Atmosphere And Weather

Store you Boat

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"Store you Boat"
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After being a 15 year veteran of Gulf of Mexico storms, waterspouts and hurricanes I can speak from experience when I say, "Think quick, think easy, and be prepared".

Tools and supplies you might need to keep on hand.

1. A heavy tarp large enough to cover you boat and reach the ground.

2. 100 feet of 5/8th in rope, 500 pound test or greater.

3. 12 to 24 ground stakes, 18 to 24 inches in length.

4. 4, thirty to fifty gallon trash cans.

5. 12 burlap or canvas sandbags.

6. 100 feet of garden hose.

7. Sledge hammer.

8. Sharp knife.

9. Boat Insurance.

Boats from 10 foot to 16 foot. Commonly known as skiffs, runabouts, or flat bottom boats, these boats are more often used on rivers, freshwater lakes, saltwater bays, or marshlands. Being the lightest and easiest to transport, these boats are often moved on a light trailer or in the back of a truck. Preparing this type of boat for a hurricane or strong storm is simple. First; Remove the engine and store it indoors. Clamp it to a half full trashcan or workbench to keep it upright and prevent the gas and oil from draining out. Second; if you can flip your boat over and lay it on the ground, do so. You need to prevent it from becoming a kite so get it as close to the ground as you can, stake it down, or put weights on top.

Boats from 16 foot to 24 foot. Called Day boats, Day Runners or Party boats, these boats are will often seat from four to eight people and might have berthing space or a head. Always stored on a trailer, these boats can only be moved when towed and are seldom stored in the water. These boats can never be flipped over but will store well on a trailer if you prepared for extreme weather as quick as you can. First; find a spot in your yard where the trailer can be parked between trees or on the lee side (downwind side) of your home. If the storm or hurricane is coming in from the south, park you boat on the north side of your home as close to it as you can. Second; tie it down or strap it down to the tree's or drive in stakes and tie it down to them. Never cover your boat then tie down the tarp, do it in reverse. Put stakes in the ground then tie your boat to them. Then put more stakes on the ground and tie down the tarp with its own stakes. That way, if the tarp goes, it won't take the boat with it. Additionally, if you want to throw a few trashcans inside you boat and fill them with water, the more weight the better.

Boats from 24 feet long and longer. Called Cruisers, pleasure boats, or sailboats these boats are born in the water, live in the water, and often stay in water most of their lives. Storm or hurricane preparation for these types of boats is often limited to battening down the hatches, tying off the lines, starting the bilge pump, and putting out the anchors. Although dry-docking is sometimes an option, time a space will often prevent you from finding storage in time. If your boat is stored at a marina, in the water, check with the dock master for mooring line suggestions and whether spring lines would be advisable. Wind direction, speed and the projected storm surge will determine if you boat survives a hurricane or not.

Personally, I don't like the odds a marina puts against you in a hurricane. With a marina, if another boat breaks loose and slams into yours, well, let's hope your insurance covers that. Personally I prefer to find a leeward anchorage, Point your bow towards the storm, drop two anchors off the bow at a 45 degree angle from each other and one off the stern. Then, pull out a good bottle of tequila, make sure your cell phone AND marine radio are working, then open a good book and ride it out.

More about this author: Ken Clarke

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