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Maritimo 2023 M600 LEADERBOARD

How to prepare a boat for Idalia

by Scott Croft 28 Aug 2023 16:51 PDT
BoatUS hurricane preparation information for boat owners includes helpful diagrams on how to best protect a boat stored in the water, such as here when a slip is not available © BoatUS

With Tropical Storm Idalia about to reach hurricane strength, Florida boaters need to consider preparing to minimize or prevent damage to their boats, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). The advocacy, services and safety group has more than 40 years of experience salvaging boats after hurricanes and in analyzing how they are harmed by hurricane events.

BoatUS offers a Tropical Storm Idalia, three-step game plan for any type of recreational boat owner:

  1. If your boat is of trailerable size, take it out of the water and bring it home. Locate it in an area away from trees.
  2. If you have a bigger boat, consider hauling it out. Some insurance policies will help you offset the cost for a "hurricane haul-out" to lower the risk for damage, but there may not always be time. Check your policy.
  3. If the boat will need to weather the storm in a marina slip, add extra lines, chafe protection and fenders. Remove anything that can catch the wind, and ensure doors and hatches are tight and deck scuppers clear so the boat sheds water easily.

All Florida boat owners have free recreational boat hurricane preparation information available at BoatUS.com/Hurricanes, including information on how to weather the storm in the slip or store ashore, on a boat lift, in canals, or at marinas and boat clubs. Videos, downloadable preparation guides and checklist are available. "Our goal is to give every boat the best chance to come through the storm unscathed," said BoatUS spokesperson Scott Croft.

BoatUS has nearly 200,000 members in Florida, more than any other state. Go to BoatUS.com/Hurricanes for more.

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