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Old 09-07-2017, 06:36 AM   #1
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Irma: Canal vs On the Hard

Hey Guys, My boat is in Stuart, right in Irma's path.

In the past for big storms I have hauled out, but this time I couldn't find anyone to haul me, they were all full. The yard I have used 3 times before kind of fouled me up, but that's another story.

I was lucky enough to get a spot way up the Lost River at a place called Lost River Marine. I don't know how to post a google earth link into the forum, but if you're interested you can find it in Active captain or google earth by searching for "Lost River Marine".

LRM is about 15 miles up the Okeechobee Waterway and then another 3 or so up the Lost River, which is VERY narrow and winding. They are on a dead end canal about 75' wide and perhaps 1500' long. There are 5 larger boats in the canal, the biggest being a 67' princess. There is also a 42' Grand Banks and a 40ish Sport Fish. All the boats will be webbed into the middle of the canal with lines to pilings on both sides. The docks/pilings/seawalls on both sides appear to be in great shape. There are houses and the boatyard along the canal. Guys were out yesterday trimming trees along the canal and cleaning up loose stuff.

The Captain and crew guy on the princess are going to stay there for the storm. I spoke with them for quite a while, they seem like good competent guys. They said that since my boat will be right in front of theirs it is in their best interest to keep an eye on it.

I'm not too worried about surge, it's just too far up and Stuart doesn't get that much surge. I'm also not worried about wave action, there just isn't any fetch at all. I am worried about wind and debris.

In a way I think I may be better off than on the hard. The place I got hauled before doesn't tie boats down, they just put them on stands and pretty close together.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:48 AM   #2
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A dead end canal, with boat stretched between lines to both sides of the canal, is one of the best hurricane situations. That is exactly how I tie my ride and have not had any problems for a good few storms.
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Old 09-07-2017, 06:55 AM   #3
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If you get hit with a 150+ mph winds chances are it will be on the hard afterwards. I saw a school bus sitting on top of a house because of andrew.

Good luck.
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Old 09-07-2017, 07:04 AM   #4
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If you get hit with a 150+ mph winds chances are it will be on the hard afterwards. I saw a school bus sitting on top of a house because of andrew.

Good luck.
True. If it is that bad I am probably screwed. On the other hand, some boats came through Andrew OK. Many of them were in canals from what I can gather.

I'm very cautiously optimistic. Looking like Stuart may get the better side of the storm, that could make a difference as well.
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Old 09-07-2017, 09:54 AM   #5
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How about keep going west?.... this looked like a pretty tightly packed storm so the winds dropped dramatically with distance.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:00 AM   #6
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How about keep going west?.... this looked like a pretty tightly packed storm so the winds dropped dramatically with distance.
Except the path is unknown and may actually be either east or west.

I believe if you're at a good marina, with floating docks and adequate piling, you are better off than on the hard in South Florida. On the hard isn't necessarily hurricane prepared as in many of these facilities you're just sitting there and likely to topple plus other boats do the same into you.

At this point, if you've tied up well, then you've done the best you can. Now just keep yourself safe.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:08 AM   #7
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If you get hit with a 150+ mph winds chances are it will be on the hard afterwards. I saw a school bus sitting on top of a house because of andrew.

Good luck.
Not so sure about that.
My BIL has his 47' sailboat down in Antigua.
On the hard and strapped to the deck.
Figured for sure it was gone. Not so.
Came through it just fine.
All comes down to how well you prepare.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:31 AM   #8
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The trick for being on the hard is just that. Good asphalt or concrete with good tie downs. And a debri free yard. Plus hopefully above surge.
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Old 09-07-2017, 10:34 AM   #9
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The canals are probably safest , until houses go airborne , and parts like roofs land on the boats.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:22 AM   #10
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The trick for being on the hard is just that. Good asphalt or concrete with good tie downs. And a debri free yard. Plus hopefully above surge.
And most "on the hard" in South Florida is not that.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:34 AM   #11
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The trick for being on the hard is just that. Good asphalt or concrete with good tie downs. And a debri free yard. Plus hopefully above surge.
The debris and junk free qualifier is significant. Too many haulout yards I've seen look like they're designed to supply missile hazards in a stiff wind.

