The Hurricane Season runs until November 30th, and we have already had a couple of early named storms. With a higher than normal hurricane season predicted, it is very important that you always keep an eye on the tropical weather outlook, and have your boat prepared to weather the Storms that might come our way.
Please be aware that slip holders are responsible for securing their boats and personal property on marina premises.
Stingray Point Marina and staff are not responsible for taking care of your boat before or during a storm. If you will be away from the area, you need to arrange for a friend or local boat yard to prepare for and monitor your boat. And it is a good idea to have the boat prepared during the fall season, regardless of whether there is a storm lurking or not.
We have links on our website to a variety of sources for weather information, including a link to the National Hurricane Center, where you can monitor the storm path and timing forecasts. We will be monitoring the situation as well. Below are recommendations for preparing your boat for potential effects of a hurricane, whether it stays offshore or veers closer to us.
Recommended Procedures for Tropical Storms or Hurricanes
Tropical storms have sustained winds from 39 mph to 73 mph and hurricane-force winds start at sustained winds 74 mph. This can cause significant damage to boats that are improperly secured. Boat owners should take the following precautions well in advance of a storm’s projected arrival:
BOATS IN SLIPS
Removing headsails (including furled jibs), mainsails, sail covers, biminis, dodgers and other canvas. For smaller storms, you can wrap sails with line to help secure them.
• Remove life rafts and other large objects that can catch wind.
• Flags should be lowered and stowed
• Halyards should be pulled away from the mast and snugged securely.
• Boats on the Dinghy Racks should be lashed down or removed and taken home.
• Check for chafe and wear on dock lines and replace or double lines if necessary. Insert chafing gear in chocks if chocks wear substantially on dock lines.
• Please ensure that your lines can be adjusted from the dock. The bitter end needs to be on the dock, not on your boat. Most of these storms have significant storm surge with water going over the docks. We will NOT go aboard boats to adjust lines.
• Check batteries for charge and charge if needed. Electricity to the docks may be lost or turned off if the storm surge is over the docks. Best not to leave food stored in the boat’s ice box.
• Disconnect your shore power cord from the dock.
• Bilge pumps should be on automatic.
• Close the fuel and all overboard sea cocks.
• Port lights and hatches should be securely closed in watertight conditions.
• It’s a good idea to remove contents from dock boxes to prevent damage due to flooding
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT TO SECURE YOUR BOAT– YOU MAY NOT BE ABLE TO GET TO YOUR BOAT.
Begin to implement your plan at the first forecast that the projected path includes Southern Chesapeake Bay, this will give you several days to execute your plan. The Hurricane Center website shows 3-5 day track forecasts.
In Hurricane Isabel and Irene, the storm surge was six to seven feet above mean high tide; waiting to the last minute is very risky. The docks, pilings, and some seawalls were all underwater. Boats left in slips that are not properly secured present a danger to themselves, to other boats and property, and to persons in the area. If your boat causes damage to another boat or to marina property, you may be held financially responsible. Also, when the winds get up toward hurricane strength it is impossible to adjust lines.
Boat Owner Identification: For owners planning to move their boat to upriver locations, authorities with VMRC and Middlesex County have requested that each boat have the boat owner’s name, vessel name, and contact information placed in a watertight plastic bag and placed somewhere easily accessible, such as unlocked cockpit locker or lazarett. This will allow them to contact the boat owner if needed after a storm.
HAUL OUT. If you want to be hauled out, contact your preferred yard early to ensure you get a spot. Check your insurance policy, many will pay for haul out expenses within a time range of our area being in the path of a named storm.
Thank you for being aware and prudent for everyone’s safety.
—Stingray Point Marina