boat-luxury-river-163236It’s officially Hurricane Season and with 7 anticipated hurricanes and 3 of them predicted (by the Colorado State University) to reach Category 3 status, it may be a good idea to be prepared.  Last month we talked about options for keeping your home safe.  This month we’d like to talk to boaters.

First and foremost, your personal safety and the safety of your passengers is most important.

If a storm comes in that is predicted to reach hurricane status don’t stay on board  – It is not worth risking your life, get to shore, secure the vessel and stay safe.

When it comes to protecting your boat if at all possible, move the boat to safety.  That means getting your boat on land and keeping it away from tidal waters and trees that could fall and cause damage.  It is also a good idea to remove any electronics and pull the drain plug.

If you can’t move the boat, you’ll want to all you can to make sure it is secure.  It may be best to consult a professional for help.  A marina manager will be familiar with the shorelines, tide predictions, currents and water levels in the area and will be your best bet to keep your boat as safe as it can.  If there is little time to gain assistance and the boat will remain on a mooring, inspect the connections and be sure the mooring can handle the load needed for your boat.  You’ll also want to be sure you have enough line to account for predicted water levels.  If it will be in a marina make sure to double check that all the attachment points are strong.

Below are a few additional tips to help minimize damage and make the claims process easier: 

  • Take steps to prevent chafing – Protect the boat from bumping and rubbing against the pier with fenders, fender boards or tires.  Wrap lines where they feed through chocks.  You can use tape, rags, rubber hoses, fire hose or leather.
  • Charge batteries to make sure they can run automatic bilge pumps – It may be a good idea to add backup batteries as well.
  • Remove equipment that you can – Store electronics, cushions, sails, canvas and dinghies in a safe, dry location.
  • Tie-down equipment that you can’t remove – Make sure tillers, wheels, and booms are secure.
  • Create an inventory – In case of a storm that causes significant damage, you’ll want to have a list of all the items on board handy to make the claims process easier.  Grab your phone and make a video and then save the file in a secure location.
  • Put all your documents relating to your boat in one place – Keep all insurance policies, registration, equipment inventory and any lease agreements (for the marina or storage place) together in one place so that you will have no trouble locating them if you need to file a claim.

One Final Word of Advice

After the storm has passed, be very cautious. Electrical wires could make the water very dangerous.  Check with the local authorities to be sure waterways are safe, there could be submerged object that could do harm to your boat.

Advocate Brokerage wants to be sure your summer is filled with relaxation and fun!  A bit of preparation can go a long way to making sure you weather a storm. If you are new to being a boat owner, Advocate can review your coverage portfolio as a whole to be sure that you have the type of coverage suited to fit your particular needs.  We can help you to be sure you have adequate protection for your boat and its passengers without gaps in coverage.  If you have questions regarding coverage for your watercraft, we encourage you to give us a call at 914-723-7100.

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