8 Tips for Sailing in the Caribbean

8 Tips for Sailing in the Caribbean


A sailing trip in the Caribbean can be a truly magnificent experience, but there are some pitfalls that could sour the experience. Arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible before you head off on your adventure will ensure a smooth voyage. Keep the following eight tips in mind for sailing in the Caribbean so you don’t end up in a precarious situation in foreign waters.

1. What to Pack

One of the most important things you must do is pack everything you need. Keep your packing to a minimum as space on board is always a little tight. Items you need to remember include: sunblock, toiletries, polarized sunglasses, deck shoes, personal wipes, and Aloe Vera lotion. You also want to bring a soft duffel bag instead of a hard case to make stowing your gear easier. Keep clothing to a minimum to save space – you’ll find that your swimsuit and a few T-shirts will suffice.

2. Staying Safe from Pirates

This isn’t the Caribbean of old with Blackbeard and other buccaneers running wild, but there are still pirates operating in the Caribbean. Most of the incidents occur near Venezuela, Grenada, and sometimes Trinidad & Tobago. Try to avoid danger areas, and make sure you always have a good radio with the Coast Guard frequencies programmed into it so you can call for help if necessary.

3. Protect Your Boat When You Are Onshore

Pirates are a possibility, but burglaries when you are away from the boat are much more likely. The best way to prevent this is to always secure your boat with heavy-duty locks whenever you leave. You may think it is a hassle if you are just going on a short excursion, but you’d be surprised how quickly it can happen, and it is far better to go to that effort than to risk coming back to find your ship ransacked. Installing a security alarm is also a smart idea to scare thieves away.

4. Know the Customs Rules

You had better know all the customs rules of any island you are planning to visit before you land, for docking at the wrong port could cost you a hefty fine. Try to stick to The French islands for a more relaxed customs experience. On the other hand, the British Virgin Islands and Antigua should be avoided as their customs officials can be a pain.

5. Leave the Guns at Home

It just isn’t worth it to bring a gun with you. You may believe it will make you safer, but the odds are more likely that you will be killed if you have a gun during a pirate attack. Also, forgetting to declare your weapon to customs officials can get you some serious jail time for arms trafficking.

6. Always Secure Your Dinghy

No matter how isolated a spot you may be in, you should always lock your dinghy up. If you make it a habit, you’ll never forget to secure your dinghy, and as a result, you’ll never risk having it stolen.

7. Know Where to Get Provisions

As well as having friendlier, more relaxed customs officials, the French islands in the Caribbean are good for provisioning your yacht. Experienced Caribbean skippers highly recommend Martinique in particular for purchasing provisions. Also, as a general rule, prices for parts and provisions get cheaper the farther south you sail.

8. Insurance is a Must

Every ocean voyage has the potential for disaster to strike, but that doesn’t mean you have to pay the price for it. Inclement weather, pirates, illness, and other critical situations you face become much easier to handle when you have the safety net of insurance to fall back on. So, never leave for a Caribbean sailing trip without insuring yourself and your vessel. Even if you believe nothing will go wrong, you’ll be thankful to have the peace of mind in the case it does.

A trip to the Caribbean is almost always a dream voyage, but you have to do your part to make sure it goes off without a hitch. Proper planning before you leave and taking precautions as you sail is the best way to ensure your Caribbean sailing trip is a memorable one.


Ryan Bridges is a contributing writer and media specialist for CYI Charters. He regularly produces content for a variety of sailing blogs, based around the challenges that come with preparing for voyages and purchasing vessels.



Marine Survey Checklist – Courtesy of www.sailboatsurveys.com

Sailboat Survey Checklist

A comprehensive marine survey of a sailboat typically will include inspection, evaluation, and possibly testing of the following:

  • The boat’s deck, topsides, cockpit, superstructure, and rigging. All parts of the boat that are reasonably accessible will be inspected.

