Hurricane Season! Boo...nah?
Posted on 1st August 2019 at 20:37
Since we're in the middle of Hurricane Season, we figured we'd give you a few hints on how to keep your boat safe in the event of one hitting Florida!
As we’ve posted about in previous articles, Florida is the best place in the USA for recreational boating. There are more than 950,000 boats in Florida at any given time, and you can see a good number of them out and enjoying the sun and fun that can be had in the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Unfortunately, Florida weather also has a dark side from June to November: Hurricane Season. Since 2000, there have been 83 tropical or subtropical cyclones that have hit the state of Florida causing over $120 billion in damage to homes, infrastructure, and property. Most recently, Hurricane Irma caused over $50 billion in damage alone, due to the fact that it was the strongest hurricane we’d seen since 1992. During this time, thousands were left without power, potable water, or even mobility in the aftermath of the storm. And those who own(ed) boats were also hit particularly hard. So we wanted to give you some simple ways to ensure that you and your boat are safe, in the event that a storm decides to make its way to our sunny stretch of Florida.
Find a safe place to put your boat: plenty of our customers have docks behind their houses, where they store their boat(s). If your boat is on a lift, make sure that the lift is as high as it can safely go, and anchor your boat to your dock using docklines. If you have enough time and the ability to pull your boat out of the water, Amzim Marine recommends that you haul your boat inland to a storage facility. Every summer, we have a wait list for indoor storage, but we manage to fit 16 boats inside our shop. When Irma hit in 2017, Amzim had 53 boats on its property alone! It is best if your boat is stored on land, with fresh water in the bilge to weigh it down if its been hauled out. We’re proud to say that even after everything the storm threw at us, not a single boat had been irreparably damaged. In addition, storing your boat inland can prevent damage from storm surge, which can reach 10+ feet, and can wash your boat out to sea.
Check your insurance coverage: in the aftermath of a hurricane, you go out and find that your boat has sustained some damage…what do you do? Be prepared before hand, and check to see what your insurance covers, and what the limitations on that coverage are. Did you know that your insurance company can reimburse you for 50% of the cost of having your boat hauled out (to a certain point)? Did you also know that you can also get a “Named Storm Deductible”(NSD), and it can contain up to a 10% NSD that can even reimburse you if you implement a haul out plan? Contact your insurance company today to find out exactly what your plan includes!
Remove all loose equipment/valuables: If you have a dinghy on the back of your boat, remove it. If you have free floating cushions, deck chairs, fishing equipment, noodles, etc., remove them. Use duct tape to seal your engine hatch, and any exposed electronics. Remove any removable electronics, like stereo face plates, mounted GPS units, or mounted VHF radios that are exposed. Take off your canvas, and store it in the compartments. Another thing most people forget: check your batteries and make sure they are fully charged; you don’t want your boat to fill up with water, when the automatic bilge pump can help mitigate some water damage.
Don’t leave your boat on a mooring ball. Just don’t. It is never a good idea to leave your boat on a mooring ball during a hurricane.
Most importantly, keep yourself safe. Follow evacuation orders, stay indoors, and keep enough supplies to last a while. Keep an eye on the forecast, and keep a backup battery around for your phone or laptop, so you can stay in the know. If you're local to Naples, here are some helpful links to keep an eye on before, during, and after the storm hits. They are really good at keeping the pages up-to-date with relevant information for you.
https://www.facebook.com/colliersheriff/ - Link to Collier County Sherriff's Department Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/GreaterNaplesFire/ - Link to Greater Naples Fire Rescue District Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/CollierEM/ - Link to Collier County Emergency Management Facebook Page
Living through a hurricane can be a harrowing experience, both experientially and financially. We hope that this information can help you prepare for worst. Amzim Marine has been around since 2007, and we’ve always been happy to give you advice in the event of an oncoming storm. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at (239)228-6713.
- Your Friendly Neighborhood Boat Blogger
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