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Top 10 tips to keep your boat safe in stormy weather

Storms can cause serious damage to all types of boats, sailboats or motorboats.

red lighthouse in the storm

Exceptional weather phenomena are on the increase, prompting yachtsmen to redouble their vigilance. Whether your boat is afloat, on dry land or on a trailer, here is a non-exhaustive list of recommendations for keeping your yacht safe when storms approach. Of course, you'll need to adapt these recommendations to your own situation.


How to secure a ship afloat in stormy weather

  1. Strengthen your mooring plan: if possible, triple the mooring lines and make sure they are securely attached to strong points.

  2. Check the condition of the fenders. Fenders are essential to protect the boat's hull from impact. Make sure they are in good condition and at the correct height.

  3. Dismantle all equipment that could provide wind resistance and risk being torn off (covers, sails, lazy bags, wind turbine blades, dinghy on davit, solar panels).

  4. Remove or attach the boom.

  5. Breach the defenses under the ship to prevent them from flying away.

  6. Keep hull valves securely closed, with the exception of those dedicated to bilge water evacuation.

  7. Check that the deck hatches are waterproof. Water infiltration can quickly damage the interior of the boat.

  8. Remove or securely fasten your personal belongings on board and on deck. Loose objects, outside or inside, can become projectiles in a storm.

  9. Take a look at the pontoon neighbors. You can do them a good service by warning them or securing their boats. And if their boat goes adrift, it can damage yours.

  10. Be prepared to respond in the event of an emergency. Have a storm plan and make sure you have everything you need to protect yourself and your boat.


How to secure a boat on dry dock (in a dry port or on cradles) in stormy weather

  1. Dismantle all equipment that could provide wind resistance and risk being torn off (covers, sails, lazy bags, wind turbine blades, dinghy on davit, solar panels).

  2. Remove or attach the boom.

  3. Dismast the boat if possible

  4. The sponge pads must be slip-resistant and must be joined together to prevent movement.

  5. Rest the keelboats on their keels.

  6. Moor the vessel to solid points on the ground. Use strong, long mooring lines to allow the vessel to move slightly without coming loose. For example, you can use straps connected to a solid anchor point in the ground (screwed) or a concrete block.

  7. Check that the cradles are well anchored to the ground. The cradles must be strong enough to support the weight of the ship.

  8. Make sure hull valves are closed, except those dedicated to bilge water drainage.

  9. Store fuel and other flammable liquids in a safe place.

  10. Check that access routes to the dry port or technical area are clear. This will allow rescue teams to access the vessel in the event of an emergency.


How to secure a boat on a trailer in stormy weather

  1. Choose a safe location: park the trailered vessel in a safe location, away from water, before the storm hits. Avoid areas subject to flooding or exposed to strong winds.

  2. Block the wheels.

  3. Place pieces of wood between the trailer frame and the leaf springs to support the weight.

  4. Strap the boat to the trailer. The vessel must be well rigged and the fastenings must be strong enough to withstand strong winds.

  5. If stored outdoors, anchor the trailer to trees, buildings or anchor points in the ground (screw piles, concrete blocks, etc.).

  6. Remove loose objects from the vessel. Loose objects can become projectiles in a storm. Dismantle items that could fly away, tear off, or provide wind resistance.

  7. If stored indoors, check that the garage or shed is in good condition. The garage or shed could suffer storm damage and ricochet damage to your boat

  8. Check the brakes: make sure the trailer brakes are working properly so you can use them in an emergency.

  9. Protect protruding parts: properly secure protruding parts of the vessel, such as masts, antennas or accessories, to prevent them from breaking or causing damage.

  10. Check that access routes to the garage, hangar or outside area are clear. This will allow rescue teams to access the vessel in the event of an emergency.


These preventive measures are essential to secure your vessel and prevent you from having to leave if conditions deteriorate. Indeed, your safety is the top priority. Do not attempt to intervene during the storm, material damage can be repaired and insurance are here for that!


Do you have a question or comment? Write to us at paul@boaton.fr!


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