Warning: Irene on the Way!
August 25, 2011
Well, everyone, it looks like Irene is definitely headed our way, so time to batten down the hatches and make sure your boat is secure. Current predictions (as of Wednesday night) show the storm reaching New England by Sunday afternoon as a Category 2 or 3 hurricane packing winds of at least 40 knots. You should either haul your vessel or move it to a secure, well-protected area. Oh, and this would be a good time to make sure your boat insurance policy is up to date.
If you intend to keep your boat on a mooring or at anchor, set additional safety pennants and/or anchors. Make sure your batteries are fully charged and that all bilge pumps (including backups) are working. Also, make sure all lines are protected with extra chafing gear, and that all sails, dinghies and items on deck are securely lashed or stowed. Do not attempt to spend the night on your boat.
If you plan on keeping your boat in a slip, set additional lines and fenders, and take into account the rise in water level based on storm surge.
If storing your boat on land, make sure it is well-blocked and not placed below any large trees that could topple over or shed branches. Be sure to secure tarps and covers so that they do not blow off.
Lastly, if you keep any skiffs, canoes or kayaks along a shoreline, haul them well above the high tide line and secure them to a solid object. Also, make sure these vessels are labeled with your contact information in case they accidentally drift away. This could prevent a costly search by the Coast Guard should your vessel be found adrift.
Stay tuned to New England Boating for more Irene updates in the next several days.