    Marine surveyors will check the boat thoroughly for signs of leaks, which will be noted in the survey report


    • Deck and deck core: Inspection includes visual examination for moisture penetration and delamination
    • Deck fittings such as cleats and chainplates: Will be inspected for soundness, water-tightness, and miscellaneous damage and wear. When water or moisture gets into the deck core, delamination can result.
    • Hatches, lockers, and lazarettes: Will be inspected for fit and operation, signs of damage, excess caulking that could indicate prior repairs, stress cracks, and wear and tear. Ideally, all lockers and lazarettes will be empty, or can be emptied, so that the surveyor can get a good look at the entire interior.
    • Transom
    • Rails, lifelines, pulpit, stanchions, cleats, fairleads, winches
    • Helm station
    • Mast and rigging
      • Mast, boom, and poles
      • Rigging wire will be inspected for broken strands and chafing.
      • Turnbuckles and other connections will be examined
      • Eye terminals will be checked for corrosion, cracks, and shape
      • Mast should be straight, even, and sound, without corrosion or damage
      • Mast pulleys, welds, winches, and other moving parts will be examined
      • Spreaders and fittings will be examined for corrosion, wear, or chafing
      • Dodger, bimini, and other canvas attachments
      • Halyards, reefing, sheeting, leads, cleats and jam cleats, traveler, vang
    • The boat’s interior
      • Sole (cabin floor) will be inspected for damage and signs of leaks
      • Layout and finish
      • Galley
        • Stove, oven, refrigeration
        • Propane storage and system
        • Sink and faucet
      • Sleeping accommodations, furnishings, doors, drawers, latches, interior storage areas
    • Engine and engine room
      • Engine beds and mounts
      • Fuel, oil, coolant fluids, exhaust
      • Drive train
    • Bilge and bilge pumps

Most surveyors will check to make sure thru-hull fittings are of bronze, not PVC, and that thru-hull valves are ball valves, not gate valves. Additionally, many surveyors will make note if hoses attached to thru-hulls do not have two hose clamps, and if any hoses are kinked or bent.


  • Thru-hulls and thru-hull fittings, including valves, clamps, and hoses
  • Fuel system, including tank and mounts, fuel lines, filter, and shutoff
  • Holding tanks and water tanks, including mounts, hoses, and shore connections
  • Hull, keel, bottom, propeller, skeg,. All components of the survey below the waterline require haulout of the boat. The surveyor will also look for signs of grounding or impact damage, stress cracks, repairs, or distortions.
    • Keel: Damage or signs of repair on the bottom or leading part of the keel are common in boats sailed in shallow water. An experienced surveyor will be able to evaluate the severity of the damage.
    • Swing keels: The surveyor will want to get under the boat with a flashlight to look up into the keel housing.
    • Hull: The hull inspection includes examination for blisters or signs of potential blistering in the fiberglass. Minor blistering usually isn’t something to worry about, as most boats will develop some blistering over the years, but serious blistering can be problematic and can be costly to repair.
    • Thru-hulls, grills, sea valves: All thru-hull openings will be inspected for a variety of possible problems resulting from damage or normal degradation and wear.
    • Propeller, shaft, and supporting struts: The prop should be sound, the shaft straight and true, and supports strong and sturdy without excess looseness.
  • Steering
    • Rudder: The surveyor will be looking for easy, smooth rudder motion, and also checking for looseness or wear in the hinges and for signs of water seepage into the rudder itself.
    • Tiller
    • Wheel and linkages
    • Autopilot
  • Structural integrity
  • Anchors and ground tackle
  • Design features and aftermarket structural modifications
  • Cosmetic condition and finish.
  • Overall maintenance
  • Electrical equipment (both AC and DC), power supply, and circuits
    • Installation: Is the equipment installed in compliance with safety requirements and sound practices?
    • Operation: Does all electrical equipment function properly?
  • Plumbing
    • Seacocks: Are all seacocks operational, with free movement when opening or closing
    • Head: Toilet, sink, faucet, shower, drain, pump
    • Taps: Do all interior and exterior taps, faucets, and sprayers operate properly, and is there any leakage?
    • Hoses, screens, strainers: Are hoses cracked or brittle? What is the condition of screens and strainers? What is the condition of all hose clamps and supports?
    • Is there any moisture or any water puddles or stains anywhere that may be a result of any leakage or failure in the plumbing system?
  • Safety equipment: The presence and condition of:
    • PFDs (personal floation devices)
    • Fixed and portable fire extinguishers
    • Visual distress signals
    • Sound-producing devices (audible signals)
    • Navigation lights
    • Engine exhaust blowers and engine room ventilation
    • Oil discharge and garbage disposal placards
    • Any auxiliary safety equipment, such as smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and first aid kits
  • Ship’s papers, documentation (if documented), vessel registration, and hull numbers
  • Compliance with Coast Guard requirements, recommendations of the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC), and recommendations of the National Fire Protection Association.

