How to Secure your Boat in a Storm

Secure your Boat

Storms can cause untold damage, both on land and on the water. Of course, waiting out a storm is easy enough with the right preparation. But what can you do to secure your exposed boat in a storm? There are some time tested methods for securing boats in a storm. However, they do vary depending on the type of boat you are securing, and its location. Here are some of our best tips for securing your boat in a storm.

Before you secure your boat, take out everything that isn’t bolted in – here’s why

The golden rule of securing a boat is to prepare for wind. You’ve got to assume that strong winds are coming with every storm, and prepare accordingly. The best way to do so is by removing all loose items from your boat. Anything that isn’t welded or bolted to your boat is at risk of blowing away. Heavier items can even cause damage as the wind carries them. That’s why the first step to securing your boat is removing all loose items and getting them indoors. That way, you know that you won’t lose anything you didn’t have to.

Got a small aluminium boat? Turn it upside down and secure it with ratchet straps or strong ropes

Small aluminium boats might not seem at much risk of storm damage. After all, they’re just aluminium hulls. But in reality, they are among the most at-risk boats. A serious storm is capable of blowing a tinny away altogether. That means irreparable damage, and the risk of losing your boat altogether. But there can be even more serious consequences.

When your boat leaves the ground, it becomes a projectile capable of causing serious damage to homes and people. That’s why you need to secure your aluminium boat. We suggest turning it upside down, and securing it with ratchet straps or strong ropes. If that’s not possible, you can remove it from the trailer and fill it with water. That will increase its weight, and make it less likely to blow away.

Do you need to secure your large moored boat? Here are some tips

If you have a moored yacht or cruiser, storms can be particularly frightening. So how do you secure a moored boat? Generally, it depends on where it’s moored. If your boat is moored in a marina, you will likely be able to secure it with ropes. You may even get instructions from the harbourmaster. But if you’re moored in a river or bay, the risks increase.

The best way to secure your boat in those situations is to find a small creek. We suggest heading up an estuary at the top of the tide – preferably one with mangroves. When you find a small tributary or drain, manoeuvre your boat as far up as possible. Make sure the bottom is mud or sand; rocks can damage your hull. When you’re in a small protected creek or drain, secure your boat to sturdy trees on either bank. Ensure you leave enough rope, but not too much. Remember the smaller and shallower the creek, the better!

We recommend that you avoid using tarps to secure your boat in a storm – here’s why

Tarps are almost impossible to secure in severe storms. No matter how well they’re tied, they almost invariably come loose. That’s why we don’t recommend using tarps to secure your boat in a storm. If you’re concerned about water, take out any non-waterproof items, and remove the bungs. That will allow water to drain from your boat as it comes in.

Remember, the best way to secure your boat is to get it under cover if you can

No matter how well you secure your boat in a storm, there’s always a chance that it will sustain damage. The best way to secure your boat in earnest is to get it undercover somehow. Of course, that’s not always an option. And if it isn’t, the steps above can help. But if it’s at all possible, seek shelter for your boat!

For all your boating needs across Brisbane, get in touch with Holt Marine on (07) 3353 1928.

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