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Old 04-04-2016, 07:05   #1
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Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

I was considering staying in the Bahamas during hurricane season. I was told by the dock master to have ready 600 feet of good rope to tie off the boat at the dock. They have done it for many in the past. Has anyone had any experience with this? The dock master says if done right and adjusted throughout the storm the worst is wear on the ropes.... IF DONE RIGHT.

What I always found (having lost a 41 foot sail boat in Andrew in Miami) was that the surge is the most dangerous part of a storm if you have a well found boat tied up smartly. The Bahamas , being small islands the surge goes around the islands and doesn't back up say like Miami Marina in Hurricane Andrew, etc. Thus I was thinking of the Bahamas.
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Old 04-04-2016, 07:55   #2
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

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I was considering staying in the Bahamas during hurricane season. I was told by the dock master to have ready 600 feet of good rope to tie off the boat at the dock. They have done it for many in the past. Has anyone had any experience with this? The dock master says if done right and adjusted throughout the storm the worst is wear on the ropes.... IF DONE RIGHT.

What I always found (having lost a 41 foot sail boat in Andrew in Miami) was that the surge is the most dangerous part of a storm if you have a well found boat tied up smartly. The Bahamas , being small islands the surge goes around the islands and doesn't back up say like Miami Marina in Hurricane Andrew, etc. Thus I was thinking of the Bahamas.
Another option is to head down to Great Exuma and get in touch with Bob @ Kevalli House. He owns a well setup hurricane hole down there and we left our Oday 34 there for a couple of hurricane seasons with no problems.

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Old 04-04-2016, 08:09   #3
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

Let me get this right....

You've already lost one boat years ago in a hurricane, and now you intend to stay in the hurricane belt once again?

Answer: The only sure way to avoid damage is to be out of the area during the hurricane season.

P.S.: I'm not trying to be a smart ass, just attempting to inject a little common sense into the discussion. There's a good reason why the insurance companies won't cover losses in those areas.
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Old 04-04-2016, 08:32   #4
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Yeah, but ...

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Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Let me get this right....

You've already lost one boat years ago in a hurricane, and now you intend to stay in the hurricane belt once again?

Answer: The only sure way to avoid damage is to be out of the area during the hurricane season.

P.S.: I'm not trying to be a smart ass, just attempting to inject a little common sense into the discussion. There's a good reason why the insurance companies won't cover losses in those areas.
... If your boat is not anywhere near New England in June, as may be true of the OP, where do you go?

We once got hit on the way from Bermuda to Maryland in June.

Point is, hurricanes cover a 500-1,000 mile area, so Florida, Ga., Al, Tx, etc will all be effected. Really no place to run, so digging in seems the only option if you don't have the time or money to leave well before the season begins.

Same for many of us out here in Asia.

Just my 2 cents.

G2L
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:15   #5
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

Advise for the Bahamas during hurricane season has always been the same - GET OUT!! Unless of course you have good insurance and want a new boat.

I've been going to the Bahamas for over 30 years and there's only one thing that survives there in the long run - poured concrete, with lots of steel rebar!!
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:15   #6
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by ausnp84 View Post
Another option is to head down to Great Exuma and get in touch with Bob @ Kevalli House. He owns a well setup hurricane hole down there and we left our Oday 34 there for a couple of hurricane seasons with no problems.

n
Does the Kevalli marina provide any boat yard services, i.e. hauling, bottom painting? Did you leave your boat in the water or on the hard?
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:21   #7
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

The 600 feet is about right. Double up everything. put out all your bumpers Take down EVERYTHING that can blow. Tape up banging lines and leave for higher ground. Wear and tear are going to happen. I came out all right I did loose the zippers for the bimini. When you beat on anything with hundred mile an hour winds for 24 hours it's not going to be pretty If all you have on the boat is stuck on plant live you did good
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Old 04-04-2016, 09:27   #8
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

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Does the Kevalli marina provide any boat yard services, i.e. hauling, bottom painting? Did you leave your boat in the water or on the hard?
Nah, no boat yard but there is one about 3nm away in Great Exuma. We left ours in the water attached to four pilings (one on each quarter) that were properly buried into the rock. There were about 10 boats lined up next to each other (each attached to four pilings) and everyone seemed very secure. To get into the hurricane hole, you've gotta pass through another hurricane hole so it's very secure. They were hit the year or so after we moved our boat and reports came back no-one had been damaged (other than the standard superficial wind related stuff).

Drop Bob an email - he's a great guy.

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Old 04-04-2016, 10:03   #9
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Re: Yeah, but ...

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Originally Posted by Gone2long View Post
... If your boat is not anywhere near New England in June, as may be true of the OP, where do you go?

We once got hit on the way from Bermuda to Maryland in June.

Point is, hurricanes cover a 500-1,000 mile area, so Florida, Ga., Al, Tx, etc will all be effected. Really no place to run, so digging in seems the only option if you don't have the time or money to leave well before the season begins.

Same for many of us out here in Asia.

Just my 2 cents.

G2L
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:14   #10
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

Two seasons ago was Grenada for me last season was Curaçao get the drift? Head south Bahamas full of wrecks from eons go by. For what is worth
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:17   #11
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

Glad to see we're not judgemental!

But here are the facts of life - there are hundreds of thousands of boats in the Bahamas, Caribbean, East Coast USA and other places that never leave the hurricane zone. What are you saying, that someone who lives on, say, Tortola should leave their home every season?

Frankly, that's completely absurd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenomac View Post
Let me get this right....

You've already lost one boat years ago in a hurricane, and now you intend to stay in the hurricane belt once again?

Answer: The only sure way to avoid damage is to be out of the area during the hurricane season.

P.S.: I'm not trying to be a smart ass, just attempting to inject a little common sense into the discussion. There's a good reason why the insurance companies won't cover losses in those areas.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:26   #12
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

IRG is correct !
We lived in the Carib for thirteen years and went thru many Canes [ including HUGO ] with no damage . For some reason many people believe that everybody evacuates the hurricane belt , not so .
I spent to cane seasons south of Georgetown Exuma , we just hunkered down in one of the several places that we had scoped out !
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:28   #13
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

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Originally Posted by sailingfarmer View Post
----- I was told by the dock master to have ready 600 feet of good rope to tie off the boat at the dock. They have done it for many in the past. ----- The dock master says if done right and adjusted throughout the storm the worst is wear on the ropes -----
What dockmaster at what marina where?
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:33   #14
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

The best hurricane hole in the Bahamas is at Great Harbour Cay in the Berry Islands. Check it out.
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Old 04-04-2016, 10:37   #15
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Re: Riding out a potential hurricane in the Bahamas

I agree with IRG. I live and sail in Darwin, northern Australia for over thirty years. The city is smack bang in the middle of the cyclone belt and is regularly hit. Darwin has one of the highest rates of boat ownership in the country and, (think in terms of surge) has a tidal movement of up to 7 metres (23 feet) every six hours.

Living your sailing life according to your fears puts a serious damper on your experiences. In hurricane season, prepare your boat as best you can and tie it down with as much rope as you can find.

In my experience, the biggest problem facing boats during a TRC is other boats which have not been prepared. Boats anchored on bits of dog chain, lots of gear aloft and absent owners pose a huge threat. If you can moor away from these craft and even help the community to secure these boats, you have a good chance of remaining safe.

If all else fails in The Bahamas, put your vessel on the hard in Marsh Harbour. They reinforce the cradles and tie the boat down to concrete anchors. Cost us (for a 50'er) $525 per month.
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