Hurricane season is here.
Officially beginning today, June 1, forecasters are predicting a “near normal” year of storm activity, which means there’s a good chance that tropical storms will strike the US coastline, and some could even head into the Gulf of Mexico toward Texas.
However, BoatUS has found a new tactic for preparing for incoming storms — using tie downs with boats stored ashore — that has proven to significantly lessen the impact of storm damage.
“We’ve known for a long time that the most effective storm preparation tactic a boat owner can do is to remove the boat from the water and store her ashore in a location above the anticipated storm surge,” said BoatUS Director of Damage Avoidance Bob Adriance. “That’s why we created the Hurricane Haul-out Coverage overage included in all our boat insurance policies that helps defray the cost to remove a boat from the water.”
“But over the last few years, we’ve now learned that if you add tie-downs on both sides of a boat that are secured to deck cleats and either embedded in the concrete pad or deeply screwed into the earth with helical anchors, you can almost eliminate storm damage from all but the most severe storms. Of course, you also have to include other measures, such as reducing windage by removing roller-furled sails and biminis, and ensuring that jack-stands rest on a firm surface, but if you want the least damage and want to get back on the water after a storm as quickly as possible, pulling the boat from the water and firmly tying her down are a winning plan,” added Adriance.
BoatUS also offers free online help with the web’s most complete Hurricane Resource Center designed specifically for boaters, clubs and marinas at www.BoatUS.com/Hurricanes. It includes detailed storm-tracking information as well as the no-cost, downloadable Boater’s Guide to Preparing Boats and Marinas for Hurricanes.
All BoatUS boat policies include “Named Storm Haul-out Reimbursement.” When a boat is in the path of a NOAA-named storm (within the five-day “cone”), a boater is eligible to be reimbursed for 50% of the cost of labor, up to $1,000, to have the boat professionally hauled, prepared and tied-down, or moved to a safe location. With BoatUS, a hurricane haul-out “claim” does not penalize a policyholder.