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Boaters need to batten down the hatches in Florida and Southeast

by BoatUS 24 Sep 2022 16:14 PDT
BoatUS says storing a boat ashore and taking additional measures, such as tying it down, may reduce the potential for hurricane damage © Amy Beth Krisanda

Tropical Depression No. 9 is bearing down on Florida's Gulf Coast and Southeast and forecast to reach a significant strength - potentially Category 3. The nation's advocacy, services and safety group for boaters, Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS), is urging boaters to prepare. A range of free recreational boat-, yacht club-, and marina-preparation information is available at BoatUS.com/Hurricanes.

"While 'battening down the hatches' is part of storm preparations, even more important is trying to get your boat hauled and stored ashore where it has a better chance surviving a storm. If that's not possible, focus on whatever measures you can take now to ensure your boat has a greater chance for survival while in the water," said BoatUS vice president of Public Affairs Scott Croft.

Offered at BoatUS.com/Hurricanes is an extensive library of hurricane-preparation videos and BoatUS Magazine articles containing proven tips and techniques amassed from nearly four decades of catastrophe recovery experience. "How to Find and Fix Potential Breaking Points on Your Boat" and "How Not to Read a Hurricane Map" are just a couple of the helpful short reads available.

More extensive downloadable guides include "BoatUS Magazine Hurricane Preparations" and "Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes." The easy-to-download "BoatUS Hurricane Preparation Worksheet" is a great checklist to have while getting a hurricane plan in place. The website also features an Active Storm Tracker. To help keep boaters up to date on the direction and intensity of incoming storms, the BoatUS App offers text alerts anywhere you go.

Croft also adds that boat owners should check their boat insurance policies for hurricane haulout coverage that may share the cost to remove the boat and store it ashore. "All GEICO marine insurance policies will pay half of the storm preparation haulout charges, up to $1,000, to professionally haul or protect your boat in preparation for an NOAA-named storm. This makes the decision to haul out that much easier."

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