Originally Posted by Palarran
I would agree. You can insure a boat so it must be small enough that the odds are manageable. I've only been in the hurricane zone for four seasons, two in the water and two on land. During all four seasons the boat was preprep'ed and I had two near misses. What does occur to me is that the number of cruisers reporting being IN a hurricane are probably exaggerated, in some cases drastically. I've been reading about cruisers who survived Dorian and were in Florida - I mean REALLY!. My boat was in Grand Bahamas, laid up, prep'ed, and suffered near zero damage as far as I can tell. Does that mean that she survived Dorian? The eye of a Cat 5 was only 20 to 25 miles away so it was a near miss. Hurricane Tomas passed 20 miles north of St. Maarten with tropical storm force winds in my marina. Did she survive Tomas? To me, boats and sailors claiming they "survived" or were "in" a hurricane are more like Callistov42 and Zanshin who's boat's were actually damaged by the storm and survived. The main point is that if you are actually IN a strong hurricane, you probably are going to have some damage, otherwise it was a miss.
You got lucky! That's it!
You have really no experience with hurricanes.
My job was moving me from Memphis, TN to Pensacola
, FL in 1996 so I went down to check it out in September of 1995.
I took my newest Hobie 16 with me. I went to Pensacola
Beach to pick up a part for the boat at the Hobie dealer. It was early afternoon as I had left Memphis at around 4:30 am. I remember because Orion was already up.
After getting the part, I headed toward Navarre but stopped to enjoy the beach on the Gulf side and have a couple beers that I had bought in Gulf Breeze
It was very excited to be back on the coast again after living 20 years inland
So I climbed over the 20' sand dunes and went down to the beach and looked at the beautiful blue/green crystal clear water of the Gulf then went to Ft Walton Beach and sailed out along with the racers in the yearly 100 mile beach cat race
the next morning.
Long story short when I did move down in February 1996, those dunes were no longer there due to Hurricanes Erin and Opal
It would only get worse from there
I had seen a few hurricanes up here as a child but they were maybe Cat 1/2 and I was a kid
I had a date with a new girlfriend during Hurricane Danny (August 1997). We ate (and drank) at a restaurant near the 3 mile bridge then went back to her place and left the sliding doors open in her bedroom to add to the night!! (yes I still remember it)
It was very exciting and lots of fun. We were early to mid 40's.
Winds were probably gusting to 60/70 or so. When I got back over to my little apartment on Bayou Grande at 1am, I went down to the dock
and it was nuts. Lots of guys out retying their boats
It went from there with several more hurricanes topping off with Ivan (cat 3/4) 2004 then Katrina 2005 and a couple more smaller ones
Over the years, we'd hang out at the apartment building on Bayou Grande which was maybe 3' -4' above sea level and watch the anchored boats in Bayou Grande the local hurricane hole.
Some would try to figure out which boat would drag anchor
first and get slammed into the bridge.
Boat that slammed into the bridge would sooner or later be dismasted and go under the bridge
These hurricanes were cat 1 and 2.
When Ivan (cat 3/4) hit in 2004, there area we were standing in back then was under 8' of water so times had changed from freaky dates with new girlfriends to major damage which would include national guard, curfews and loss of power for weeks
Ivan came right up the gut! The eye came in Pensacola Pass giving the town the feared right (wrong) side of the hurricane
Much of the sailboat damage occurred when the floating docks would float over their pilings then take out the anchored boats
The Landing Apartments picture shows Bayou Grande and the Bridge. This is the rebuilt Landing Apartments. Back in the day you could rent a 2 bedroom apartment for $450.00 and get a slip for $50.00
There was no sea wall then (or pool) so I kept my two beach cats tied down to the right just above the high water mark unless there was a storm coming in. I had moved by 2001
came in between the 2 dock
from the SW a bit left in the picture and in season and we could tack back and forth and sail right out to the bay then the Gulf or Pensacola Beach