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silver heels 05-09-2008 22:08

Fellow Sailors:
My boat was severerly damaged when Katrina roared through Slidell LA. After three years of repair, I moved Silver Heels back to Pensacola, Fl. in May. I spent last weekend on the boat wandering if Gustav would blow me away again.
Now, I sit in Memphis wondering about IKE, what should I do?
I'm so tired of storms.
At this point, I'm ready just to collect insurance money and give up sailing.
silver heels

maxingout 05-09-2008 22:48

I feel your pain. When I lived in Puerto Rico, we sometimes had a tropical storm blow through two or three times a month at the height of hurricane season. It was a real pain to prepare for the worst.

In a region like Florida and the Gulf coast, it may be worth hauling your boat out of the water for hurricane season. If I'm not using my boat, I generally haul it out and leave it on the hard for the duration.

When I lived in the Panama Canal Zone, there was a boat called "Silver Heels" at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute on Barro Coloarado Island in Gatun Lake in the Panama Canal. It was an awesome cruising yacht, and the envy of all sailors at the Balboa yacht club. Is there any chance that your yacht is the same "Silver Heels"?

s/v 'Faith' 05-09-2008 23:06

silver heels,

I am with you. Faith is still stripped and doubled up from Gustav... I don't like Ike one bit.

Feel free to PM me if there is anything I can do as far as checking on your boat. I am sure the only thing worse then being here fretting over the wx is being there fretting over the wx.

starbolin 06-09-2008 01:24

If I had a pill for worry I'd make a fortune.

The frequency of a direct hit for most gulf cities is every 10-15 years. Some areas are better than others. The best you can do is play the percentages and choose your city, choose your anchorage and leave the rest up to your diety of choice.

Pblais 06-09-2008 05:37

Hauling your boat is something many sailors do. They haul because of ice, snow, and hurricanes or they move boats to other locations the seasons. It's pretty hard to find a place where there is nothing to worry about. We do fair well here though Hanna just started kicking up a fuss about 2 hours ago. So I spent all day yesterday getting ready for a storm that will last until evening today. Moving or hauling a boat is just part of the way it is for many people.

ssullivan 06-09-2008 05:51

Either haul it out far from the sea or move. Those are the choices.

I'd sure love to live in a place where I didn't have to freeze and cut wood all winter long and could have more work all year, but...

It's not worth losing the boat.


Originally Posted by silver heels (Post 202397)
Fellow Sailors:
My boat was severerly damaged when Katrina roared through Slidell LA. After three years of repair, I moved Silver Heels back to Pensacola, Fl. in May. I spent last weekend on the boat wandering if Gustav would blow me away again.
Now, I sit in Memphis wondering about IKE, what should I do?
I'm so tired of storms.
At this point, I'm ready just to collect insurance money and give up sailing.
silver heels

silver heels 06-09-2008 05:53

Hauling the boat is really the only option.

My insurance company doubles the deductable with named storms. If I knew the boat would be totaled, I think I would leave in water. The way my luck runs with storms the damage would be 25K with me paying the first 5K plus yard storage for a year and no sailing.

For those who asked about the name "Silver Heels". I stoled from Gordan Lightfoot's song "Christian Island". I purchased the boat in Annapolis in '96. The guy I purchased from sailed the east coast and the Bahamas, prior to that was in Boston, purchased new.


orion1 06-09-2008 06:40

We were in Oak Harbor Marina in Slidell also for KATRINA, on fixed pier behind Marina Cafe.

Hauling for us here on the Gulf Coast is not a great option. The cost of doing so is considerable. We might need to do it three of four times a year. Twice this year already! Could add up to several thousand anually. We have found a good place to tie across a small waterway. Many here choose to run up the TenTom Waterway.