Not Normally Included In A Marine Survey

The construction techniques and materials used in construction of yachts make it impossible for surveyors to examine every part of the boat. Wire and plumbing runs are hidden from view; bulkheads and other structural components block access to various areas; and in general the surveyor is simply unable to see or otherwise evaluate various elements of the boat. The professional marine surveyor should make clear what parts of the boat and its systems he was unable to inspect.

Additionally, weather conditions, mechanical breakdowns, boatyard delays, or other factors may prevent the surveyor from completing all of the factors that would normally be surveyed. These items should also be noted by the surveyor in his report. Most surveyors will not make a return trip to survey such items, unless special arrangements are made.

Marine surveys typically will not include the following, unless special arrangements have been made with the surveyor and/or the owner:

  • Inspection of rigging, mast and equipment mounted above deck level (e.g., top of mast, radar dish mounted on top of mast)
  • Inspections that would require disassembling parts of the boat, electronic equipment, or machinery.
  • Full mechanical testing and analysis: The surveyor will visually inspect the engine for wear, loose wires or clamps, etc., and will have the engine run to watch and listen to it — but the marine surveyor is not a marine mechanic. If you want a complete mechanical inspection, you should make arrangements with a marine mechanic.
  • Drilling holes, removing paneling, paint or gelcoat, or other destructive actions.
  • Removal of carpeting, headliner, cabinetry, liners, or other parts.
  • Opening or removing holding tanks, water tanks, or gas tanks, or pressure tests of tanks, lines and plumbing.
  • The surveyor typically will not perform any calibrations, adjustments, or repairs.

Boats do not “pass” or “fail” a marine survey. Rather, the surveyor provides a detailed report of the boat’s condition, its systems, and any defects found, and provides recommendations for repairs and an evaluation of the boat’s fair market value, based on the surveyer’s expert opinion. The buyer who commissioned the boat survey then decides if he wishes to proceed with the purchase, cancel the purchase, or re-open negotiations with the seller for price concessions or repairs based on the survey report. The surveyor also does not make insurance or financing decisions; the insurance companies and lending institutions make their own independent decisions about boat loans and boat insurance, based in part on the survey report. The lender or insurance company may refuse to insure or finance the boat, or they may require that certain repairs or replacements be performed before they will issue the boat insurance or boat loan.

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Boat Insurance Review 2017 – Article by Keven Curan of All Things Boat

“Blue Water Yacht Insurance, Inc. is a favorite for the long distance, international cruisers. If you’re planning to sail around the world or perhaps spend a few years in Polynesia, put in a call to Blue Water Yacht. They cover a niche market in that they offer coverage for transatlantic passages, Panama Canal crossing, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermuda, Mexico, South Pacific, East and West Coast USA, Gulf of Mexico, Canada and Alaska. Their policies also allow for single-hand sailing (with restrictions) and they offer policies for captain chartering. They generally allow coverage for passages with just 2 crew members. This is suited for a husband and wife team.

Blue Water Yacht Insurance, Inc. is located in Jupiter, Florida. They are backed by A+ rated underwriters including Lloyd’s of London.

Incidentally, international cruisers should be prepared for extra demands from insurance companies prior to agreeing on a policy. For example, it’s common for Caribbean Cruisers to be asked for provide a rigging inspection, as tropical storms can often topple a mast and boom off a poorly rigged boat. Also, as you may imagine, sailing around the world requires considerable skill and experience. You will receive much more scrutiny regarding your skill level when applying for a worldwide policy via Blue Water…..” -Kevin Curan

Here is a link to the full article where Blue Water Yacht is featured on comparing boat insurance by Kevin Curan. To read the full article, click here.

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How to Legally Get to Cuba from the U.S on Your Yacht – Courtesy of Cuba Journal

It is no wonder why the US yachting community has fallen in love with Cuba.

After all, Cuba’s coastline is 40% longer than Florida’s and is largely undeveloped and
unspoiled. In response, Cuba is planning a major expansion of its marinas.

In light of the expected increase in recreational arrivals to Cuba (in large part from the
US), the business group Boating and Marinas Marlin SA is promoting foreign
investment proposals aimed at creating new facilities and expanding those in

According to Business Director Ramiro Mas Camacho, last year the group presented a
portfolio of seven projects, three of which will go forward in the coming months.

He said that they have since received several offers from foreign investors for the
expansion of the Nautical Base Tarara, with the aim of reaching a capacity of 250
berths in the first stage.

