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Old 03-19-2016, 04:41 PM   #1
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Hurricane experience

This thread is for those who have actually been or felt they were about to be in the path of a hurricane, requiring them to consider action with their boat. Not for those of us who have only been in hurricanes 200+ miles from the ocean and not for what we would do. Just what you did and how things worked out.
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Old 03-19-2016, 04:52 PM   #2
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Didn't we just cover this in the "Hurricane Plan" thread? See my posts there for my answers to this one.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:09 PM   #3
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Didn't we just cover this in the "Hurricane Plan" thread? See my posts there for my answers to this one.
No, we're not talking about submitting plans to insurers. We're talking about actually going through the experience. You did mention using Jarrett Bay. You didn't talk about if the hurricane actually hit in your area, what damage it caused, what would have happened if you hadn't had your boat hauled. Others didn't speak of actual experiences.

We haven't experienced one. We did triple check our docking and lines when Joaquin was forming but quickly saw it wasn't coming our way. We've lived in Fort Lauderdale 3 1/2 years without any hurricanes or serious threats. Not complaining at all about that.
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Old 03-19-2016, 06:17 PM   #4
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I rode out superstorm Sandy on my boat in a hurricane hole, 10 miles inland up a river, specifically picked for protection. I was the only evac there, the other few were permanent residents.

No damage, tied to a bulkhead. But almost hit by a POS sailboat that dragged it's mooring and was sliding down the bulkhead towards me. If lines didn't hold it, I planned on scuttling it to prevent it from creating an issue for my boat.

Hurricane Irene in 2011, pulled the boat, insurance paid for it. Looked at how close the ocean was and how much water came in under the boat...decided to never put the boat on land anywhere's near a major body of water in a hurricane again.

No damage, everything lowered and secured, or taken inside/ashore.

When in Pensacola for Hurricane Frederick, I pulled my 19 foot sailboat, and trailered it to the Bachelor Officer Quarters and parked it in the safe wind area formed by the building being shaped like a "U" .

No damage.

Probably another 15 hurricanes that I watched closely and decided just canvas removal as at the 72 hr point, I was satisfied with the close miss.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:03 PM   #5
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Hurricane Hugo, Isle of Palms, SC 1989. Young engr in shipyard, renting a house on the beach. Hurricane destroyed the house, floated off my 66 Fairlane coupe, dropped an 18" pine tree on my skiff, soggied everything I owned except what was in an s10 blazer.

Hurricane Fran, Wrightsville Beach 1997. Now owned a little marina, took the floating dock loose from the guide piles and stretched it across the creek using nylon, with many boats still in the slips. Dock went way up, then way down, no damage. Water came up 11' above normal. Came within one foot of the house slab.

Several more minor storms, and since 2006 that included my 38' sled. If one seemed bad, did the same thing and stretched the boats and docks between the creek banks with nylon. Seems to work ok. Figure I'm good to Cat3 or so.

Presently building a new house on the same land, went up four more feet, so at about 16.6' abv msl. If 1st floor floods at this elev, we just had a Hugo and the beach strands will be cleaned.

My sister makes me a coffee mug with the name of each storm I have been through. Got several now.

SE NC sticks out like a sore thumb.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:07 PM   #6
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Better like a sore thumb than one stuck some place dark and stinky......
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:17 PM   #7
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Dark and stinky is what we get the nights after a hurricane!!!
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:20 PM   #8
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Not tropical, but experienced a hurricane force winter storm while sea kayaking past Klemtu on BC's north coast. Not looking forward to riding one out at anchor with our current boat...

You know it's a big storm (for this area) when the locals are standing at the windows in the restaurant going, "Ooooooo" as wind gusts are forcing the doors open and ceiling tiles start jumping up and down.

For a couple days afterwards there were waves of thunderstorms. Crossing Finlayson Channel was epic!
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
Hurricane Fran, Wrightsville Beach 1997. Now owned a little marina, took the floating dock loose from the guide piles and stretched it across the creek using nylon, with many boats still in the slips. Dock went way up, then way down, no damage. Water came up 11' above normal. Came within one foot of the house slab.
We rode that one out, coming South from Norfolk in the sailboat. Anchored in a creek north of Beaufort (forget the name -- Adams Creek I believe). Lost a brand new roller-furling jib because of being too stupid to take it down. I maypole wrapped it, but once a little bit came loose then it flogged itself to death. I was glad when it finally gave way, because it was throwing the boat back and forth something awful! My wife, bless her soul, hollered "Don't go up there and try to fix it!" Got a big laugh out of that. That steel ring on the clew would have been whipping back and forth like a sword!

We threw out five anchors (all we had) with each of them going in a different direction. Anyone who thinks that they can tell ahead of time exactly where the wind will come from is dreaming. And once it rises from a moan to a banshee shriek, then too late.

We rode it out (with a lost jib), but some of the boats anchored with us wound up in the piney woods.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:24 PM   #10
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Not tropical, but experienced a hurricane force winter storm while sea kayaking past Klemtu on BC's north coast. Not looking forward to riding one out at anchor with our current boat.

You know it's a big storm when the locals are standing at the windows in the restaurant going, "Ooooooo" as wind gusts are forcing the doors open and ceiling tiles start jumping up and down.

