How To Make Sure Your Fleet Survives a Hurricane
Hurricanes are a boater’s worst nightmare. The combination of high winds, storm surges, and debris makes for a stressful time for boat owners. For charter boat business owners, a powerful hurricane can represent a terrible blow for their business. Boats are especially vulnerable to hurricane damage as they are kept on or near water. Some of the most common damages that occur during storms are damages to the hull thanks to flying debris, being sunk by drenching rainfall, and getting blown ashore, among many others. Fortunately for you, there are multiple ways that you can ensure that your fleet can survive a storm unscathed. These include strapping boats ashore, storing boats on high ground, and using helical anchors.
Strapping Your Fleet Ashore
When preparing for a hurricane, it is important that you securely store your fleet ashore. A popular method for storing boats is to fasten them to jack stands. Even though this is somewhat effective, it is not the most secure way to secure a boat onshore. Strong winds can cause jack stands to sway back and forth, causing the boat to fall, damaging its hull. The most secure way of fastening your fleet onshore is by using a secure, fixed anchor. Securing your vessel out of water saves it from the potential damage that it could endure in the water such as washing ashore or getting hit by loosened boats.
Storing Your Fleet On High Ground
As stated above, boats are much more likely to survive a hurricane when out of the water. This is especially true if your fleet includes some small vessels that can easily be flooded by heavy rains. Although being out of water is generally safer for your boats, your fleet still runs the risk of being a victim of a storm surge. A storm surge is a tsunami-like onshore rushing of water caused by strong winds. This tsunami-like flood can hit your boat with all types of debris like cars, power lines, and street signs. The higher your fleet is to the ground, the higher likelihood of your boat surviving a storm surge.
Using Helical Anchors
If you do choose to remain in the water during a hurricane, you are going to need a strong anchor. Helical anchors are anchors that have a screw-like end. The screw-like end makes for more holding power. A study by the BoatUS Foundation, Cruising World, and MIT in 1993, found that a 500-pound buried mushroom anchor could be pulled out with 1,200 pounds of pull (supplied by a 900-hp tug); an 8,000-pound dead weight (concrete) anchor could be pulled out with 4,000 pounds of pull. A helical anchor, however, could not be pulled out and the strain gauge recorded 12,000 pounds of pull — its maximum — before a shackle burst apart. Hurricanes are a tremendous force of nature that can destroy your fleet. A helical anchor ensures that your boat has a greater chance of surviving rough hurricane waters.
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