He added that a project at Dársena Varadero marina is also intended to increase
berths, while the base project of Santa Lucia, located in Camagüey, also includes a real
estate development and golf course adjacent to the facility.

Marina Hemingway, operated by Cuba government-owned Cubanacán, is Cuba’s
largest marina with a capacity of about 100 vessels. The marina is located nine miles
west of Havana.

Nighttime entry is not advised. Vessels can hail the port captain on VHF channel 77 or
over SSB 7462.

Before you provision your ship and plot out a travel plan, be aware there are a number
of important US requirements to meet before you set sail.

According to Michael Moore, a leading maritime attorney based in Coral Gables, Florida, the list of requirements he advises adhering to includes:

1. US Coast Guard CG 3300 Approved Permit (2 copies)
2. US Coast Guard Documentation Form ( If yours is a documented Vessel)
3. State Registration (If applicable)
4. US Customs Decal number and sticker
5. Copy of your insurance policy with Cuban coverage
6. All Persons onboard have a Valid Passport valid for a least 6 months remaining
7. Proof of Payment of To Any Official Cuban Event, such as a Fishing Tournament with Registration and Proof of Payment
8. Proof of Payment of Hotel (If Applicable)
9. Issued Cuba n Visa for each crew member (Traveling by boat)
10. Completed Cuban “Declaracion” (General Statement of Foreign Vessels)
11. Certification of Travel to Cuba Under General License (Executed)
12. Cuban “Lista De Tripulantes” (Listing of crews Visa Number, Last Name, First Name, Date of Birth, Citizenship, Sex and Passport Number
13. Small Vessel Reporting System (SVRS) Approval or Local Boater Option Card (Optional but, if not acquired you and all crew members will need to report to a US Customs office within 24 hours of entering the US and could face boarding and/or inspection)
14. Copy of Moore & Co. Email confirming your exemption from the Department of Commerce and US Treasury Office of Foreign Asset Control Permits Here’s how to contact Moore & Company

See full article here

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Is Italian Boating Recovering? – Courtesy of Boat and Boats Magazine

How’ s Italian boating? The great boat shows’ season has just finished and it’s time to take stock. To do that, we can use “Boating in Numbers“,the traditional report issued by Ucina and Edison every year.

We already told you some weeks ago that signs are encouraging and operators start to be moderately optimistic. But let’s see some essential numbers.

Here are the main indicators which tell the Italian boating’s trend between 2014 and 2015.

Overall turnover 2.90 billion euros (+ 17.1%)
Domestic production (Italy) : 0.55 billion euros (+13.1%)
Italian market: 0.95 billion euros (+ 21.3%)
Real operators 18.130 (+ 3.0%)
Contribution to GDP 1,75‰ ( + 19.0%)

So, positive numbers, especially as concerns the growing trend (and the first data of 2016, compared to 2015, seem to confirm them with a remarkable increase in the overall turnover, according to what said by Carla de Maria, president of Ucina, at the end of Genoa Boat Show) after a flat trend between 2012 and 2013 and a terrible crisis since 2009.

The main contribution comes from yards, which generate over the half of the sector’s turnover (55%), followed by accessories (29%), engines (9%), refitting, reparations and garaging (7%).

As regards the geographical allocation of turnover, 65% comes from foreign markets, 19% from the national market while 16% comes from importations.

One among the most encouraging factors is that the Italian market has contributed to the overall turnover with 950 million euros, marking a +21.3% than 2014 and reversing the negative trend of the last few years.

One of the best sectors concerns sailing boats (55,192,000 euros as global market) which registered a remarkable + 73%, even though over 40% comes from importations.

According to UCINA, the real workers in the sector are 16,750 (they were 16,400 last year), almost the half of whom are employed in the production and importation of new units. External workers are almost 2000 (1,800 in 2014) and they generally work for an average period of about 9 months, while over 65% of them are employed for more than 11 months a year.

Finally, Italians confirm to love motorboats: 80.5 % of the vessels registered are motorboats, 19.3 % are sailing boats while 0.2 % is represented by recreational ships (more than 24 m long).

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For full article and source, click here

Three Keys to Make Docking Easier – by Boating Magazine

Turning Circle
Turning circle is the amount of space your boat requires to complete a turn.

The Importance: Knowing the turning circle is helpful whether you “dead-end” in a marina fairway or you encounter a current that’s running strong at the fuel dock.