For a couple days afterwards there were waves of thunderstorms. Crossing Finlayson Channel was epic!
Up on Kodiak Island, AK, Williwaw was more feared than storms.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:30 PM   #11
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Up on Kodiak Island, AK, Williwaw was more feared than storms.
They aren't so bad here. Alaska's williwaw's and Patagonia's katabatic winds have knocked over a few kayakers, or lifted their kayaks right off the beach
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:32 PM   #12
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And once it rises from a moan to a banshee shriek, then too late.
Can only imagine...
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:34 PM   #13
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They aren't so bad here. Alaska's williwaw's and Patagonia's katabatic winds have knocked over a few kayakers, or lifted their kayaks right off the beach
When on Kodiak, they ripped car doors off, rolled a few vans, blew people off their feet, caused a few boats to drag anchor.....probably more...but I was only there for 2 williwaw seasons and deployed for some of it.
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Old 03-19-2016, 07:48 PM   #14
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When on Kodiak, they ripped car doors off, rolled a few vans, blew people off their feet...
Good for a laugh, I bet!

Read one of the first books on expedition sea kayaking back in the 80's where the author told a story about solo paddling in Patagonia. A katabatic wind came out of nowhere, picked up his kayak and threw it in the water...but luckily it drifted back to shore. Would have been months before anyone knew something had gone wrong. I always lashed ours to something, just in case...

In the tropical section of the book he recommended dragging the kayaks well inland and burying them. Not an option with our boats!
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:13 PM   #15
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Greetings,
I remember when hurricane Hazel ran through town. Rained like heck...Nothing since then.
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:29 PM   #16
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Here are some pictures from Jimena in 2009, Santa Rosalia, BCS, MX. It was just a Cat 1 but still scared the crap out of us.

The locals did well considering the amount of rain.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1059051...171773/Jimena2
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:33 PM   #17
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Here are some pictures from Jimena in 2009, Santa Rosalia, BCS, MX. It was just a Cat 1 but still scared the crap out of us.

The locals did well considering the amount of rain.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1059051...171773/Jimena2
Larry, so how do you tie a boat up to survive a mudslide?.... and I don't mean the drink...that survival isn't possible

Definitely more blender drinks next TF get together.... stretcher bearers at the ready too!

Seriously though..been in all kinds of natural disasters...but only one mudslide on Kodiak which was a freak.... that would be a really unusual hit to get a boat damaged from a mudslide down the street into the marina and onto your boat....
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Old 03-19-2016, 08:52 PM   #18
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Here are some pictures from Jimena in 2009, Santa Rosalia, BCS, MX. It was just a Cat 1 but still scared the crap out of us.

The locals did well considering the amount of rain.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1059051...171773/Jimena2

Geez Louise!


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Old 03-19-2016, 09:43 PM   #19
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Haven't had a direct hit yet (20 years and counting), but we have had a couple of near misses with 60+ knot winds. I have always stripped canvass off the boat and secured it to my mooring with two pendants. The last hurricane passed just inland of us so we had southerly winds in the 60-65 knot range. I was pretty much the only boat left in the harbor on a mooring. Due to the wind direction it was flat water at my mooring and the low hill just south of me kept most of the wind above my boat. I have also ridden out a number of 60+ knot storms with easterly winds (the harbor is open to the east). During one storm my teak toe rail split under my starboard mooring pendant. That allowed the rub strake there to turn on edge which chafed through my pendant. I was glad I had two. No other damage except for a bit of seaweed on the bow from the boat burying her bow in the waves.

Here in Maine we are far enough north that the storms are moving pretty fast and are weakening due to the cold water in the gulf of Maine. The result is that the strongest winds generally last only a few hours. Our late Spring and late Fall nor'easters are worse because they can last for days. When one of those hits and the boat is in the water I move the boat to a more protected harbor. The worst one with the boat in the water lasted 5 days.
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Old 03-19-2016, 10:01 PM   #20
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We just rode out Hurricane Joaquin this past fall in Georgetown Bahamas. I would guess conditions were 70g90 for 24 hours. TS force for at least 36 hours. Every boat that was in a protected location survived. All 8 boats I am aware of that sank or were washed ashore were in a location with poor protection from the waves.

Location, location, location was the main thing that differentiated the survivors from the less fortunate. This was far more important than anchoring technique.

We put out one large anchor (45lb Manson Supreme) on all chain (3/8 BBB) at 10-1 with superb chafe protection and a 35' 3/8" 3-stand snubber (34' boat). We set the anchor at 3-1 by redlining the engine in reverse for 5 minutes or so while watching the anchor to make sure it did not move. Had to move it once to get it to pass this test. After that we veered more rode to get 10-1 and set up the system.

I am a big believer in one perfectly set, oversize, anchor with excellent chafe protection if the wind might change directions. Of the 20 or so boats I talked to, I was the only one that put out one anchor. Most people put out every anchor they had (as many as 5). I carry a Fortress FX-37 and a second rode, but chose not to use it. Most people thought this was a poor choice.

I cannot say for sure my one anchor theory is better, or all chain is better, or a certain scope is better. I can say the following are all 100% for certain IMHO:

1) You have to be in the most protected place possible. Especially from wave action. This is the most important thing by far.
2) You have to have a proper snubber if you are using all chain.
3) You have to provide excellent chafe protection for your snubber (and rode if it is not chain where it passes over the bow rollers) anywhere it could possibly touch anything.
4) You have to make sure your anchor(s) are properly set. If at all possible this should involve diving them and visually inspecting while the anchor is under load with the engine.
5) You should remove as much windage as possible and stow it inside.
6) You should seal every possible opening that could lead to water ingress, no matter how small.
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