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Old 06-06-2019, 08:27 AM   #1
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Hurricane prep - on land vs in water?

All,
Now that weíre into hurricane season, weíre rethinking our hurricane plans. We live on the southwest gulf coast of Florida and keep our boat in the Harborage in downtown St. Petersburg. Over the last 2 years weíve kept the original Jackie Season in our slip with floating docks using doubled oversize lines and came away unscathed, although we didnít get a direct hit.

This year we upgraded to a new Jackie Season, a Beneteau 50 ST. Because of the larger size we no longer have a slip - weíre now in a side tie, and Iím concerned with the impact of not being able to secure both sides of the boat. I believe the insurance company (we use Novamar).would like the boat hauled and blocked. Does anyone have any experience or statistics on storm damage on land VS on the water? Iím concerned that the insurance company prefers dry storage because itís
cheaper for them when the boat falls over VS pulling it out of the water, but what Iím personally interested in is protecting the boat. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Don Scattergood
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Little Gasparilla Island / St Petersburg, FL
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:51 AM   #2
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A great deal depends on how it's blocked and secured on land.
Is it above the highest stormwater?
Is it blocked low to the ground with numerous jackstands with load distributing plates (plywood) underneath or on a concrete slab?
Is it secured with straps and anchors to the ground?

If you look at what River Forest marina (located on the Okeechobee waterway) does, it will be secure, probably much better than being in the water. As the quality of storage on land decreases, the risk of it going over increases. The other option is to explore hurricane rated boat storage buildings in your area. I know there are a couple on the Okeechobee waterway.

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Old 06-06-2019, 08:54 AM   #3
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Unless well above the projected storm surge, dry land is not all it is cracked up to be.


Best to have the boat moved away from the eye and dangerous semi circle.
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Old 06-06-2019, 11:28 AM   #4
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Captain,

I just went through the whole Hurricane Plan and used the yacht club here in La Paz as a resource since they lived through a bad hurricane in 2016.

They have an excellent website page with imputed links to various articles and resources which thoroughly address your concerns.

Here's the link:

Club Cruceros

Best Wishes,

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Old 06-06-2019, 12:59 PM   #5
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I have been through one hurricane with my boat up on the hard and noted what the hurricane did to my dock which would certainly have resulted in my boat sinking.

In general boats on the hard survive hurricanes much better than in the water. That same hurricane, irene resulted in several boats sunk at the dock but none on the hard were damaged. Yes Sailcraft (in Oriental, NC) personnel had to corral a few floating boats and get them blocked again at the peak of the surge.

Even boats that blow over on the hard fare better than sinking. I have a friend who had is sailboat fall over on the hard during a hurricane in St Martin. His mast got tangled with an adjacent boat and was destroyed, but that was the worst of it.

So find a place where the yard elevation is at least 8' since most boats are blocked up 3' or more to the water line and tie them down. River Forest does that.

Lacking that a floating slip with 12' piles is the next best bet. River Dunes in Oriental survived Irene's 9' surge with no damage, but I think the piles were close to overtopping.


Your side tie is not great, but with lots of fenders and tied well to the dock it should be ok. The real question is how exposed is that tie up. If you have more than a couple hundred yards of fetch on the untied side you may have lots of wave action. Too much waves can break you loose.

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Old 06-06-2019, 03:47 PM   #6
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Unless well above the projected storm surge, dry land is not all it is cracked up to be.


Best to have the boat moved away from the eye and dangerous semi circle.
Truth. In Katrina, lots of boatyards had blocked boats float off and away. Wind is annoying and tears away canvas, solar panels, etc. Surge and waves are the boat killers.
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Old 06-06-2019, 05:15 PM   #7
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Truth. In Katrina, lots of boatyards had blocked boats float off and away. Wind is annoying and tears away canvas, solar panels, etc. Surge and waves are the boat killers.
Often there are no simple answers for simple questions.



Marina location both in water storage and dry storage can be a world of difference. As does hurricane strength.
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:08 PM   #8
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I have heard tell of marinas inciting on all boats on the hard be put into the water. I have not heard of what to do if the boat wont float, they just want it off the hard.

