We know you’ve heard this before BUT, with the peak of hurricane season just around the corner, now is the time to make sure you have a plan in place. As a part of that effort, we have maintained a Hurricane Haulout List for many years that helps us prioritize the limited space we have available in the event of a tropical weather event. Here’s the way it works. Once we determine that our area is in the path of a named storm, we cease regular yard operations and begin emergency haulouts. We start by contacting customers at the top of the list if we haven’t heard from them already. These are the folks that have been working with us the longest. If they decline to schedule a haulout for any reason, we move on to the next customer. We will stay and help haul and secure boats so long as it is safe. Some storms give us more time to prepare than others. The list naturally changes as folks move in and out of the area, among other reasons.

We’ve found this system the most equitable way to share the limited amount of space and time that we have available when the time comes. Right now we have over forty vessels on our list. While we can’t guarantee we’ll be able to help you during the next storm, it still makes sense to get on the list so that your name can gradually work its way to the top. Here’s a few other things we’ve learned after experiencing Hurricanes Matthew and Irma and other tropical events in North Florida:

-Avoid leaving your boat in the water if at all possible. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but getting your boat settled on land is always the best option. Smaller vessels can be pulled on trailers or stowed in dry storage facilities.

-Don’t count on your boat lift to keep your vessel safe. Many boats in our area were stranded with no power or access or floated right out of their lifts entirely. Call us or our neighbors at Lakeshore Dry Storage to see if we have room.

-Use twisted line to secure your boat if you have to leave it in it’s slip. Braided line won’t stretch as the boat jerks back and forth for hours and causes all kinds of problems like pulling cleats right out of the boat.

-Use brand new line. Nylon dock line looses strength with time. Your old stiff dock lines probably need replacing anyhow.

-Secure dock lines much higher than you normally would to allow for storm surge.

-Turn off power to your dock and unplug lifts where applicable. Make sure the boats batteries are fully charged and less than 4 years old to keep your bilge pump running.

Another great source for tips and info on Hurricane Prep can be found at Boat US

Remember, we’re always here to help so feel free to give us a shout if we can be of assistance!