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Southern California boaters need to prepare now for Hurricane Hilary

by BoatUS 18 Aug 2023 16:18 PDT

With Hurricane Hilary aiming for arrival in Southern California early Monday morning, recreational boat owners must prepare now to help prevent damage to their boats, according to Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). The national boating organization with more than 70,000 members in the Golden State has time-tested tips and free hurricane-preparation information available at

"While Hilary may be downgraded as she travels northward, the storm's coastal path puts a lot of harbors in the crosshairs. Combined with high winds and rain, the storm could present issues for recreational boat owners," says Scott Croft, BoatUS spokesperson. With nearly 40 years of experience in recreational boat hurricane preparedness, BoatUS offers these six hurricane-preparation tips:

  1. Owners of trailerable vessels should consider removing their boats from the water and storing ashore, away from trees.
  2. For larger boats, Croft says check your insurance for "Hurricane Haulout" coverage which may help foot the bill to get the boat safely out of harm's way. GEICO policies offered by BoatUS pay for up to half of the cost (up to $1,000) to remove a vessel and store ashore.
  3. If you must leave your boat in a slip, ensure lines are in good condition and consider adding extra lines, fenders and chafe protection.
  4. Remove windage such as bimini tops or other wind-catching canvas, and secure or remove sails and deck furniture.
  5. Ensure hatches and doors are secure, deck scuppers are clear, and heavy rains have a way to easily exit the boat.
  6. Go to to learn more on how to prepare for Hilary. Available for free are a BoatUS Magazine "Hurricane Preparations Guide," "Hurricane Preparation Worksheet," and a "Guide for Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes." A video playlist includes nine hurricane-preparation videos making it easy to understand the steps to take.
Go to for more.

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