Once your boat is on the hard, make sure the jack stands are chained together.
(maybe an extra jack stand or two, if the marina has the spare jacks.) IMO
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Old 06-06-2019, 08:19 PM   #9
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If you are going to remain in the water, as I do with my boat, double up all lines, back away from the bulkhead, move your tender around to a shelter side of your boat and, in my case, let some water in, to add weight. I try to stay onboard to adjust the lines as necessary. Yes, I was onboard for Irma..... yes, I did adjust the dock lines for the storm surge. Did I have questions about the wisdom in my decision, especially when the wind began to howl and the rain was coming down in buckets. But as I told people, I have lived a long and interesting life so if I die, I die but, if the boat sinks, I'll be pissed. Of course, I said that 'tongue in cheek'. Let it be known, I went down with my ship.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:43 AM   #10
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Often there are no simple answers for simple questions.



Marina location both in water storage and dry storage can be a world of difference. As does hurricane strength.
Of course there are variables, but surge (and, hurricane spawned tornadoes) cause a lot more damage than straight line winds (until you get really high wind speeds, like 160-165 +) from my personal experience in a very hurricane prone area. And, the size (diameter) can make a huge differnce. Look at how much more damage Irma and Katrina did, than Michael, and Camille, simply because they were much larger (causing them to push a whole lot more water).

And, some areas are definitely more prone to surge than others due to the hydrography, and natural barriers. Miami is never going to get a 32 foot storm surge like Mississippi got in Katrina (or the 22 feet it got in Camille), no matter what the category of the hurricane. What has happened in the past in one particular area, is what will happen there in the future.

And, you’re right, that is what you plan for. Just make sure you know.
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Old 06-07-2019, 08:55 AM   #11
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My point and I think the insurance companies point too.... you don't want damage...remove your chances of a mild to severe hurricane hit. Moving laterally or vertically is one of the few choices.
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:01 AM   #12
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My point and I think the insurance companies point too.... you don't want damage...remove your chances of a mild to severe hurricane hit. Moving laterally or vertically is one of the few choices.
Being somewhere they ainít is the only sure plan!
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:07 AM   #13
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Being somewhere they ainít is the only sure plan!
My plan for my home, but the insurance guys are worried about my canvas.... makes one wonder...
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Old 06-07-2019, 09:38 AM   #14
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Actually I like the TideSlide and SlideMoor systems. I have used the SlideMoor and it is very robust, ties tight to the rub rail with a small pad and looks strong enough to deal with hurricane force winds.


You will need tall piles, probably 15' to start with a rub rail height of 3-4' and have 11' of hurricane surge protection. If you can't tie the pile to the seawall, and in some maybe most jurisdictions that isn't allowed, then you will need maybe two short piles alongside also driven deeply in a dolphin configuration to cover the loads.


But that system provides fairly easy set and forget hurricane protection.


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Old 06-13-2019, 02:50 PM   #15
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Iím concerned that the insurance company prefers dry storage because itís cheaper for them when the boat falls over VS pulling it out of the water, but what Iím personally interested in is protecting the boat. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated.
You're looking at it the wrong way. Forget about the boat. Protect your personal finances first, a boat can be replaced. If destroyed on land is easily covered and destroyed in the water is not so much, then find a way to get it where it will be more easily covered by the policy.

I wouldn't worry about which is cheaper for insurance or their motivation. Your motivation should be whatever is cheaper for you, and that is protecting your investment and your interests. It doesn't matter whether you feel it is safer in A or B.

One final thought. I've never seen a situation where the boats in the marina fare better than the boats on land. If the boats on land are in a pile, the boats in the water are in the same pile or piled along the seawall as compared to the back lot of the boatyard.
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Old 06-13-2019, 07:08 PM   #16
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Wifey B: It all depends. There's good and bad with both. In a nice slip at a floating dock with good protection and pilings higher than the highest surge is good. Dry land at a facility like Jarrett Bay is good. Then you have all the other variations.

