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Old 03-07-2018, 13:38   #1
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Hurricane staying aboard

I am new to life aboard a boat and I am going to be riding out storms on the boat I need guidance tips and advice. I am currently anchored in Englewood Florida on a 34 ft morgan. I was thinking about moving down to the keys if anyone knows of any hurricane holes in the areas that would be awesome as well!
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Old 03-07-2018, 13:55   #2
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

First thing, if you have sufficient warning and can do so safely, try to get out of the track of the hurricane or at the very least, out of the dangerous semicircle.

If you plan to stay onboard make sure you are in a location that you can safely bail out and reach land if you drag. This would have to be in a spot where you won't be hit by large waves so an enclosed harbor or river. If you beach in big surf you will possibly die.

In the Keys everyone, his brother, cousin and next door neighbor is looking for a hurricane hole. If you find one when you get there you'll probably find 4-5 other boats beat you there.

Don't know the 34 Morgan but if it's shoal draft like the OutIslands then way back in the mangroves with every line you have tied to shore.
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Old 03-07-2018, 14:03   #3
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

I get out of Florida this time of year, not saying where I am is safe, but Iím sure itís safer than the keys.
My advice is leave, head North, if you have to stay in Florida I have heard the Marina in Cape Canaveral in the canal, not the port, is better than most. But I donít know that.
Come back in November.
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Old 03-07-2018, 15:15   #4
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I get out of Florida this time of year, not saying where I am is safe, but Iím sure itís safer than the keys.
My advice is leave, head North, if you have to stay in Florida I have heard the Marina in Cape Canaveral in the canal, not the port, is better than most. But I donít know that.
Come back in November.
Getting out of FL is certainly the conventional wisdom (and certainly the deal with my insurance company) and I think the Keys are without a doubt the least safe place to be based on exposure, lack of protected places to go, too many other boats and more.

But I lived on board or kept boats in south FL for 10-12 years in the 70s - 80s and never had a problem. Spending time in MA with my grandkids there have been hits or near misses in 2011 (Irene), 2012 (Sandy), 2015 (Joaquin, a miss but lots of surf action) and 2017 (Jose and Phillipe).

I used to think coastal GA might be a good spot due to the large concavity of the coastline there but that theory has been proven wrong as well.

Maybe Nova Scotia.
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Old 03-07-2018, 15:30   #5
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pirate Re: Hurricane staying aboard

'Hurricane Holes' are a myth.. much like 'Blue Water' boats..
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Old 03-07-2018, 15:44   #6
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Most people in the Keys head north to the west side of the Everglades and head up a river. Find Mangroves and tie about 50 friggin lines into a giant spider web. But like already mentioned, you won't be the only one there!

We spoke with a gentleman in Marathon who pretty much lives there year round. I asked him about Irma and he said when it headed to the Keys he dropped the mooring and headed 250 miles west out into the Gulf of Mexico. He watched Irma go north and the then sailed back into Marathon, or what was left of it..
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Old 03-07-2018, 15:46   #7
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Get the boat as far up a river or canal as you can, tie it up as best you can, then get into a solid building on land. I lost a customer when he tried to secure a loose transom door during Hurricane Andrew. It was several years before they found his remains in the mangroves. The Keys are the worst place to be in hurricane season. They are about the most likely place to get hit and have little protection for boats.
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Old 03-07-2018, 15:47   #8
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Let me start by saying "GET THE HELL OFF THE BOAT " You can watch the 30 minute documentary on the TV. You will see it on the news . People will even tell you of their experiences but if you find your self in a HURRICANE get off the boat and go to high ground.
This is my account of my stupidly and lucky for me I was not injured. My boat was safe because of planing.

