With Sandy and a Nor’easter about to collide off New England, Sea Tow is offering the following storm-preparedness tips for boaters who still have their boats in the water:

  1. Be sure your boat is insured. During recessionary times, boaters have been known to let their policies lapse due to financial concerns. A boat that is damaged by a hurricane can wind up costing far more to fix than an annual insurance policy.
  2. Review your marine insurance policy’s hurricane season provisions. Boat owners whose insurance requires them to relocate their vessels out of a hurricane zone should do so by the date specified in their policy
  3. Have a Storm Plan ready. Most insurance providers require a formal written plan detailing where and how your boat must be secured during a major storm. Designate a responsible person to execute the plan if you will be out of town.
  4. Check with your marina, storage facility or private dock owner where your boat is moored to be sure the vessel can remain there during a hurricane. If it can stay, know the procedure for securing not only your vessel, but those docked around it, as well.
  5. Owners who must move their boats in the event of a storm should decide where to have it hauled before hurricane season begins. Don’t wait until a storm is imminent. Check with your local Sea Tow operator to see what pre-storm haul-out services are offered.
  6. Closely monitor local and national weather services including NOAA Weather Radio and the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center by CLICKING HERE.
  7. Make an inventory, preferably by video, of all valuable fixed items such as marine electronics on board your boat.
  8. Store all the boat’s important documents, including your marine insurance policy, in a secure place off the vessel.
  9. When a storm is forecast for your area, remove all detachable items from your boat, such as canvas, sails, cushions, fishing rigging, radios and antennas. Tie down everything that you cannot remove, including booms, tillers, wheels, etc.
  10. Deflate your dinghy and store it and its outboard off the boat. If it’s a fiberglass dinghy, have it stored in an indoor facility.
  11. If your boat is on a trailer, secure it well. Use tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground, let the air out of its tires and weigh down the frame.
  12. If your boat is in a facility with shore power, be sure all power is turned off and all shore power cords are stowed securely. Disconnect your boat’s battery.
  13. Boats docked in a marina or in a private berth should be centered in the slip. Double-up all dock lines and make sure they are of sufficient length to compensate for excessive high water.
  14. Anchored boats should ensure enough scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.
  15. Do not stay with your boat or try to ride out a storm on board. No matter how valuable your vessel is to you—both financially and sentimentally—it’s not worth your life.

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