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Old 13-03-2010, 04:28   #1
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Hurricane Preparations

With the start of the Atlantic Hurricane Season only a few months off, it seems a good time to hear from veterans on how to handle the situation. For us Chesapeake Bay people (western shore, in my case), are you better off in a marina or anchored in a good hurricane hole? Any other tips?

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Old 13-03-2010, 04:38   #2
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As usual, it depends. Which marina? Which "hurricane hole"? Which hurricane track?

The Chesapeake is blessed by not having very many hurricanes occur. But, they do happen and, occasionally, they do some real damage, like the one that hit a few years ago and destroyed a number of marinas on the Western Shore.

In general, the best bet is to either be in a very protected marina or way up in one of the many tributaries of the Chesapeake...the Potomac, Patuxent, etc. Or both.


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Old 13-03-2010, 05:01   #3
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As a fellow Tayana owner here on the Cheaspeake I can just relate to my two experiences with hurricanes. One was in '85 with Cat 1 hurricane Gloria when the boat was brand new. I had little sailing experience and was taking a 2 week vacation cruise around the Bay when the hurricane came. We anchored in a hurricane hole off the Patuxant River and spent two days there on basically a single 35 lb CQR with 60 ft of 3/8 BBB chain spliced to 5/8 inch 3 strand line. Probably had a scope of 15 to 1 out. The anchor held and the line did not chafe even though that is what was worrisome to me. There were times when a 90 knot gust would hit and the boat would be like we were sailing close hauled. There were also times when a sling shot effect would be felt when the line would stretch and then release much like a rubber band. Not something that I would do again. When Isabelle came through several years ago it had been downgraded to a tropical storm and I stayed aboard at a marina in Solomons. I had something like 14 lines attached to the boat, but then again the real propblem there is with the storm surge so remaining at dock has its problems too. There is really no good answer since even hauling out has its problems. My choice is to secure the boat in a hurricane hole with hopefully few boats around and then leave. I now use a bigger anchor, but the holding ground is the most important aspect when anchoring for a hurricane and the protection from waves and wind.
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Old 13-03-2010, 14:31   #4
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Take down all canvas. Beware of absent, or absent-minded, neighbours, seek protection from swell and surge. Get insurance, get rum.

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