Safe Harbor: Take care to protect your boat

Those with boats need to take extra care to protect their watercraft docked at the local marina. Do you know what to do? The best hurricane harbors offer protection from the wind and tidal surge. Stout deep-rooted trees – Australian pines or banyans with shallow root systems, on either side of a creek can provide good protection for larger boats.

There is always a possibility of tidal surge. The Indian River Lagoon does not offer good protection for the average boater. The best advice is to take your boat inland, away from the ocean and the possibility of a tidal surge.

Search in advance for a first and second choice hurricane harbor. Plan how you will tie your boat and buy the necessary lines and fenders for protection.

Remember, once a hurricane warning is issued, it will be too late.


As soon as the National Weather Service posts a 50 percent probability of hurricane force winds pounding the Treasure Coast within 48 hours, a yachtsman’s watch will be sounded via marine radio VHF channels 16, Weather 1 and Weather 2, as well as over local media. A yachtsman’s warning will be sounded over when the hurricane is 24 hours away.

Don’t let this happen to your boat. Have a disaster plan in place.


Move the boat to an in-and-out boat storage facility.

Store the boat in your garage or a warehouse.

If your boat is on a trailer and you cannot get it inside, move it to the protected side of your home or garage where it can be secured by a chain or tied with ropes to prevent it from blowing in the wind.

Put the plugs in the boat and fill halfway with water.

Let half the air out of the tires, then block them.

For more specific information regarding your boating needs, contact your local Coast Guard or marina.

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