Would your small cruising or racing sailboat be able to weather a gale, storm, or hurricane in her slip, at a mooring, or at anchor? Will you have peace-of-mind the next time Mother Nature decides to unleash her fury in your area? Follow this handy ten-step checklist to make sure you do!
Wherever you live, you can expect to be visited by severe weather once in a while. And if you’ve strolled through any marina after a major storm and seen the damage, this provides a real “wake up” call to us sailors. What else could have been done?
Much of what I’m about to show you was done with our large fleet at the Chapman School of Seamanship in Stuart, Florida to prepare for hurricanes. These boats included sail and power craft from twenty to fifty feet. Most of these boats were tied up inside of slips.
Read over this checkoff list. Add to it. But by all means, print off a copy and add it to your storm preparations. When the heavy stuff comes your way, you’ll be glad you did!
1. Double Up All Lines
2. Add Chafing Gear
3. Put Out Horizontal and Vertical Fenders
4. Shut Off all Seacocks Except This One!
5. Strip Away Canvas and Sails
6. Batten and Tape Hatches
7. Remove or Sink Dinghies
8. Secure Electronics, Charge Batteries, Check Pumps
9. Put Out Anchors and Increase Scope
10. Lock it and Leave It