How to Prepare My Fishing Boat For a Hurricane
The time has come. Hurricane season is upon us and it’s important to know how to prepare your fishing boat for a hurricane before the storm hits Louisiana. Fishing boats are often left unprotected during hurricanes, so we’re here with some tips on how to protect your boat from flooding and winds.
Inspect Your Fishing Boat Before the Hurricane
Winds can create wave action which eventually leads to swelling waves crashing over your vessel. This will put extra wear-and-tear on your boat, not to mention threatening any loose gear that isn’t properly secured down. If you see that there are issues with huge things like motors or holes in the hull of her, then get that fixed before the storm hits! Smaller issues like leaking through hatches are to fix by yourself, but you should definitely let someone know about them.
Maintain and Create Inventory of All Items
You can leave personal items on the boat, as well as those that you take with you. You can mark valuable items so that they are easily found. Keep a record of the boat and its contents, either video or photograph, in a safe place. This may be required by your boat insurance policy.
Strap Down Your Fishing Gear
No matter how well you’ve prepared your fishing boat, there’s no way to prevent the damage of your equipment during a hurricane unless you strap everything down. You can purchase straps with built-in locks at most boating supply stores. If you don’t have anything for securing your gear, then many boating supply stores also sell cam nets which are great for keeping lines from tangling up on one another and getting lost, especially if your electronics go out during the storm. For things like rods and reels, simply place each rod, including telescopic fishing rods, in it’s own holder or tie them together with some rope that’s attached to something sturdy on the deck of the vessel. It’s very important that everything is well-secured at all times.
Make Sure You Are Familiar With Your Marine Insurance
Although storms can be unpredictable, it is important to understand your marine insurance policy. There may be certain requirements that your policy requires you to comply with. Many boaters have discovered that their insurance policies don’t cover storm damage. Make sure you read all information to prepare for hurricane season.
Keep Insurance and Other Important Documents Close
Important information can be kept safe and easily accessible. This can be done on any boat with a waterproof floating lockbox. These items can be made into duplicates or documented as part of your equipment inventory. All records should be consolidated in a safe place.
Keep an Eye on Weather Reports or Alerts
Severe weather conditions or hurricane watches/warnings are not something you want to ignore no matter what kind of activity you’re involved in. Keeping an eye on the forecast will help you be reasonably prepared for any weather conditions so your fishing boat remains safe during a hurricane.
Don’t Stay Onboard
A hurricane can produce winds up to 100 mph and tornadoes can even form during these storms. You will risk your life if you board a boat during a severe storm. Do not wait to plan, be prepared, and take safety precautions.
Stay Alert After a Hurricane Passes
It is possible for electrical wires to be cut but remain hot as generators might still be running. You could have stray electricity from the submerged outlets or shore cords, as well as damaged vessel systems and other components. Avoid getting into the water.
Before hurricane season hits, it’s important to know what precautions you should take for your fishing boat. Fishing boats are often left unprotected during hurricanes and can quickly be destroyed by winds and flooding if not properly prepared. We recommend that you contact a local charter captain with experience in the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico since they will have the best tips on how to protect your boat from the storm.