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DON'S LOG: stories, experience and advice

LAYING UP AFLOAT IN A MARINA OR STAYING IN A MARINA IN A HURRICANE

First of all look at the frequency that hurricane have hit the various yachting centers where there are marinas of any size that make leaving a boat there is a possibility. The below figures based on NOAA hurricane tracks since 1975 when yachting in the eastern Caribbean started taking off

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HURRICANES: PROPERLY LAYING UP ASHORE

Load on a  60' 1/4 inch halyard secures to a pad eye.

To properly lay up a boat for hurricane season is a job that must be done by owner, his captain, a very trusted friend or be done under the supervision by local surveyor.

Screw jacks or fabricated cradle? Fabricated cradles are seldom designed and built for a specific boat so the arms seldom match up with strong points, like bulkheads or half bulkheads.  Read More 

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LAYING UP ASHORE PICK AREA AND YARD CAREFULLY

The western part of Hurricane Hurricane Alley Anegada west to Eastern Puerto Rico is well named as since the area really started booming with yachts about 1975 , the area has been hit 8 times, with hurricanes 75, two in 79, 84 Klaus, 89 Hugo, 95 and four times in 2017 by Harvey,Irma, Jose and Maria, in 2019 Dorina which luckily passed thru fast and  did  no major damage.  Plus there  were   another half dozen  tropical storms

Thus ten  hurricanes  in 45 years hence  the name  hurricane  alley..

One would think that everyone would have worked out plans to minimize the damage caused by hurricane, but unfortunately they have not. This is the reason it is difficult to obtain insurance in the eastern Caribbean and especially for boats based in Hurricane Alley. Read More 

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LAYING UP ON A HURRICANE MOORING DURING HURRICANE SEASON OR SURVIVING A HURRICANE AT ANCHOR

Effects of wind on 50ft monohull with a 60ft mast laying head to wind
Effects of wind on the achorline load of  50' monohull with a 60' mast laying head to wind. Note loads increase drasticallywith larger boats.

This is not a good idea as is illustrated by my loss of L’ll Iolaire in hurricane Ivan in Grenada in 2004. Iike most sailors felt that Grenada that had only been hit by two hurricanes, one in 1856 and in 1955 Grenada was basically south of the hurricane area. Every summer starting in 1996 we laid up L’ll Iolaire on a good heavy mooring, chain to a rope attached to a buoy. From the buoy to L’ll Iolaire two separate lines lead thru two separate chocks to two separate cleat bolted to big backing blocks. Lines were carefully cover with chaffing gear.

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