Harborage is excellent and the floating docks are designed to handle 12' surge. I'd rather have a slip than a side tie, but keep in mind their slips are basically side ties with just two boats side by side and no pilings or anything between them. Location within the marina is a bit important. Overall a well protected harbor.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:51 AM   #17
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Wifey B: It all depends. There's good and bad with both. In a nice slip at a floating dock with good protection and pilings higher than the highest surge is good. Dry land at a facility like Jarrett Bay is good. Then you have all the other variations.

Harborage is excellent and the floating docks are designed to handle 12' surge. I'd rather have a slip than a side tie, but keep in mind their slips are basically side ties with just two boats side by side and no pilings or anything between them. Location within the marina is a bit important. Overall a well protected harbor.
And, it's not fun to acknowledge, but luck plays a factor. A friend of mine anchored his boat out for Katrina (and rode it out on it) in a bay. He started dragging, while watching boats all around him, dragging as well, that were destroyed when they finally got to an immovable object. Suddenly, his anchor dug in (so he thought) and he didn't drag the rest of the storm.

Months later, when he pulled up his anchor, he found he had hooked a power cable, the only thing that saved him and his boat.

And, yes, he says there is no force on earth that will make him ever ride another one out on a boat.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:30 AM   #18
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A marina or slip with exposure to open water is a no-go in a storm. You can plan for surge if piling heights are sufficient and you do a good job tying. But waves on top of surge will bash your boat.

Unless you are in a well protected harbor, which is rare, you are better off on the hill.

Need to make sure the hill has enough elevation, and that the soil is sound. Look at drainage too, we had some boats topple when rain runoff eroded soil around stands.
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Old 06-15-2019, 07:40 AM   #19
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One final thought. I've never seen a situation where the boats in the marina fare better than the boats on land. If the boats on land are in a pile, the boats in the water are in the same pile or piled along the seawall as compared to the back lot of the boatyard.
That's misleading as a blanket statement. Many boats on land sit in open areas without wind protection whereas boat basins can be quite protected from wind by basin walls, buildings and trees. Also, many boats have been lost by storm surge lifting them off their keel blocks and jack stands while boats in the water with high enough pilings survived unscathed.

While I would evaluate each option in a given area before making a decision, an open boatyard a few feet above high tide, isn't likely to be my first choice.

Ted
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:04 AM   #20
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That's misleading as a blanket statement. Many boats on land sit in open areas without wind protection whereas boat basins can be quite protected from wind by basin walls, buildings and trees. Also, many boats have been lost by storm surge lifting them off their keel blocks and jack stands while boats in the water with high enough pilings survived unscathed.

While I would evaluate each option in a given area before making a decision, an open boatyard a few feet above high tide, isn't likely to be my first choice.

Ted
After Harvey, we went to Rockport, TX. Nothing there fared well but the boats neatly placed on land all were tossed into each other and there was an outdoors dry stack that was totally inadequate for the winds so those boats tumbled. The marina didn't do any better but it wasn't built to what should be today's standards.

The realization we had was that Rockport, TX was not in any way prepared for such a storm. Buildings and homes weren't constructed to adequate standards, boats stored on land weren't protected, marinas weren't built to adequate standards.

You saw much the same in New Bern when hit by Florence with boats on land and in the water. But then go back to Sandy and the northeast.

People tend to lump all marinas and all dry storage together just as they do all coastal communities. However, there's a huge difference in open marina's in Biscayne Bay versus ICW Marinas in Fort Lauderdale and a huge difference from land storage with little protection vs. Jarrett Bay and open dry storage vs. dry storage facilities built to 150 mph standards. We live on the water and people immediately associate that with flooding but yet our home isn't in a 100 year flood zone and there's never been surge of 6'.

I find it most disturbing that while Dade and Broward have hurricane construction standards, the state of Florida doesn't have those same standards throughout. The recovery in the Panhandle isn't progressing at a satisfactory level and the construction was clearly inadequate but will the rebuild be any different?

As you consider where to keep your boat, ask the hard questions and do research of history. Data is readily available.
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