Good luck!
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:46 AM   #12
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Lines to pilings need to be tied to chains wrap around the piling and dropped to the bottom of the piling on the sea floor. Otherwise the pilings will be pulled over. Leave no slack for storm surge. The tight lines will stretch. Do not leave slack.
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Old 09-07-2017, 11:51 AM   #13
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New to this site but I've been lurking for a while. Lol. I know with some of the reading I've been doing... it's kind of a crap shoot. There's no right or wrong answer, but a wait and see approach. I know that being on a canal you need to make sure that the boats in front of you are properly tied down. If the people in front of you aren't using the best tie downs, then their boat will take yours out if it breaks loose. Also the direction of the canal is important, because East to West will get storm surge coming from the front. Then the North and South will be better protected since the winds will be coming in sideways. Then it also helps if there's a dog leg into the canal. I hope the best for you and EVERYONE ELSE in all of this.
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Old 09-07-2017, 01:13 PM   #14
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I find wind to be less an issue down low in a canal. Wind tends to shoot over the top of the boat provided there is some elevated stuff on either side. Second that about making sure other boats are well tied. And if there are things beyond free standing piles (trees, ground based structure) those are better as yes, pilings can be pulled sideways. Pilings bolted to dock structure are much stronger, those tend to be ok.
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Old 09-07-2017, 03:31 PM   #15
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...........In the past for big storms I have hauled out, but this time I couldn't find anyone to haul me,

In a way I think I may be better off than on the hard

Thoughts?
You can't be on the hard, so don't worry about it. Worry about what you can control and don't worry about what you can't.
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Old 09-07-2017, 04:13 PM   #16
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Except the path is unknown and may actually be either east or west.

I believe if you're at a good marina, with floating docks and adequate piling, you are better off than on the hard in South Florida. On the hard isn't necessarily hurricane prepared as in many of these facilities you're just sitting there and likely to topple plus other boats do the same into you.

At this point, if you've tied up well, then you've done the best you can. Now just keep yourself safe.

Amen.
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Old 09-07-2017, 08:36 PM   #17
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Nothing to do now except worry. I'm 6 hours away from the boat in normal driving conditions (I live near Tallahassee). It took me nine and a half hours to get home yesterday, the highways are a mess.

My son came home from college today (he is at Embry-Riddle in Daytona), my family in Jax will likely be here tomorrow. My family in Fort Myers worries me, but they should be OK, my dad's house there is really safe. Seems like Ft. Myers is going to get the better side of the storm, though that is relative.

Lots of prayers for lots of people.

As for the boat.....I just don't know. I've had boats go through three or four storms in Florida and one bad one in the Bahamas. This one scares me the most.

The one that scared me the least, Dennis in 2005, did the most damage, almost totaled my old boat. I've learned a lot about prep since then.
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:23 AM   #18
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Hurricanes in the Chesapeake are lees powerful and less frequent than in FL but we've seen a few. We have a dock on a "S" shaped section of a creek off the Potomac. 20 foot banks on either side of a E to West 200 yard wide, 3/8 mile long section of the creek, 8+ foot depth. We have seen a noticeable surge, water over the dock but I've seen bigger waves in a bath tub. A neighbor who has lived there since 1990 told me that if a storm showed up, every dead rise in the county would be tied to trees and anchored in a finger of the creek.
I think, and my somewhat limited experience shows, that properly secured boats in such a protected area is just about the best place to be.
Certainly hope so, the boat I am in the middle of purchasing, the survey was scheduled for today, is currently in Cypress Island Marina in Palm Beach Gardens, not very far from Doug's boat. Looks like she's protected well if she's properly tied. Will find out next week on the rescheduled survey.
Easy for me to say, I don't own this one yet,but it sounds like you've done all you can Doug, she's well tied in a protected narrow fairway. Relax a bit, stop watching the weather channel.
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:33 AM   #19
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The Army is getting worried about Lake O and evacuations in Glades County around the lake were issued .

If the dike blows out again it will be huge for the area.

Fingers crossed,
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Old 09-08-2017, 06:50 AM   #20
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Has the dike blown out before ?
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