The Details: Boats with props aft of the transom turn wider than boats having props forward of the transom.

The Zen: Be attentive to how sharply your boat turns at various speeds. Note the distance between your boat and “landmarks” like pilings, bow pulpits and raised outboards. Do this especially in situations where you have the procedure down cold. With each repetition you are engraving your boat’s turning circle on the tablet your inner captain uses for direction. With time, you’ll know the turning circle at all speeds intuitively.

This is how far your boat coasts, and with how much force, once you shift into neutral.

The Importance: Familiarity with carry is imperative to using current, wind and throttle.

The Details: Carry will vary with underwater form, propeller diameter and windage. A deeper boat, taller boat or boats with bigger wheels generally carry farther when placed in neutral.

The Zen: Carry, Grasshopper, varies as an exponent of boat speed and with the speed of the wind and the current. Pay attention to all three while docking. Note the speed and direction of the variables affecting carry. I suggest monitoring engine rpm rather than boat speed for this purpose. Do so, and hopefully you’ll avoid a need to rev the engines wide open in reverse gear to prevent a collision.

Kick is the direction and amount of sideways movement imparted to the stern when you shift an engine into gear.

The Importance: Since stopping is a primary component of docking, failure to be cognizant of kick results in problems when reverse thrust is applied while docking.

The Details: A turning propeller induces a sideways “moment” or force, called propeller torque. The effect of prop torque on any given boat is that boat’s “kick.” Kick varies with rpm applied and the direction of the prop’s rotation. Rudder or gear case position can enhance or diminish kick’s effect.

The Zen: While docking, hone your focus on the rudder/drive/gear case position and the engine’s rpm before you shift. Shift into neutral before making a change to the rudder. Practice keeping the rudder/drive/engine centered, and soak in the effect that changes in prop rotation (gear) and speed (rpm) have upon your vessel. Osmosis can be a great teaching tool. Allow your inner captain to accept it.

Quick Tip: Crew moving to one side to help causes the boat to list and thus handle differently.

Kick is the direction and amount of sideways movement imparted to the stern when you shift an engine into gear.

The Importance: Since stopping is a primary component of docking, failure to be cognizant of kick results in problems when reverse thrust is applied while docking.

The Details: A turning propeller induces a sideways “moment” or force, called propeller torque. The effect of prop torque on any given boat is that boat’s “kick.” Kick varies with rpm applied and the direction of the prop’s rotation. Rudder or gear case position can enhance or diminish kick’s effect.

The Zen: While docking, hone your focus on the rudder/drive/gear case position and the engine’s rpm before you shift. Shift into neutral before making a change to the rudder. Practice keeping the rudder/drive/engine centered, and soak in the effect that changes in prop rotation (gear) and speed (rpm) have upon your vessel. Osmosis can be a great teaching tool. Allow your inner captain to accept it.

Quick Tip: Crew moving to one side to help causes the boat to list and thus handle differently.

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For full article and source, click here

Hurricane Season is here! Boaters, are you ready?

As a yacht insurance company that insures all kinds of boats, Blue Water Yacht Insurance, Inc. not only cares about their insurable interest (the boat) but we care about our customer’s safety. We insure a lot of boaters in Florida, Bahamas and all over the Caribbean. We also insure boats in Mexico. These areas are prime storm locations as we all very well know. The best advice is to be prepared and if you think you are prepared, prepare some more.

1. Keep your boat in a secure marina with a dockmaster who has their own hurricane plan established. And be aware of your surroundings like the boater next to you, who may not be as prepared as you are. Hurricane holes are also a great place to hunker down.

2. Secure your boat properly. Hurricane force winds dramatically increase wear and tear on hardware (i.e., chafe, cleats and chocks, and windage). If the wind speed is doubled, the force impact is 4 times greater. As an example, a 20 knot wind exerts a force of 1.3 lbs per square foot; double the speed to 40 knots and you end up with 4 times the pressure at 5.2 lbs per square foot. Purchase and use chafe protectors on all lines as unprotected lines will chafe and sever within minutes under a hurricane. Wave surge is another danger to boater and can increase loading and these forces are also transferred to the mooring so be certain that all eye splices have thimbles.

3. Types of lines can also make a difference. Nylon will stretch under loads but under sever loading, the friction from stretching increases the internal temperature and the line melts. Use longer lines and large in diameter to resist chafe and excessive stretching. Double up on any critical lines. Use chafe protectors wherever the line comes in contact with anything like chocks, pulpits, pilings or trees. Also, chafe protectors must be strong, long and secured to the docking lines. Canvas protectors can be sewn or tied to the line as well. Backing plates are a great way to beef up your dock cleats.

