June 1st marked the official start of the Atlantic Hurricane season. The predictions are in and most experts agree we are likely to have a “more active than normal” season. Here in South Florida, where we have been lucky experiencing relatively mild Hurricane Seasons in recent years, the predictions say we certainly should expect more activity in 2016 than we had in 2015.
Due to a combination of factors, including a “La Nina” weather pattern, this season is expected to be more active than any season in the past three years. According to NOAA, the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season should bring 14 named storms, of those, eight are predicted to become hurricanes and four are predicted to become major hurricanes.
It has been many years since a major hurricane has hit South Florida. That can lull residents and motor yacht owners into a sense of complacency. That is a very bad idea. Despite a relatively uneventful Hurricane Season in 2015, remember that it “only takes one.” And, it does not take a major land falling hurricane to put your yacht at risk; even a tropical storm can have an impact. Since it has been over 10 years since Florida has seen the impact of a major hurricane, there are likely many first time yacht owners here in Florida, who have never experienced just how powerful and dangerous these storms can be!
The time is now for yacht owners with boats docked in South Florida to be prepared!
Preparedness is Key
If you plan to keep your boat south of Georgia during the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which runs from June 1st to November 30th, most insurance companies will require a hurricane plan. Working with several of the local insurance companies, Florida Yacht Management (FYM) is uniquely suited to offer viable hurricane plans to our full time management clients. Situated four miles inland up the New River, Marina Bay is a designated “hurricane hole,” meaning that its location is less subject to the dangerous storm surge that impacts many vessels docked closer to the coast.
FYM provides captain services to move your vessel to designated hurricane holes to satisfy most insurance requirements. In addition, we will work with your insurance company to provide details and documentation to show that you have done everything in your power to protect your asset during the storm.
How Yacht Management Can Help
There are many advantages to having your motor yacht signed up with a professional yacht management company such as Florida Yacht Management (FYM). In addition to handling all the details of managing the operations of your boat, FYM will make every effort to ensure its safety during hurricane season. FYM has a detailed preparedness plan in place for all yachts in our charge.
When a Tropical Storm Warning is announced by NOAA, we begin preparations
for the storm.
All vessels currently docked in Marina Bay will be secured in Marina Bay, 4
miles inland, west of I-95 on the New River in Fort Lauderdale Florida.
2525 Marina Bay Drive West, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Vessels located in
alternate locations will receive the same preparations, as follows:
- All available fenders and docklines will be used to secure the
vessels to the docks/floating docks.
- All removable canvas, cushions, and loose deck equipment will be
removed and stored indoors.
- All hatches and seams will be blue taped.
Your vessel’s LOA determines Line Detail, as follows:
- Under 60’ = Doubled 1⁄2” Lines (Tenders Included)
- 60’ – 100’ = Doubled 3⁄4” Lines
- 100’+ = Doubled 1” Lines
- All Vessels will receive Nylon Braided Lines with locations as follows:
- 2 on Bow, 2 on Stern, 4 Spring Lines
For all yachts we will:
- Deploy anchors if deemed necessary.
- Photo documentation of preparations.
If Your Yacht is for Sale during Hurricane Season
If your yacht happens to be up for sale during hurricane season, it is also very important to work with a broker who not only understands preparedness, but some of the intricate ways in which a storm could impact an impending sale.
If your yacht is “for sale” during Storm Season:
- Make sure alternative dockage arrangements are made well in advance.
- Make sure you check and review your insurance policy, it may include covering the expense for a haul out.
- Just before season starts is a good time for fresh bottom paint.
- Be sure to review your hurricane plan with your captain and/or management company.
- Be sure to prepare the boat for heavy wind and rain at all angles to avoid water
leaks and hull damage.
Remember, having a hurricane survival plan and proper equipment onboard will only further ensure a buyer’s confidence. Again, a relationship with a good management company such as On Demanding Yachting, can ensure your boat up for sale is well protected during hurricane season.
Also, take note that storm damage to a yacht that is under contract for sale, but has not been closed on yet, could activate the “Force Majeure” clause of the Contract. Under Force Majeure, “If the Vessel is damaged subsequent to the Buyer’s acceptance and the necessary repairs will cost less than five percent (5%) of the Purchase Price and require fewer than thirty (30) days to complete, then the Seller must repair the damage prior to Closing.”
There are other conditions that storm damage may invoke under this clause. If you are buying or selling a yacht during hurricane season, check with your broker, and make sure you understand the risks and liabilities.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can be unpredictable. However, one thing you can be sure of is that you have a better chance of protecting your boat, if you work with experts who understand the value of being prepared.
For more information on how to personally prepare, and protect your home or business during hurricane season, visit FEMA.
You can see live coverage of any approaching storms or bad weather at stormpulse.com.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968