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HomeCruisePrepare and secure your boat during hurricane season with these 5 steps

Prepare and secure your boat during hurricane season with these 5 steps

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Puerto del Rey Marina presents some useful tips that will help every Captain and boat owner prepare and protect their boat for the 2020 hurricane season that ends November. Planning is key, so get to work!

Plan ahead

If you have a boat in a hurricane prone area, you must have a plan ready in the event of a storm.  Questions to ask yourself; How much time do I have? Will I move it to a protected area? Is there space? The sooner you plan, the better. Waiting to the last minute is not recommended and most likely, you will find yourself amongst other people looking for a place to leave their boat.  Something you can do in advance is seek advice to make an informed decision and choose a safe place such as a marina slip, or perhaps, haul it out of the water and tie it down on land.  Check with your insurance to make sure you have the proper limits in place and make sure your insurance company does not have restrictions in your policy.

Puerto Del Rey
Puerto Del Rey

Know your Marina’s plan

If your boat is in a marina, look for options available to you.  Once informed, you will know what steps you must follow to keep your boat safe and how much time you have.  Each Marina has its own plan, so make sure you have this information at hand and review it at the beginning of the hurricane season.

Puerto del Rey Marina
Puerto del Rey Marina

Prepare your boat

Retrieve all important documents from your boat, such as the registration, insurance, and documentation. Also, remember to take everything that is removable such as canvas, cushions, electronics, and antennas, among other items. Secure the hatches, bimini tops and other items on your vessel that may fly off. Make sure everything else is covered by your insurance company.

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After a hurricane alert, act fast! 

If a hurricane alert is already in effect, the best and probably the safest option for your boat, is to haul it out.  Depending on whether it is on a trailer, dry stack or wet slip, it will require a different action.  For example, if your boat is in a wet slip, we suggest hauling the boat out of the water, or if you can and there is time, to navigate away from the atmospheric event.  On the contrary, if it is in dry stack, the recommendation is to reinforce those that are on the first and second floor with straps and lines or lower the boat onto a trailer.  If it is on a trailer, move it to an area away from the sea and flying objects. If you decide to leave the boat in the water, make sure it is tied properly to the dock, there are many ways of doing so, make sure you pick the right one. From past experience, those boats that were tied within enough wiggle room, fared better in the storm. Once your vessel is tied or strapped down, make sure you take pictures and save them in case you need to file a claim with your insurance company

Post –hurricane 

Check your boat! Once the natural event passes and the roads are safe, go and verify that your boat is safe.  If your boat is in a marina, make sure it is open to the public. If the shore power is affected, check on your batteries and bilge pumps and go every other day to check on the vessel. Make sure you contact your insurance adjuster immediately if there are damages to the vessel. 

Puerto Del Rey gets prepared for hurricane season

Puerto del Rey Marina is located on the north-eastern tip of Puerto Rico, in the Municipality of Fajardo. With 1,000 wet slips, it can accommodate vessels of up to 180’ LOA and 15 feet of draft. These are complimented with an extensive storage of more than 600 spaces on 50 acres of land which is home to 14 authorized contractors, skilled in areas like propulsion systems, engine repair and mechanics, woodworking, electrical repair and much more.

Puerto del Rey has invested millions of dollars in infrastructure to increase the protection of the vessels during hurricane season. Major upgrades to the breakwater and concrete piers have proven to be a very important factor of the success obtained over the past few years. Even the Tie Down area has been upgraded with 4 deep keel spaces to become the most complete Boatyard in the Caribbean. The addition of a 1,500Kw generator has allowed Puerto del Rey to be the only marina in Puerto Rico to offer all its customers a reliable power source after a storm. The Marina’s Management Team also has the necessary trainings and certifications to know how to handle a marina during a major natural disaster.

For more information about Puerto del Rey and its hurricane preparedness program, write us to marina@puertodelrey.com or dial 787-860-1000 for more information.

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  1. In a post storm analysis of Padnaram harbor I seem to remember that more than 90% of the boats that were hauled out suffered no damage. For the boats that stayed in the water had more than 70% were damage, many of which were write-offs. Seems to me that the first step if a hurricane is forecast is to haul your boat and take it somewhere above the storm surge water mark, then tie it down securely.


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So Caribbean you can almost taste the rum...

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