Hurricane Ian will likely go down in history as causing the most damage to recreational boats, ever. Now, a late-season storm, Subtropical Storm Nicole, is knocking on Florida’s east coast, and the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is asking, “Is anyone listening?”
“Ian devastated Florida’s recreational boating community for two reasons: the storm’s severity combined with no preparation,” said BoatUS vice president of public affairs Scott Croft. “However, doing nothing this time, even with a storm that may not reach Ian’s Category 4 strength, is certain to harm vessels. Boat owners need to step up now.”
Removing a boat from the water and storing it ashore is the best way to survive a storm. If that’s not possible, focus on whatever measures you can take now to ensure your boat has a greater chance for survival, such as tying down boats to a lift, or doubling lines and adding chafe protection to lines on boats kept in the water. BoatUS offers ways to do this with free hurricane-preparation videos, guides, BoatUS Magazine articles and more at BoatUS.com/Hurricanes. The website also features an Active Storm Tracker to keep you updated on the latest storm information.
To help keep boaters up to date on the direction and intensity of incoming storms, the BoatUS App offers text alerts anywhere you go.
Boat owners should check their boat insurance policies for hurricane haulout coverage that may share the cost to remove the boat and store it ashore. “All GEICO marine insurance policies will pay half of the storm preparation haulout charges, up to $1,000, to professionally haul or protect your boat in preparation for an NOAA-named storm,” said Croft.