4. Reduce windage by removing everything to reduce wind resistance. For example, Biminis, antennas, deck-stowed anchors, sails, running rigging, booms, life rings, dinghies, etc. This also drastically reduces the chances of those items being damaged or blown away. Also, remove furling headsails. Even when furled, they offer a sizable amount of wind resistance and additional load on the headstay. Arrange halyards to reduce flogging and damage, both to the fittings on the halyard and to the objects in their path. One method to eliminate halyard slapping and windage is to tie all halyards off to a common messenger line and run the halyards to the top of the mast, reducing the number of lines exposed to the wind from as many as three or four to only one. Tie the messenger off on a rail.

5. Prevent water damage by removing all cowl ventilators and replacing them with closure plates or tape off the vents using duct tape. Be certain Dorade box and cockpit drains are clear of debris. Close all seacocks except those used for drainage. Put bung plugs in unused thru-hulls and one in the exhaust to prevent water from flooding your engine. Deck drains and pump discharges located near the waterline can back flow when wind and waves put drains underwater. Use duct tape and precut plywood panels to cover exposed instruments. Examine all hatches, ports, coaming compartments and sea lockers for leaks. Use duct tape to seal them off. Make sure that all papers (magazines, books, catalogs) are high enough in the boat to prevent them from getting wet if the cabin is flooded. Wet paper can turn into a pulpy mush, clogging bilge pumps. Prepare two lists: one listing all items to be removed from the boat prior to moving it to where it will ride out the hurricane and another listing all equipment needed to prepare your boat for the blow. Electronics are particularly susceptible to water damage; if they can be removed from the boat quickly, add them to the list, along with clothing and other personal effects. Other items that should be removed include: outboard engines, portable fuel tanks, propane tanks, important ship’s papers and personal papers, as well as any other essential personal effects.

6. The list of items to be taken aboard include everything you’ve assembled beforehand to prepare your boat. Many times, the extra “hurricane only” items will be stored ashore — a well-organized list ensures nothing is missed when the hurricane package is taken aboard: extra lines, chafing gear, fenders, anchors, swivels, shackles, duct tape, bung plugs — all the items identified during your planning session. Include a dinghy or some other method for getting ashore after you’ve secured your boat.

7. Make sure your batteries are fully charged. If needed, take additional batteries aboard to boost available capacity.

8. If you are going to move your boat before a hurricane, take the boat there on a trial run, noting how long it takes as well as any problems you might encounter under actual emergency conditions. Are there any bridges? Many communities require drawbridges to be “locked down” when a hurricane watch is issued. During Hurricane Andrew, many boat owners were prevented from moving their boats to more protected locations because bridges were locked down. If you plan on moving a trailerable boat out of the hurricane area, get out early. Many communities prohibit cars with trailers on the road after issuing a hurricane watch. Before the season arrives, inspect your trailer for defects and fix them. During your test run, make a diagram of how your mooring/docking lines will be arranged. Note any additional equipment you’ll need to secure your boat and add it to the list.

9. LEAVE EARLY! DO NOT WAIT TO TAKE ACTION. A hurricane warning is issued when sustained winds exceeding 64 knots are expected within 24 hours. Winds may rise quickly. Securing a boat in 35-knot winds is extremely difficult; it’s impossible in 45-knot winds. A hurricane watch is issued when hurricane conditions pose a threat to a specific coastal area within 36 hours. Drawbridges may be locked down after a watch is issued. You may find your secluded hurricane hole or protected canal inaccessible or already filled with boats. Start moving as soon as you feel a hurricane watch is probable. Don’t rely on emergency services for assistance. Many harbor and marine patrols remove their vessels from the water or sequester them prior to the onset of storm and hurricane force winds. After you’ve secured your boat, double-check everything. Turn off all electrical power except the bilge pumps. Test bilge pump switches and pump intakes for debris.

10. DO NOT STAY ON YOUR BOAT! 50% of all hurricane-related deaths occur from boat owners trying to secure their boats in deteriorating conditions. Develop a well-thought-out hurricane plan, be prepared to implement it in the shortest possible time and, when completed, leave the boat to its own survival. There is absolutely nothing you can do when hurricane force winds are screaming across the deck.

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