By: Dave Clark, VanDutch Customer Care Manager ( [email protected] )
There has been a substantial uptick in strong storm activity for residents in Florida, the Caribbean, Bahamas and Puerto Rico, and with strong storms comes a requirement for best practices when securing your boat. VanDutch is proud to report a 100% safety rate for its vessels during Hurricane Irma, and we urge boat owners to share successful strategies to help us all preserve the longevity of our favorite assets for future storms. There are multiple ways to prep your boat for strong storm surges, depending on your existing docking situation, budget and insurance requirements. It’s important to negotiate a reasonable and feasible hurricane strategy with your insurance provider, to assure your boat will be covered in unfortunate circumstances. VanDutch provides its owners with hurricane strategy and execution of your hurricane plan should you be out of town or unable to secure your vessel in time. We’ve collectively identified the following best practices for mooring your vessel during a storm.
Strategy 1: Wet slip Managed VanDutch vessels remaining in water during storm surges are fitted with “double lines and fenders”, which uses all available lines and fenders when mooring. Strong winds and large tide surges pose an immense threat to any boat left in water, doubling lines with enough excess length will help ensure your boat is able to rise and fall with much greater tide surge than usual. Fenders should be used in conjunction to accommodate the boat at these tide heights to prevent damage from surrounding docks or pilings. Store exterior cushions, electronic covers, boat covers and any other loose objects away in hatches or inside the cabin. Although a strong strategy if needed, leaving a boat in water leaves the greatest risk to your vessel, and is never recommended.
Strategy 2: Boat lift Having your boat on a secure lift will help combat foul weather and storm surge. To achieve maximum protection to your vessel while on a lift, we recommend the following:
Strategy 3: Dry Dock, outside Having your VanDutch stored in dry dock at a shipyard or marina is the safest strategy when extreme weather is imminent. Your hurricane plan should specify your ideal location, and you can pre-arrange your reservation to guarantee availability regardless of when the storm comes. Have peace of mind from storm surge, damage from surrounding docks and damage from floating debris when you are safely situated on land. As your boat will still be exposed to wind and flying debris we recommend having your boat padded and shrink wrapped to mitigate damage from flying debris to your exterior. Store exterior cushions, electronic covers, boat covers and any other loose objects away in hatches or inside the cabin.
Strategy 4: Dry Dock, inside Recommended for any impending hurricane, this is the best form of protection for your boat. Usually stored in a category 5 rated facility, your vessel will stay out of reach from any storm surge, floating or flying debris, without the need to pad and shrink wrap the exterior. You may also pad and shrink wrap for extra protection from nearby boats in the building during movement and long-term storage. Hurricanes and other catastrophic weather can be a stressful time for anyone. Don’t add to your stress by taking limited steps to protect your vessel during the storm. Pre-plan your strategy, and know exactly who is responsible for its execution, and at what point the plan goes into action. At VanDutch, these services are available to any owner to ensure the safety and security of their vessel for years to come. Our trained staff is eager to keep your VanDutch is prime form, ready to cruise whenever you are. Contact our Sales or Service departments today to discuss becoming a VanDutch owner, and how you can have peace of mind during any strong storm.