Click to Home

Hurricanes and Boats
Hurricane season runs from June through November, but storms and even hurricanes can occur outside those months as well.  The well-prepared boat owner has a plan for evacuation or protection of their vessel at all times.

Boat Removal
If your vessel can be removed from the water and stored or otherwise relocated outside of a storm zone before the storm approaches, you should do so.  Remember that there is not enough enclosed storage in Collier County for all boats, so plan and prepare early for your boat's safety.

Safety Afloat
If your boat cannot be removed from the water or the area before the approaching storm, move it to a secure area and moor it properly.  Check with your marina for evacuation or tie-down procedures, and make sure you know your liability while your boat is in their facility.  Make sure you have permission to use secure mooring facilities in advance.

Document and Photograph
Make sure you have copies of all appropriate documentation, licensing, registration, insurance, etc. for your vessel wherever you are.  Photograph your boat before the storm in case of loss or damage and make sure your insurance policy is up to date.  Make sure you have contact information for your marina or storage facility.

Hurricane Supplies
Make sure you have adequate rope, anchors and fenders for your vessel to enable securing it.  Ensure the fuel tank is full and batteries are fully charged and pump out holding tanks before the storm approaches.  Make sure your bilge pumps are operating properly.

Securing Your Vessel
Make sure your vessel is properly secured from multiple wind directions and that all hatches and openings are closed to prevent flooding.  Remove portable items such as electronics and fishing gear, and remove or secure any canvas tops or sails, cushions, floatation devices or other loose items.  If your boat will be weathering the storm on a trailer, lash it to the trailer and ensure that wheel chocks or blocks are in place.  Smaller vessels can be filled with water to make them heavier and you should plan on rain filling your boat during storage.

Safety Precautions
Do not attempt to remain with the vessel or ride out the storm.
Pay attention to all media broadcasts and evacuation notices.
Do not return to your vessel until authorities have declared the area safe for return.
After the storm, be prepared for additional debris or hazards to navigation if you move your vessel.

Above all, stay personally safe.  Boats can be replaced.  You, not so easily.