How To Care For Your Boat After A Hurricane | Highland Beach Boat Safety
The big one has passed, and the sun pierces the misty veil of the morning after. Your home, family, and friends are ok - what matters most. But what of your boat? Your beautiful, shimmering vessel of South Floridian bliss - the aquatic party platform you envisioned spending your Sunday adrift upon when you moved to Highland Beach. In today's guide, we close the door on our two-part hurricane preparedness series for your Highland Beach boat. If you've done everything you can to prepare, all you can do is wait. Stay safe during hurricane season, and read these tips below on how to care for your boat after a hurricane.
Ensure You Are Safe & Permitted To Reenter The Marina
Marinas are secure locations to start with, but may also contain hazards that could delay or prevent its opening altogether for some time after the hurricane. Marinas, when damaged can be susceptible to everything from jagged metal edges to leaking gas and live wires. When the storm passes, your boat shouldn't be the first thing on your mind anyway. With a little patience and some effort on behalf of the marina team, you'll access your boat as soon as possible and begin assessing the damage, if there is any at all.
Remove Any Sand, Silt, Or Pooled Water
Your boat is likely to be caked in silt, sediment, sand, small rocks, and saltwater following the thrashing of a hurricane. Hurricanes move entire beachfront, reform land, and carry materials to distances and heights that seem unimaginable. After checking for any fuel leaks, broken pipes or live wires, be sure to begin the recovery process by flushing your boat surfaces free of the aforementioned natural byproducts. These sediments can damage surfaces, erode important coatings, fray lines, and destroy canvas and cloth materials to just to begin.
Check Bilge And Pumps For Debris
After covering the surface of your craft, the next thing to do is cleanse the inner workings of your boat - namely the bilge pumps. Many nearby marinas are in brackish or estuarine environments not far from mangroves and saltwater hammock ecosystems. These leafy, lush environments contribute to the sticks, leaves, and mud that is likely to be built up in your filtration systems. Flush these pumps and clear any debris to begin refreshing your boat from the inside out.
Inspect For Chafed Or Frayed Lines
Protecting your cloth, canvas, and textile materials aboard your boat is an important component of preparing your boat for a hurricane. However, not everything goes as planned, and in the event you have chafed, frayed, or damaged lines, you should consider replacing them as soon as possible. Boating is an easygoing, luxurious lifestyle that shouldn't be stressful or dangerous, but when things go wrong, they go very wrong. Prevent very otherwise... preventable mistakes by ensuring your ropes and lines are taut and secure.
Beware Of Hot Electrical Currents And Leaking Gas
Before flushing anything with water or even climbing aboard for more than to check, gas leaks and live wires need to be accounted for. In the event a leak or live wire is suspected, the proper authorities should be contacted before assessing any further damage. Be sure to know the location of the circuit breaker and the protocol to properly switch off electricity from the source. If the proper measures were taken, the gas should have been drained and gas lines shut off before the storm. In the event of a leak, notify marina authorities and contact the U.S. Coast Guard for further assistance.
To learn what to do before a hurricane, click HERE.