If you live and/or dock your boat in South Florida, and have been dealing with the wind, torrential rain, and flooding that has been occurring over the last few days, then you have no doubt that our storm season is already in full swing!

South Florida in general, and Ft. Lauderdale specifically, is a great place to dock your luxury motor yacht. There are miles and miles of inland waterways, filled with some of the best dockside bars and restaurants in the world. From the Ft. Lauderdale area, day trips to Bimini or the Bahamas are fun and easy. There are dozens of good reasons to dock your yacht in South Florida, but, that also means you need to be prepared for hurricanes and tropical storms.

The Atlantic hurricane season runs from June through November. The best way for Florida yacht owners to deal with it every year is to have a proper Hurricane Preparedness Plan in place.

Preparedness is Key

In 2016, Florida’s great 10 year “Hurricane Drought” was broken when Hurricane Mathew impacted much of the Florida coastline. While a last minute “wobble” spared most of the highly populated areas of Miami-Dade County, Broward County and West Palm Beach a direct hit, Matthew still produced some significant damage. As the storm tracked a destructive march along the Florida coast, it caused widespread flooding, damage and power outages all across the state. At least five people were killed.

Satellite Image of Hurricane Matthew

According to BoatUS, Matthew caused an estimated $110 million in damage to recreational boats, as the once Category 5 storm barreled through and off shore of four coastal states. While that sounds like a big number, it is actually quite small relative to the size and nature of Matthew. Maritime experts believe that was largely due to the storm keeping mostly off shore, and that boaters had a lot of time to prepare, and heeded the warnings.

If there is a lesson learned from what was a glancing blow, but one that could have been far worse for Southern US coastal boat owners, it is that: Preparedness is Key!

We are already into the Atlantic Hurricane season, and the latest predictions by NOAA is that we are now expecting an “above average hurricane season.” Forecasters predict a 70 percent likelihood of 11 to 17 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 5 to 9 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 2 to 4 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher). An average season produces 12 named storms of which six become hurricanes, including three major hurricanes. 

 

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.

 

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.

 

Understanding how to protect your yacht during hurricane season can be challenging. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, 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 (855) 318-6328.