Many northern boaters take to the southern route in an effort to escape the cold and find adventure. I was no different. With only lake sailing experience to my credit I left Toronto to sail among the warmer islands. To get there I had to travel during the latter portion of the hurricane season. I only gave this a passing thought after all I had managed to survive some intense storms on the lake ( My arrogance now scares me). Ill not account the trip down to Annapolis enough to say I enjoyed it as many have and will continue too. There just before the boat show the Miami weather office was tracking a Hurricane that was heading along the coast and expecting to go inland some were near the Chesapeake Bay. There was about 5 days of warning that something was comings and as the days past, the target was drawn smaller. Each time I looked at the map I was still near ground zero. With help from local boaters I made my way up a creek .Set three anchors lots of chain, striped the sails off, and cleared the deck of everything that wasn't bolted down and made lunch. I was invited ashore to a local pub where other boaters and locals were planning to weather the blow .I should have gone. A fellow boater and I made plans to keep watch in shifts. From each other boat we could see the creek and the boats around us. We would talk by radio and keep each other informed of the storms progress and its impact in the creek. The hurricane moved closer. The wind and rain increased across the deck to such a speed that I became concerned. When night came it was impossible to sleep, the noise was like bedding down beside a fast freight train. Objects from shore and off other boats pelted my boat and kept me from relaxing for even a moment. The noise was so loud that VHF communications had to be kept to simple short sentences. Late into the night I decided to go on deck to check lines and hopefully console myself. Was everything was all right? As soon as I was in the cockpit I was soaked through my foul weather gear to my socks. I could not stand so I crawled on all fours to the bow it was like being on the roof of a car going down a super highway in the rain. At the bow I reached out to my anchor line to reassure my self that it was holding. It was but I was shocked to find a line half the size of what I had put out and so tightly stretched that you could play it like a guitar. Crawling back was a nightmare the wind kept trying to blow me sideways and off the boat. When I finally got back into the relative safety of the cabin my pounding heart slowed to a panic. I discovered my foul weather gear had been torn to rags and I had more questions about my safety. If I had been blown off the boat how would I get back aboard? If the anchor line broke what could I do? If I was hit by flying debris who would know? Could anyone get to me to help? None of these questions had satisfactory answers. I sat out the night waiting, hoping, praying, for the winds to abate. I fell into a restless sleep. In the morning I climbed on deck to clear tree branches and other flotsam off the boat. The anchorage than been rearranged some boats were ashore others anchors tangled together and in groups partially beached. Their owners arriving to asses the damage and see what can be done. My boat and I came through with little damage .The dingy sank probably the only reason it was still with me. I had a scrape on the port side I couldn't identify, something went bump in the night. . At the end of it all I asked myself why I had stayed on board? I have no good answer except to say I was ignorant of the power of even a brush with a hurricane. If I could have left that night I would of. I was trapped and in a dangerous situation. At sea you have no choice but in harbor you are best to set the hook make everything safe and sound get off the boat and go to high ground. Your property can be repaired but your life and limb may suffer a non-repairable fate.
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Old 03-07-2018, 16:07   #9
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Personally, I think its very foolish to willing stay aboard a boat in the path of a hurricane. There is very little you can physically do in major hurricane conditions anyway...except pray not to die. No boat is worth risking my life for...are you willing to die for yours?
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Old 03-07-2018, 18:09   #10
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Hurricane staying aboard

Ga coastline is considered secure because we havenít really been hit in like 200 years, Hurricanes usually go by us and hit in North Carolina.
However the shape of the coastline is a funnel, itís why we have such huge tides in Ga. so I think it may be safe to assume any real hurricane strike to Ga will bring an enormous amount of water.
Last year Irma came by at low tide, but it was still a lot of surge.
I say get out of Fl., but Iím now heading to a marina way up the St Johnís. I hope to be OK there, but who knows?
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Old 03-07-2018, 18:30   #11
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Panama
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Old 03-07-2018, 18:34   #12
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stonecutter36 View Post
Let me start by saying "GET THE HELL OFF THE BOAT " You can watch the 30 minute documentary on the TV. You will see it on the news . People will even tell you of their experiences but if you find your self in a HURRICANE get off the boat and go to high ground.
This is my account of my stupidly and lucky for me I was not injured. My boat was safe because of planing.

