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Hurricane Season 2023

Published Date: Apr 30, 2023

With an enjoyable 2023 boating season already well underway in southern latitudes and now launching into full swing for the rest of us, this means the start of hurricane season for 2023 is also just around the corner beginning on June 1st. And during the summer months in the Northern Hemisphere if the palm fronds in your marina are waving and the evening air is balmy, you are likely in the hurricane latitudes which means enjoy boating - but also be on watch and have a plan – a good plan to protect your boat and your pastime! As a boat owner, executing an effective hurricane preparedness plan can help mitigate potential damage to your boat saving you and your insurance company money, saving you stress, and reducing the potential for damage caused by your boat to docks, neighboring boats, and pollution in local waterways.

Additionally, many yacht insurance policies include warranties (promises by you) that need to be strictly adhered to for Named Windstorm Coverage to apply. It is imperative you have read your policy and are familiar with those warranties to avoid a coverage dispute with your insurance company. Novamar staff members are happy to review your policy with you, and remember – it’s not just the boat coverage that you are at risk for in the event of an uncovered claim, as a boat owner you are also at risk for expenses incurred in salvage / wreck removal, environmental and pollution clean-up costs & possibly third party damage costs to property damaged by your vessel such as marina infrastructure, environmental areas, other boats or homes/buildings all of which can add hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional expense for which you can he held responsible.

To assist in avoiding some of the above exposure areas, here are some general precautionary measures you may put into place to prepare a boat kept in any storm prone areas. A good hurricane preparedness plan can consist of:


  • Removal: Remove all loose gear including canvas, isinglass, tenders, sails, cushions, grills etc.
  • Supplies: Make sure you have extra dock lines, fenders, anchors, tie-downs ready to deploy, and duct tape to seal windows, hatches, deck / hull openings and companionways.

Hauled Out Ashore - Statistically speaking, hauling your boat out of the water is your safest option.

  • Strap each side of the boat down with independent lines to tie downs in a concrete pad
  • Store the boat above the projected storm surge.
  • Use anti-slip jack stands that are chained together to reduce movement.
  • Remove hull drain plugs (if any). ***REMEMBER TO REINSTALL PLUGS BEFORE LAUNCHING YOUR BOAT***
  • Make sure cockpit drains are clear.


  • Deploy dock lines in a spider web/crossing fashion. Use twice as many lines or more as needed for normal conditions and provide chafe protection where lines exit chocks or are tied around cleats and pilings.
  • If your dock is located in a narrow channel, work with neighbors to tie the boats to pilings on each side of the canal allowing the boat to be suspended in the middle of the canal to void chafe and abrasion.
  • Deploy anchors to hold the boat off docks and jetties when possible.
  • Fully charge all batteries.
  • Keep the bilges clean and confirm the automatic bilge pump/s is/are operational.

Trailered & Lifts

  • If securing on a lift determine if your vessel height will remain above predicted storm surge. If so lift vessel as high as recommended by your lift manufacturer ensuring good cockpit drainage and secure the lift and boat together to form a single unit as much as possible. If advisable by our lift manufacturer support lift pilings with additional ties to a secure object ashore. If determined that surge could be a problem it may be best to relocate your boat or find a safe haul-out location.
  • If on a trailer lift or remove and store outboard engines.
  • Store trailered boat indoors or next to a wind break such as strong concrete / proven building ensuring proper drainage.
  • Secure vessel from movement on trailer & secure to the ground via with tiedowns similar to above if possible
  • Keep cockpit drains clear.

Your insurance policy may include a storm haul-out reimbursement benefit or similarly named shared expense coverage provision for services that you employ to protect your property from an impending named storm such as hauling the boat out of the water or moving it to a safe location. Please review your insurance policy for further information.

To monitor the track of named storms and obtain further information on hurricane preparedness, you may go to: (Pacific Coast)

To file a hurricane haul out reimbursement claim, please forward a copy of the invoice for haul out services, and include the policy holder’s name and policy number. Email

Written by Craig Chamberlain of Novamar