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Old 17-06-2015, 12:03   #1
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Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

Folks:
I currently have my 43' cat here in The Chesapeake Bay, and I will haul out some time before leaving in November for the Caribbean. I will be spending the month of August in southern Brazil (flying down and back), and I want your advice: should I haul out now, and keep her on the hard for the time I am gone, or haul now and put her back in while I'm gone, or keep her in while I"m gone and haul in September? What do you think is the safest thing to do? Is a cat safer in a hurricane on the hard or in the water at a marina?
I prefer not to haul in September as that's a great time to sail in The Bay. (The haul-out, by the way, is for bottom paint, new props, and line cutters.)
I thank you all in advance for your advice.
-Steve, in Virginia
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Old 17-06-2015, 17:26   #2
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

Boats, cat are mono, are almost always better off PROPERLY secured ashore than in the water in the event of a hurricane. In the case of a cat, lash her down good...that bridge deck tunnel can generate a lot of lift in high winds!
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Old 18-06-2015, 04:29   #3
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

Hurricane advice completely depends on whether you can find a good hurricane hole.

KATRINA, with its 30' surge (at Bay St Louis for ex) certainly wiped out anything tied to the land near the shoreline, but boats that were spidered in at hurricane holes including the Pearl River, the Gulfport Industrial Canal, Pascagoula River, did ok.

Oddly enough, I know a couple of instances of people who stayed (!) and had to evacuate their houses, both of whom ran to their boats (one to a Farrier Tramp, the other to an Americat catamaran) and rode the storm out on their boats... this is not advised, but is interesting nevertheless

If your choice is between being in a marina, in a slip, or hauled out, sure, haul it. Your insurance probably will cover the haulout.

But if you can get the boat to a good hurricane hole that you've scoped out in advance, stripped of all canvas (to reduce windage) and anchored intelligently, in my observation and experience, I'm going to the hurricane hole every time.
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Old 18-06-2015, 04:40   #4
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
Hurricane advice completely depends on whether you can find a good hurricane hole.

KATRINA, with its 30' surge (at Bay St Louis for ex) certainly wiped out anything tied to the land near the shoreline, but boats that were spidered in at hurricane holes including the Pearl River, the Gulfport Industrial Canal, Pascagoula River, did ok.

...
True, if big surge gets to you ashore you are screwed.

A friend of mine road out Katrina in a good hole off Lake Ponchatrain. No damage, but had to use a chain saw to get out.
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Old 18-06-2015, 05:07   #5
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

And really none of this applies to the Chesapeake Bay.

The real answer is to inquire about about experiences at the actual marina in question. If there was no damage during Isabel, then there is nothing to worry over other than securing the boat well. That storm was pretty much the worst case from a surge perspective and did historic damage to marinas. For example, in Deale there was severe damage to several marinas at the mouth of the harbor, but further up the creek even rotten boats and docks didn't get a scratch.

Often the most convenient, most expensive marinas are also the most exposed.
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Old 18-06-2015, 06:21   #6
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

ha,

those same two people (amongst plenty of others who stayed) who ended up escaping their homes for boats said, 'my house didn't flood/get hurt in CAMILLE, so I'll be safe.'

No two hurricanes are alike, and SANDY should have taught you northerners that things are a-changing...
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:05   #7
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
SNIP

No two hurricanes are alike

SNIP
Ain't it the truth.
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Old 21-06-2015, 16:16   #8
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Re: Cat out or in water for hurricane season?

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Originally Posted by jaybird1111 View Post
ha,

those same two people (amongst plenty of others who stayed) who ended up escaping their homes for boats said, 'my house didn't flood/get hurt in CAMILLE, so I'll be safe.'

No two hurricanes are alike, and SANDY should have taught you northerners that things are a-changing...
I don't think you really understood what I said. Katrina was pretty much worst case for east NOLA. Sandy was wost case track for north Jersey and Manhattan. And Isabel had the perfect track for the mid-upper Chesapeake. There have been much higher winds on the Chesapeake, but the track was perfect for surge, which is the only real danger on the Bay. Sandy, on the other hand, was a huge storm but really no news up the Delaware or Chesapeake, because the track was wrong.

Many areas have never seen a worst case track (eastern quarter). Some pretty much have. Could it be worse? Sure. But the odds are too low to worry over.
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