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Old 04-08-2016, 04:42   #1
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What to do in case of a storm

I've been seeing some question here regarding insurance and "named storm" clauses.

So, in general as well as when dealing with a named hurricane, what do most people do with their boats? Sail them out of the area or get them into storage, etc?
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Old 04-08-2016, 04:52   #2
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

The most important variable which you have control over in order to protect your boat is the specific location. Inland, protected, no fetch, secure holding or dockage capable of accommodating the potential tidal surge.
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Old 04-08-2016, 06:18   #3
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

Clauses regarding named storms typically apply inside the "storm box" (latitude/longitude boundaries for hurricane season). Most get out of their policy's storm box for hurricane season.

Places like Trinidad/Tobago and Rio Dulce, Guatemala are popular areas to wait out hurricane season. No worries about hurricanes there.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:16   #4
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

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Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Clauses regarding named storms typically apply inside the "storm box" (latitude/longitude boundaries for hurricane season). Most get out of their policy's storm box for hurricane season.

Places like Trinidad/Tobago and Rio Dulce, Guatemala are popular areas to wait out hurricane season. No worries about hurricanes there.
Huh, interesting. Thanks
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:17   #5
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

on the other side, where we really get canes and tropical storms on a regular basis all summer long --i remain with my boat. there is nothing like tropical summer between storms. beautiful. as we get 19-21named events forming in a normal year, this is awesome. very wet and lovely.
some leave boats in an allegedly approved marina. haha ha ha is easier to do that here as there are true hurricane hole marinas in pacific coastal mexico. sure we get hit-- big deal. i got it from patricia, the strongest ever cane in epac basin. many run to alleged safe zones, wherein, once a cane grows, the winds are more extreme than where i have been summering, in the cane growth zone.

my friends in caribbean sail to safer areas for the storms then sail more after.
with so few storms forming in the atlantic basin and caribbean, that is do able, heck, we can do that here, even with storms forming weekly and as they see fit. folks in mexico run in a migratory fashion to san carlos and guaymas, way up into the sea of cortez, considering that safe., i donot.
i refuse to go to desert to a place wherein the winds will be ferocious just to stow a boat for 5 months of the year when only a few days are impaired due to extreme storm situations. others have other ideas. study your weather patterns and go from there.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:32   #6
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

Most marinas have a Hurricane Plan or a storm plan. I guess it all depends on the marina and if you feel comfortable with the boat being there during bad weather. I am in a marina with concrete floating docks, a massive breakwater, and I don't really have a boat next to me (lucky). So I feel pretty comfortable hunkering down at this marina. If the surge is so bad that the floating docks have an issue, then there are bigger problems to worry about. If I were docked somewhere with fixed docks or a dilapidated marina, I'd probably take my chances on the hook or get out to a different area.
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Old 04-08-2016, 07:58   #7
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

Marinas are often the worst place to be in a TS or hurricane. Once cleats/lines/docks start to fail then the domino effect kicks in and it all goes bad fast and in a big way.

My preference is to find a cozy mangrove hole, lace in, and get the hell off the boat. Or if somewhere like the Rio, just check the dock lines and dont worry much about it.

In places like the Rio, some will cruise nearby areas like Belize until the first serious tropical weather threatens and then run to the Rio (only about a half day away if in southern Belize). Tropical weather usually does not threaten there until late in the season (August/Sept), so if we wait until then, the end of Hurricane season is not so far away (November). Run to the Rio, get some maintenance done, do some inland travel, some head home for a visit, not so bad...repeat next season. Some do similar in Trinidad/Tobago.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:11   #8
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

Sailing out of the area would take a lot of lead time and although predicting have gotten better, you could be sailing into danger. If you can gunk hole someplace. In the islands pray.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:33   #9
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

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Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
The most important variable which you have control over in order to protect your boat is the specific location. Inland, protected, no fetch, secure holding or dockage capable of accommodating the potential tidal surge.
Having been in just a mild hurricane on shore (Gonzalo in Antigua in '14) and having seen docks split, lines part violently and cleats pull from lumber, I've gone off the "secure dockage" idea. I now conclude that tying off in a mangrove swamp (if available) or up a creek (if surge can be anticipated) and securing to trees is one possibility and so is going to sea and heaving to.

In some cases, even beaching could preserve the boat. These are not easy choices, obviously.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:35   #10
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

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Marinas are often the worst place to be in a TS or hurricane. Once cleats/lines/docks start to fail then the domino effect kicks in and it all goes bad fast and in a big way.
Yes, this is what sank 50 boats in St. Maarten during Gonzalo. Jolly Harbour lost 15 as the dog legs mitigated the wind somewhat and at certain points.
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Old 04-08-2016, 09:46   #11
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

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Sailing out of the area would take a lot of lead time and although predicting have gotten better, you could be sailing into danger. If you can gunk hole someplace. In the islands pray.
True, not a good strategy to play dodge ball with a hurricane (like Bounty did...and lost). For a painfully hard to read account of that game ending badly read the account the Fantome.

http://www.caribbeancompass.com/fantome.htm

In the case of running to the Rio though, its only about 50 miles to there from Placencia, Belize (popular cruiser hangout). And, with today's forecasting, there is no excuse not to leave with plenty of lead time.

Lead time is a critical consideration. Whatever you chose to do, do it early. Better to prep early and not need it, than get caught by a storm unprepared.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:44   #12
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

This is a great question so I asked Boat US for an opinion-- which is better; stay in a somewhat sheltered marina with extra lines across adjacent slips to allow for tidal surge or run for the mangroves, 30 minutes away but more exposed to surges rolling in from the ocean? Of course, they started with a quick haul-out but I lack the crystal ball to predict the hit and the lifts will have a week or more backlog. After I knocked out their straw-man, they avoided taking a position. That leaves me exactly where I started. If the storm is a day out and headed straight for me I MIGHT head for the mangroves but probably not. At that point leaving the boat is not an option. If something fails, I want a shot at compensating.
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Old 04-08-2016, 10:52   #13
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

Marinas are often the worst place to be in a TS or hurricane. Once cleats/lines/docks start to fail then the domino effect kicks in and it all goes bad fast and in a big way.

He has that right. I can remember as a kid, yachts with piling through the foredeck as the result of the surge. Pop's boat was on the mooring. Our only far was someone dragging down on us.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:05   #14
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

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Originally Posted by Dave22q View Post
This is a great question so I asked Boat US for an opinion-- which is better; stay in a somewhat sheltered marina with extra lines across adjacent slips to allow for tidal surge or run for the mangroves, 30 minutes away but more exposed to surges rolling in from the ocean? Of course, they started with a quick haul-out but I lack the crystal ball to predict the hit and the lifts will have a week or more backlog. After I knocked out their straw-man, they avoided taking a position. That leaves me exactly where I started. If the storm is a day out and headed straight for me I MIGHT head for the mangroves but probably not. At that point leaving the boat is not an option. If something fails, I want a shot at compensating.
Yes, haul out is a good option to if you have the time and the boat can be properly secured. Some places, like Corpus Cristis Municipal Marina, offer that as a service (or used to). Haul, dig a trench, and plant the boat in it. As long as its above the storm surge, the boat will be safe and secure.
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Old 04-08-2016, 11:07   #15
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Re: What to do in case of a storm

What you do is watch the news reports of the storm on TV..... because you used your head and are completely out of the hurricane zone during hurricane season.
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