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Old 05-17-2019, 07:39 PM   #1
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Bow-in to Prep for Hurricane...?

Question to the east coast folks on here. I normally go stern-in, but I read this in a Boat U.S. hurricane prep brochure:

"youíll want to arrange the bow toward open water or, lacking that, toward the least protected direction. This reduces windage. The exception is boats with swim platforms, especially swim platforms that are integral to the hull. These boats have been sunk when their platforms were bashed against a bulkhead. If your boatís swim platform canít be kept safely away from a bulkhead, secure the boat with its stern toward open water."

I do have a swim platform, but seems like if I double the bow lines (maybe the far one is out to a piling), plus have spring lines, these would prevent the stern from heading towards the dock in a stern-in situation.

I'd welcome opinions on the Boat U.S. paragraph above, and do some of you follow this rule... or not...?

Thanks in advance for any comments.
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Old 05-17-2019, 08:51 PM   #2
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Planning for unstoppable forces meeting immovable objects is beyond people. The butterfly that landed on your swim platform may ultimately make more difference than which way the swim platform is directed.

You protect the swim platform from contact with the dock only to have a fuel barge blow through your boat and burn down the boat, marina and the small town on the other side.

Run Forrest, run.
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Old 05-17-2019, 09:28 PM   #3
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Is your slip a floating dock or fixed pilings?
With a floating dock, I think it makes very little difference which way you're pointing. You become one with the floating dock through numerous dock lines. Either the floating dock stays in tacked or it doesn't.

With fixed pilings, the rise and fall of the tide requires additional play in dock lines. This additional play includes shock loading and line stress. When I was in a fixed piling marina with my charter boat, I always moved to a vacated larger slip so that the boat would have adequate space to move around without touching pilings or the back of the slip.

To me, part of picking a good marina involves having a protected basin where hurricane waves can't exceed a foot or two. While you're somewhat limited as to blocking the wind, I can't imagine being in a marina where waves can build over a mile of open water before bouncing your boat around in your slip. The two marinas I keep my trawler in, have very protected basins. While you have to be able to deal with the wind, the videos I've seen of boats sinking in their slips or breaking loose, seem to be more about battling large waves that either destroy the docks, pull out hardware or break dock lines.

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Old 05-18-2019, 05:57 AM   #4
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I think the point they are trying to make, and doing a poor job of it, is that it's better to have the bow facing into prevailing weather rather than the stern. How much this is an issue totally depends on your location, fetch, and wind directions. And whether it's possible to reorient depends on your slip/marina's configuration. But it's something to consider since your bow will take weather better than your stern.


The part that I think is stupid is the whole swim step caution. The risk has nothing to do with swim steps, and everything to do with staying off the bulkhead. If you had no swim step, and the transom were bashing against the bulkhead, you would have just as much of a problem as if your molded swim step were bashing. Bashing is bashing.
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Old 05-18-2019, 06:41 AM   #5
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Quote:
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The part that I think is stupid is the whole swim step caution. The risk has nothing to do with swim steps, and everything to do with staying off the bulkhead. If you had no swim step, and the transom were bashing against the bulkhead, you would have just as much of a problem as if your molded swim step were bashing. Bashing is bashing.
I couldn't have said it better myself.

I've personally witnessed bows being bashed against the floats in a storm. That's not pretty either. And since the bow tends to pitch through a wider range than the stern, and is generally raked, chances of hitting are better than a swim platform. Even if the stem is well away the dock at the waterline during settled weather, if the wind is from astern, stretching the lines, and the bow is pitching, there's a very good chance it'll hit. With a swim platform, you can see just how much distance you'll be from the dock behind it.

Either way, hitting the dock or float repeatedly is a bad thing.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:11 AM   #6
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I canít imagine having the stern of my boat pointed into the wind in a storm. The squarish stern would take a stupid amount of pounding and itís very possible the cockpit and lazarette would fill with water and sink the boat.

Thatís a ridiculous idea IMO.
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Old 05-18-2019, 07:30 AM   #7
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Yep, stern exposed to a storm fetch is a terrible idea. Add to that seas slapping water into tailpipes (just investigated one of those from Flo).

If there is enough fetch to bring seas into your docking area, your boat needs to be somewhere else. It is that simple.
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Old 05-18-2019, 10:29 AM   #8
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Location, location, location. OC's right.

Not to mention - do you want to be out there at the last minute, after a storm course change, unrigging, turning the boat, and rerigging to have bow to
orientation?
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Old 05-19-2019, 05:48 AM   #9
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By having the stern in the dock, it can make climbing aboard a wildly pitching vessel loads easier.
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Old 05-19-2019, 06:13 AM   #10
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They may be making the point (no pun intended).....


The bow smashing the bulkhead will have the most damage well above the waterline (of course depending on the height of the bulkhead).



Whereas the swim platform may punch though the transom which on larger boats is much weaker than the bow and will experience damage near the waterline.


