By Captain Frank M. Ferraiuolo (USCG Aux.) *
Boating is fun and a safe sport for all ages. Whether you fish, swim, anchor, or travel, keep in mind the WEATHER! A small runabout, a PWC, a Kayak, or a large cruiser ALL must consider the weather. When the winds are predicted to be 15MPH + or rain or storms are in the forecast, it will not be a great boating day!
We are in Hurricane season right now, and there are a number of things to consider when keeping your Vessel safe and secure. DO NOT wait until the last day to prepare your vessel properly. Do not stay with the Vessel during the storm.
A Vessel can be replaced, but a life cannot!!
If your Vessel is trailerable, remove it from the water and bring it to high ground. If you keep your Vessel at the Marina and can have it hauled and blocked on dry land, do so.
If you must keep it in the water, remove all valuables and electronics and secure the Vessel with extra fenders and lines! Use chafing gear on the lines to prevent them from fraying and failing. Use several different cleats and rings to secure your Vessel. Remove anything that can be blown off your vessel (Chairs-Coolers-decorations etc.).
Check with your neighbors to make sure they prepare their vessels properly.
If you keep your Vessel on a mooring, make sure your Anchor is secure and use several lines on different cleats to secure the anchor. Make sure your battery is fully charged, your Bilge Pump is working properly, and all your Scuppers are clear of debris. Many insurance companies will help pay for the haul-out of your vessel to keep it secure.
Remember to take each storm seriously; as we learned from Hurricane Ian, they can change their path at the last minute.
*Past District Captain for Coxswain-Instructor-Vessel Examiner for the USCG Auxiliary (NYS)