Any boater will tell you during the frenzy of a powerful storm having your boat on a mooring or exposed docks will leave you biting your finger nails. We have all been there ( at least us boat owners ), listening to weather broadcasts over the television or over the marine vhf radio hoping for some miracle of god that the storm will turn a different direction or never arrive. Unfortunately in most cases we are short with luck and almost always unprepared on how to protect our beloved yachts. This article will help those just coming into the boating world or already experts in the industry with some tricks we've learned that have fared the worst of storms.
1. During a storm one of the most important rules is reducing your windage. The less items your boat has facing the wind the better off your boat will be. You want to make your boat has aerodynamic as possible without making it take off like a plane. Remove portable fuel cattys, extra lines over the lifelines and take down your Bimini, any side BBQ grills and kayaks need to be removed as well. If you have a dingy on board put it in the water and attach a few lines to it and the stern of your boat as if towing it while moored.
2. Check your mooring bridles/pendants for any damage or repairs needed as soon as possible. DO NOT WAIT until the storm is a few days away as any necessary work needed that will require staff to work on the mooring will make it near impossible to do when the weather starts to decline.
3. If your boat is on a mooring make sure your mooring bridles are properly placed in the chocks of your boat and that there isn't anything sharp near the chock and bridle that will cut into it. Place your finger under the bridle line past the chock and feel for anything sharp. Often times there are small flat head screws that are protruding just enough to cut your boat free off its mooring during a storm.
4. Add chafe guard to any docks lines that are securing your boat to the dock or mooring. The best is Kevlar. Second choice is old firehouse hose, third standard nylon chafe guard and in a last effort emergency situation duck tape ( Gorilla tape is the best! ) the hell out of any areas the line is rubbing against and don't forget to double up on all lines!!
5. This is one of the most obvious tips but for some reason year after year the story is the same. The boat broke free from its mooring because the owner forgot to remove the bow anchor. During the storms boats on moorings tend to ride the large waves up and down up and down and it you have a bow anchor it is only a matter of time before the mooring bridles are sliced up.
I'm sure there are a few other steps we could mention on here but these were the top 5 tips we found that helped save many boats and headaches.