Sea Tow Offers Tip for Hurricane Prep

Sea Tow Services International Inc. (www.seatow.com), the nation’s leading marine assistance service provider, offers these 12 tips from its experienced Coast Guard-licensed Captains on how boaters in potential hurricanes zones can prepare for the storm.

Be sure your boat is insured. A boat that is damaged by a hurricane can wind up costing far more to fix than an annual insurance policy.

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. A boat that breaks loose in a hurricane can wreak havoc on neighboring vessels.

Owners who must move their boats should identify a safe place to moor or haul it in advance. Check with your local Sea Tow operator to see what pre-storm haul-out services are offered. Visit www.seatow.comto find the nearest location.

Make an inventory, preferably by video, of all valuable fixed items such as marine electronics on board your boat. Store any loose valuables, including important documents like your marine insurance policy, in a secure place off the vessel.

Watch the storm track provided by local and national weather services such as the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center, www.nhc.noaa.gov. Android and iPhone users can get weather updates via Sea Tow’s mobile app, which also offers tide tables and other valuable functions. Download the Sea Tow App at www.seatow.com/app.

Well before the storm is due to make landfall in 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.

Deflate your dinghy and store it and its outboard off the boat. If it’s a fiberglass dinghy or small RHIB, move it to an indoor facility, if possible.

If your boat is on a trailer, try to put it in a place away from trees and other possible sources of flying debris. Secure it well, using tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground; let the air out of the trailer’s tires, and weigh down the frame.

If your boat is on a lift, using heavy straps to secure it to the lift may not be safe. There are too many variables that occur during each storm. Completely removing your vessel to a safe location is the only way to ensure it won’t be damaged.

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. Disconnect your shore power and make sure all power is turned off and store any shore power cords securely. Leave batteries connected so your bilge pumps work.

Anchored boats should ensure enough scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.

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.

About Sea Tow
Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider. Established in 1983 by Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves members in more than 100 locations throughout the United States, Europe, Australia, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit www.seatow.com.