Many northern boaters take to the southern route in an effort to escape the cold and find adventure. I was no different. With only lake sailing experience to my credit I left Toronto to sail among the warmer islands. To get there I had to travel during the latter portion of the hurricane season. I only gave this a passing thought after all I had managed to survive some intense storms on the lake ( My arrogance now scares me). Ill not account the trip down to Annapolis enough to say I enjoyed it as many have and will continue too. There just before the boat show the Miami weather office was tracking a Hurricane that was heading along the coast and expecting to go inland some were near the Chesapeake Bay. There was about 5 days of warning that something was comings and as the days past, the target was drawn smaller. Each time I looked at the map I was still near ground zero. With help from local boaters I made my way up a creek .Set three anchors lots of chain, striped the sails off, and cleared the deck of everything that wasn't bolted down and made lunch. I was invited ashore to a local pub where other boaters and locals were planning to weather the blow .I should have gone. A fellow boater and I made plans to keep watch in shifts. From each other boat we could see the creek and the boats around us. We would talk by radio and keep each other informed of the storms progress and its impact in the creek. The hurricane moved closer. The wind and rain increased across the deck to such a speed that I became concerned. When night came it was impossible to sleep, the noise was like bedding down beside a fast freight train. Objects from shore and off other boats pelted my boat and kept me from relaxing for even a moment. The noise was so loud that VHF communications had to be kept to simple short sentences. Late into the night I decided to go on deck to check lines and hopefully console myself. Was everything was all right? As soon as I was in the cockpit I was soaked through my foul weather gear to my socks. I could not stand so I crawled on all fours to the bow it was like being on the roof of a car going down a super highway in the rain. At the bow I reached out to my anchor line to reassure my self that it was holding. It was but I was shocked to find a line half the size of what I had put out and so tightly stretched that you could play it like a guitar. Crawling back was a nightmare the wind kept trying to blow me sideways and off the boat. When I finally got back into the relative safety of the cabin my pounding heart slowed to a panic. I discovered my foul weather gear had been torn to rags and I had more questions about my safety. If I had been blown off the boat how would I get back aboard? If the anchor line broke what could I do? If I was hit by flying debris who would know? Could anyone get to me to help? None of these questions had satisfactory answers. I sat out the night waiting, hoping, praying, for the winds to abate. I fell into a restless sleep. In the morning I climbed on deck to clear tree branches and other flotsam off the boat. The anchorage than been rearranged some boats were ashore others anchors tangled together and in groups partially beached. Their owners arriving to asses the damage and see what can be done. My boat and I came through with little damage .The dingy sank probably the only reason it was still with me. I had a scrape on the port side I couldn't identify, something went bump in the night. . At the end of it all I asked myself why I had stayed on board? I have no good answer except to say I was ignorant of the power of even a brush with a hurricane. If I could have left that night I would of. I was trapped and in a dangerous situation. At sea you have no choice but in harbor you are best to set the hook make everything safe and sound get off the boat and go to high ground. Your property can be repaired but your life and limb may suffer a non-repairable fate.
Good account. Thanks for posting.

Ive lived in the hurricane zone all but a few years of my life. Saw the aftermath of hurricane Camille up close and personal at the ripe old age of 9...it made a life long impression. Have seen many since...first hand experience develops a great respect for the power of these storms.
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Old 03-07-2018, 18:36   #13
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Panama
Now in the Chiriqui Highlands of Panama at 4,500' for the off season...thats my hurricane plan!
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Old 03-07-2018, 18:44   #14
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

[QUOTE=a64pilot;
I say get out of Fl., but Iím now heading to a marina way up the St Johnís. I hope to be OK there, but who knows?[/QUOTE]

Which one? 2 storms in 3 years around there. Maybe the one at NAS? Otherwise along the wall at Reynolds or Clay County are the only safe places. GCSM is a pin ball parlor.
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Old 03-07-2018, 19:53   #15
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Re: Hurricane staying aboard

When a hurricane is coming to you and you can’t sail away 100% sure of being out of harms way, then find a place to tie up the boat, get to shore and then double-check your insurance coverage. Things are things. You came into the world without your boat (or any other thing) and that’s the way you’ll leave. Do you want to leave possibly earlier than if you didn’t try to “ride it out?” It might be just fine. Then again, it might be one of those experiences where you think, “boy, I wish I could go back in time 5 seconds (or whatever time it took to realize I made a dumb mistake).” Or it might be one of those experiences were your friends and family ask, “What was he thinking?”

Have you ever heard, “It’s not worth it?” Well, it’s not... I’m sure your friends and family would say the same thing.
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