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Storm Damage to Marinas
By the RestorationSOS Educational Staff
Boat owners have a lot of stress every time there is a major storm targeting their area. It is one thing to cover a car or get it under a shelter to protect it from high winds and damaging rain or hail, but not all boats can be so readily removed from the water and stored away. Sometimes you have to just ride it out. And a boat in rough water can become a battering ram and damage pretty much everything it touches.
It is important to take a look at your marina, your boat, and see what you can do to prevent a total loss should a hurricane or tropical storm take aim at your town.
Most boaters fail to make any serious effort to prepare in the event of a hurricane or tropical storm. Doing nothing will almost certainly doom your boat and your dock to serious damage. Take the steps now to prepare in case of a storm. If you are located out of town and cannot get there to handle it, hire someone local to do the prep work for you. It is money out of pocket, but still less expensive than having to replace the whole thing. Look to see if your insurance company provides any coverage for professional evacuation or storm prep.
Encourage the boat owners next to you to prepare as well. You can have everything properly secured and know you have done your part, but if the person in the slip next to you has not, then you could see damage to your boat by someone else's. If you belong to a marina or yacht club, see about organizing some type of severe weather preparedness plan, designed to make sure everybody participates and generates the maximum protection for all marina residents.
If there is no such preparation plan in place, get together with marina management and create one. Many times, boaters need to take a proactive role in this process.
Many boating-related websites have hurricane planning suggestions readily available, as well as computer programs designed to monitor approaching storms. Donít wait until the last minute. Go ahead and make necessary purchases such as extra dock lines, chafe protectors, anchors, and other gear.
By planning your storm protection ahead of time, when the forecast does turn grim, it should become a matter of simple execution. Don't be caught unprepared.
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