Marine Products Specialists Offer Excellent Tropical Storm Preparedness Tips

Frank Lanier

Your Marine Products Professionals Help You to Withstand the Big Storm Surge

Raritan Engineering Company would like to share with you this week some amazing suggestions regarding tropical storm preparedness tips for you and your friends. 

Your marine products experts know that if your marina has floating docks, the pilings should be high enough to withstand the storm surge. Most marinas built after 1992, when Hurricane Andrew wreaked havoc with floating docks in South Florida, now have 18-foot tall pilings.

The two most extensive articles appeared in July 2008 “Gear for Battening Down Ahead of Storms,” and “Tropical Storms Dos and Don’ts,” from November 2011.  

Our first choice in a storm is a haulout facility, preferable well-inland and out of the path of the storm. The facility shouldn’t be vulnerable to storm surge, and it should be equipped with fixed anchors to tie your boat down. Second choice would be a hurricane hole with good holding, again well inland and out of the storm’s path. 

Neither of these boats are tied for a storm, but they demonstrate key points regarding positioning and length of a spring line. The longer the spring line (or any dock line), the more elasticity you will have in the event of a storm surge.

Your Marine Products Analysts Suggest Not to Leave Yourself Vulnerable to Storms

• Dock line size varies both with boat size and expected wind speed. Your marine products specialists feel that boats docked in hurricane or other severe weather areas should consider going up a size from common recommendations. However, be sure your deck cleats can stand up to the loads (see point below). 

• Loads on the cleat of a 35- to 40-foot boat during an actual hurricane can exceed one ton. While boat building standards (the American Boat and Yacht Council in the U.S.) specify load-carrying ability, some older dock cleats are not up to snuff. 

• If your boat is 30-feet or longer and you do not yet have mid-ships cleats for attaching spring lines, consider adding them at the next opportunity. These should be sized and backed in the same manner as bow cleats, since loads are the same or greater. 

• Removing canvas and sails reduces windage. Specifically, remove the furling jib, one of the most common storm casualties. Dodgers and other canvas will also suffer if left up during the storm.

• Don’t leave anything on deck. Even dense objects can be blown across the deck and do damage, or be lost overboard.

• Use plenty of fenders. Fenders need to protect you from the dock and neighboring boats. A fender board can be particularly useful in some scenarios.  

• Floating versus fixed docks. Properly designed floating docks are generally considered a safer option than fixed docks, with some important caveats. The support pilings must be high enough for the predicted storm surge. 

• Lastly, any marina facing significant storm surge is simply not safe, but those protected from a long fetch by a low wave barrier are particularly vulnerable.  

Learn more from Raritan Engineering Company this month about all of your marine products supply needs. 

via Preparing a Marina-bound Boat for a Tropical Storm

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