Many yards in this area will not allow us to be on the hard during anything over a cat 1. Most marinas force you out also. One marina on Mobile Bay suffered major damage when water rise in Katrina tossed all on the hard into marina destroying facilities and homes in the area. Liability is quite an issue.

imagine2frolic 06-09-2008 06:53

Life is a gamble, and unfortunately the stakes are raised in hurricane season. It's unnerving, but part of the game. I am sure most of us here feel your agony. This time of the year when things get active. I miss the earthquakes, and fires of Ca.....Mother Nature is everywhere:D

silver heels 06-09-2008 07:08

Silver Heels was on six pier right out from Harbor Masters office. Most boats on six pier were total losses.
I didn't think alot about hurricanes until Katrina, I thought Oak Harbor was far enough inland. Nothing can stop a 13 foot surge.

We are at Pensacola Shipyard now and have ability to haul at any time except when a storm enters gulf, at that time they go under hurricane alert. You need a hurricane contract with the shipyard to be hauled at that time. $1500 a year plus haul out fee. They keep the the $1500 even if you do not haul.

svHyLyte 06-09-2008 08:34


Who writes your insurance? Our "Helmsman" policy, courtesy of Gary Golden at IMIS, includes a provision that will reimburse an owner for the cost of a haul-out for named storm avoidance. Here (south Tampa Bay) it’s somewhat of a non-starter as at this time of year there's virtually no place where one can get hauled out because of all of the snow bird boats already stored for hurricane season. Evidently that's not the case where you are.

I too am sick to death of the worry with these damned hurricanes but I can’t conceive of simply leaving our boat to her fate. Given the costs of insurance, however, ($3,950/year for $100,000), I am seriously considering taking the yacht up north for the period June thru September. Some friends of ours with our boat’s sister ship took theirs—Ocean Angel—over to the Rio Dulce in Guatemala for the season but after listening to their stories about life on the Rio and the crime threats they have to deal with daily, that’s not an option for us. Fortunately, the TampaBay area reportedly has the lowest incidence of storm hits on the Gulf so we consider ourselves fortunate to be here. Never the less, we are seriously considering taking the yacht and the savings doing so may more than off-set the costs.

N’any case, good luck. I see the latest models indicate that Ike is headed past west Florida and up toward your area—maybe to take up where Gustav left off. There but for the Grace…

Good Luck

s/v HyLyte :)

silver heels 06-09-2008 12:26

Our insurance is with American Marine Underwriters(Loyds of London).
I've checked on the paying of half the cost to haul. They only pay after the hurricane hits. I spoke with them last week when Gustav was coming, they seemed happy to leave in slip. The reason I used them is because they treat the Bahamas like US, no upcharge to cruise.

I'm driving down to Pensacola tomorrow to be the first in line on Monday to be hauled. Pensacola Shipyard will usually haul until hurricane enters gulf.


svHyLyte 06-09-2008 14:31


Our policy covers all of the Bahama's without any added riders. I suggest you contact Al or Gary Golden and see what they can do for you. Unfortunately, I have heard that unless one already has a policy with Markel (Helmsman, Jackline et al) they are not writing any new coverages. I do not know whether that is actually the case however so you might want to call.

Good luck old son. We shall offer prayers for your, and others, safety at services.

s/v HyLyte

forsailbyowner 06-09-2008 15:17

Were currently cruising in the hurricane belt. A marina would probably be our last choice in anything over a cat 2. We scan the charts for hurricane holes constantly. One of the best Ive found is in the calabash river in NC. Theres an abandoned marina basin with hundreds of concrete pilings sticking up plenty of water underneath and high ground all around except for the narrow entrance. I would spiderweb long lines to many pilings so the only way you could move is up and down. Were currently in bohicket creek and were sweating hanna. Here we found a small dredged creek with trees close enough to do the spiderweb. We carry 600yards of 5/8" nylon and 300' of chain to do the spiderweb with. Looking at the docks here they would all float away with all the boats with a tide surge of over 10' at high tide. The pilings only stick up 7-8' above floating docks at high tide. The dockmaster told us of a nearby marina (Isle of Palms) and they had exactly that happen to them during hugo. Can you picture that?

Therapy 06-09-2008 15:40

3 Attachment(s)

Originally Posted by forsailbyowner (Post 202582)
Can you picture that?


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