- Remove all detachable items from your boat, such as sails, canvas, cushions, fishing rigging and gear, electronics, and antennas. Lash down everything you cannot remove, including booms, tillers, wheels, etc. Store your dinghy and its outboard motor away from the boat and inside, if possible. Don’t leave important documents like the boat’s registration on board.
- Disconnect the shore power. If your boat is in a slip with shore power, be sure all power is turned off and all shore power cords are stowed securely. This could prevent electrical fires.
- If your boat is on a trailer, lash it down. Use tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground, let the air out of its tires, and weigh down the frame.
- If your boat is on a lift, remove it. If possible, store the boat in a less vulnerable location on land.
- If your boat is in a marina, center it in its slip. Double up all dock lines and make sure they are of sufficient length to compensate for extreme high water. Check that the boats docked near yours also are securely double-tied. A boat that breaks loose in a hurricane could wind up damaging your boat and others.
- If your boat is at anchor, put out extra scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.
- Double check bilge pumps: Make sure adequate power is available to run bilge pumps for a prolonged period of time as rain falls. We often see these large rain events drain the boat's batteries and the boat then sinks when the bilge pumps stop working.
The most important advice is to resist the urge to stay with your boat or try to ride out a storm on board. No matter how valuable your vessel may be to you, it’s not worth risking your life.