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Boca Marina Yacht Club - Boating Resources - Hurricane Preparation

Home Boating & Weather Hurricane Preparation



Ignoring a natural phenomenon will not make its threat go away. That's why Boca Marina Yacht Club has chosen to approach the subject of hurricane preparedness for yacht owners.

The annual North American hurricane season begins in June and ends in November. However, the months of August, September and October represent the highest storm risk, and historically most storms have occurred during September. It should be pointed out that there have been storms in all the months of the year except April, so the absentee yacht owner should never take anything for granted.

During the average year, three hurricanes will strike the U.S. somewhere between Texas and Maine, killing 50 to 100 people and resulting in property damage into the millions of dollars. Coastal areas feel the greatest impact.

Recognizing that the ONLY way to minimize death and destruction from hurricanes is through understanding and preparation, we retained a marine consultant to evaluate Boca Marina Yacht Club and compile the following list of precautions that pertain directly to you.

National Resources


Local Resources



Preparedness Checklist



  • Hurricane moorings away from the premises should be located in advance. Permission should be obtained from appropriate persons. For keel boats, make certain there is enough water at low tide.

  • A practice run should be made to check accessibility, depth of water, bridges, locating aids and/or obstructions to navigation and objects to secure lines to or drop anchors. (Remember, draw bridges may not open for boats during evacuation procedures.)

  • Record and keep with you the vessel's registration number (engine numbers, etc.), description, and location where it was secured.

  • Inform the local Marine Patrol or police officials of your secured vessel's identification and location.

  • Vacations, business trips or other reasons for being out of town during hurricane season -- May through November -- will necessitate your making plans with someone knowledgeable of these procedures to care for your boat, should the need arise.

  • Check your insurance policy with your agent. Be certain you are adequately protected and take any precautions required by such policy.


  • Lines of adequate length (several hundred feet) and size (minimum 5/8") and preferably of nylon (for strength and stretch) should be available. Have more than you think you will need. Line size will vary with size of vessel.

  • Chafing gear for all lines should be used to protect them from wear at contact points. Old rags are very good. If water hose is used, be sure it is large enough for line.

  • Fenders of adequate size and strength (old tires are good) should be well secured to your boat to protect it from other boats, sea walls, etc.

  • Radio equipment for receiving weather information (NOAA Weather Radio) and communications should be available.

  • Anchors should be oversized (twenty-five pounds or heavier) and all methods to improve holding power should be used.

  • Fuel tanks should be kept full, if possible, during hurricane season. There is not time or supply available just prior to a hurricane.

  • Batteries should be kept fully charged. An extra or spare battery would be a good idea. Keep bilge pumps in working order.


  • Prepare, in advance, a checklist of things needed to secure vessel. Assemble equipment and supplies and keep them together. Do not tie off lines to the concrete dock bollards at any time. Tie to cleats only.

  • Large trees may be used to fasten vessel. Ensure that they are alive and have good root system. Some may be stronger than man-made pilings. Be sure to check the strength of things you tie to.

  • Tides can reach heights above normal, particularly when it backs up into waterways. When securing lines, take care to consider this. Your boat could be pulled under or damaged as the tide rises.

  • Wind direction reverses itself in a hurricane. Secure boat for all directions. (Use more than one anchor.)

  • Strip boat of all moveable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, radios, cushions, and lash down all you cannot remove, such as tillers, wheels, booms, etc.

  • Seal all openings (air conditioning duct tape is good) to make boat as watertight as possible.

  • If you leave your boat on a davit, open the boat drains before securing.


  • Leave early for safe harbor. Be sure not to block the passage of other boats in the waterway which have moorings further inshore. Cooperate with other skippers in securing their boats and assist them as long as safe and prudent. Follow the directions of the police. Remember, there may not be room for your boat at the last minute.

  • Do Not Stay Aboard! Even small hurricanes with sustained winds of 75 MPH have gusts of 110 MPH that would blow anyone off the deck. Rescue efforts are impossible. If living on board, do not stay on board. Seek safe shelter on land.

  • Do Not Attempt to Leave the Area! (unless you have a fast boat and are prepared to travel long distances in rough weather).


  • Check for damage to boat and equipment before moving.

  • When proceeding to home port, watch carefully for obstructions, loose debris in the water, etc. Markers and other aids to navigation may be missing.

Association Responsibilities


In the event of a hurricane, both the Homeowners and the Association have a great deal to do. Often it has been unclear as to the responsibilities of the Association and those of the Homeowners.

The staff of the Association is responsible to secure items in the common area. These include: removal of pool furniture of tennis court nets and screening materials.

  • securing all items in the compound area

  • securing the club house, guard house, and installing hurricane shutters

  • securing all HOA vehicles

Individual Homeowners are responsible to:

  • secure their boats

  • lower boats on lifts

  • lower hurricane shutters

  • deploy hurricane panels

  • remove patio furniture and plants from decks

Boca Marina Staff will not be available to assist!

Please remember that damage caused by your boat is your responsibility. If you are not in residence at the time of the storm, it is still your responsibility to make the necessary preparations. Plans should be made to have all boats properly secured and as far away from the seawall as possible. At the time of a hurricane, watch boats should be secured with lines across the canals to keep from damaging the boat against the seawall. Boats on lifts must be lowered into the water and secured. On the lift, they could turn as a missile.

If the Homeowners are requested by Police or other authorities to leave the community, plan ahead by having your car filled with gas and a place selected to go. Roads become congested and travel is a problem the closer we get to the arrival of the storm.

The security guards will remain on post until the storm conditions require they leave. Remember to lock your home and make preparations for your valuable papers and other items you cannot afford to lose.





Copyright 2008-2024 Brian Styles. All rights reserved. Legal Information.