I used to know the insurance adjuster/one of the heads of the BoatUS post storm investigators...if that article was reviewed by or had input from him...well... he saw a LOT of post storm sunk boats in his career. The warning may not be obvious on its face, but sometimes reality is like that.
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:42 PM   #11
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Thanks for everyone's comments, I tend to agree and don't really want my transom facing out...
Just for reference, here is where I saw that Article:
https://www.boatus.com/hurricanes/as...prep_guide.pdf
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Old 05-19-2019, 12:46 PM   #12
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When we bought our boat in Virginia a few years ago there was a hurrican predicted to hit the area. They had us move our boat out from under the covered dock and back it into a humongous slip. We put on about 700í of dock lines in prep and then the hurricane drifted out to sea so I donít have any idea if we did a good job or not. But the marina definitely wanted our bow out facing the longest fetch.
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Old 05-19-2019, 01:47 PM   #13
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Here’s another question. We are in FL in a protected marina 5 miles up the St. Lucie river. I have a choice to be side tied to a floating dock or in a slip at the same dock. Or tied to a fixed dock, or out in the mooring field. The moorings are on helix anchors screwed 15 feet into the bottom. On the mooring the bow will always point into the wind. Your thoughts please.
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Old 05-19-2019, 03:48 PM   #14
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Iíd rather be in a slip on a floating dock.
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Old 05-19-2019, 07:44 PM   #15
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Last questions first. I'd always choose floating over fixed and I'd always choose inside a slip over side tie.

Now to the first question. Seems on the surface a bit strange to protect the swim platform while sinking the boat. Now psneeld may have a point, that it's something observed by them. However, even so, I think that you need to look at your situation and your marina. You anchor bow into the wind when you anchor. Your boat just takes wind and waves better on the bow. However, you need to have the boat tied in such a way as to protect it from colliding against docks on all sides and add whatever additional protection you can. I'd have stern in but I'd also protect the stern and swim step in every way I could with protection on the dock, swim step fenders, whatever is called for.

Mainly, you need to look at your boat as tied and positioned and assess the risk. If you see a way of reducing the risk, then do so. It may be that $200 extra saves a $100,000 boat. Also, look at the dock and examine it's ties to piles and shore and if it doesn't seem adequate talk to the marina, preferably well before any hurricanes. Find out what they add prior to hurricanes.

And don't forget batteries and bilge pumps. Have maximum battery power and use it all for your bilge pumps.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:06 PM   #16
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I was on board my boat during Irma in FL. The bow was facing the predominant wind a wave direction. Everything was fine until a sailboat dragged its anchor and ended up grinding away at my topsides for 11 hours. Take away - you canít cover all the possibilities in such a storm event and once something happens there is very little you can do about it due to the forces involved. Have insurance and be safe. ( unfortunately the bast@#d whoís boat hit me didnít have insurance). I hope I will will never be in that situation again where I have to prep for a hurricane with short notice.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:14 PM   #17
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I was on board my boat during Irma in FL. The bow was facing the predominant wind a wave direction. Everything was fine until a sailboat dragged its anchor and ended up grinding away at my topsides for 11 hours. Take away - you can’t cover all the possibilities in such a storm event and once something happens there is very little you can do about it due to the forces involved. Have insurance and be safe. ( unfortunately the bast@#d who’s boat hit me didn’t have insurance). I hope I will will never be in that situation again where I have to prep for a hurricane with short notice.
Anchored boats were the cause of much damage. Sailboats also have far more problems at marinas than powerboats as the wind and rocking aren't handled well.
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Old 05-19-2019, 08:58 PM   #18
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I would think that based on their past experience your marina would have a preference as to how your boat is positioned and tied within your slip. When there is weather expected I always check with my marina to be sure they are comfortable with my lines and such. They are happy to give advise.
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Old 05-19-2019, 09:19 PM   #19
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The best way to survive a hurricane is to avoid the hurricane area. Being in the right place at the right time is serendipitous. Putting yourself in the right place at the right time is genius.

Next best is preparation. This is worth a read again this year:

How to create an instant hurricane mooring


It's give and take, not unstoppable and immovable.
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:56 AM   #20
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"On the mooring the bow will always point into the wind."

IF you think the mooring was installed with the right equipment , that would be my choice.

The loads on the boat would be lower , and by using padded chain where the mooring lead comes aboard , chafe will be less of a problem.

A 10- 15 ft storm surge would not have the problem of most floating docks , too short pilings , and 50 boats depart together in a big raft up.

I would carry out my biggest anchor and dig it in as an emergency backup in the expected wind direction.
This might allow the mooring to be eased enough to allow dragging boats to drift on by.

The best solution is to go way!!! inland and store the boat in a hurricane rated building , but that takes time and Big bucks.

Here is the guy down the street,
LaBelle, Florida - River Forest Yachting Center

riverforestyc.com/index.php/locations/labelle-florida
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