off the old tracking chart and hang it in it's seasonal spot. Dave
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Old 30-05-2010, 19:56   #14
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I am normally based in Grenada and have been there from before Ivan till now. But I would never leave my boat there if a hurricane actually threatened after seeing what Hurricane Ivan did up close and personal. So now I am in Trinidad, which is not nearly as bad as most folks read about. It is just a "different sort of place" that you need to take in consideration. It is not a Caribbean Island - it is a big natural gas/oil producing country with a bad attitude about private cruising boats. That may however, change in the coming year or two as they have thrown out their old Prime Minister and elected a new woman Prime Minister. Maybe things will change - who knows. . .
- - Anyway we always enjoy sailing (twice a year) from Grenada to Trinidad and shopping in the "big city" with all the amenities of a major population center.
- - As to boat yards in Grenada, they both now offer the one piece cradles as an extra cost item - but - they have never been tested in an actual hurricane. The theory seems to support their use but Mother Nature has never been one to pay much attention to our theory. In Hurricane Ivan the yard with the best survival rate was Grenada Marine located over in St David's Bay and just happens to be sitting nestled between two mountains. Whereas Spice Island Marine in Prickly Bay is situated on a land filled in swamp. Their main problem was torrential rains washing out the jack stands. There has been much improvement in their "tactics" with separating catamarans from monohulls, but - still until "tested" who knows.
- - Trinidad and the A.B.C.'s and Venezuela are inside the ITCZ during the season and are reliably safe for storing your boat then flying home for the summer season. No place is perfect and yous pays your money and takes your chances. . .
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Old 01-06-2010, 12:28   #15
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Originally Posted by capt_douglas View Post
There are some good reasons to head south of 12N (or is it 10N? now). You get a chance to relax, work on the boat, enjoy the fellowship, and keep the insurance company happy. That said, I don't think there are "hurricane safe" areas in the Caribbean, or most of the East Coast and Gulf. There are areas which historically, have fewer hurricanes, though.

I chose to sail, keep an eye on the weather, and boogie for the hole when things looked glum. The problems with that plan are sometimes the holes fill before you can get there, there aren't a lot of holes in the Caribbean, and you may be a week away from your designated hole, depending on weather.

When I cruised the Caribbean I worked at finding 3 good holes - in the North, Central, and Southern Caribbean. The North and Southern holes I found were the largest but also the most popular. I have been giving serious consideration to hanging out in Chag Bay, relax, do the maintenance in a more relaxed manner, and watch the storms heat North of me.
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.
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