Saturday, August 20, 2016

Our Hurricane Plan 2016

Early Days Invest 99L August 20, 2016
Let me start by giving proper credit to Deb and Tim Akey on Kintala.  They have been so kind as to share their very comprehensive plan with us.

I have submitted this plan to our insurance as a part of the initial process of obtaining insurance for boats wishing to remain in the Caribbean during hurricane season.  It has been altered to reflect our plans and both times it was approved... although the second time, the underwriters stated that it was "basically the same" as the previously approved version.  I guess they didn't read it since it was originally placing us down below Grenada in the Trinidad vicinity...  Oh well.  It IS a lot of gobbledygook...

Hurricane Plan for: Dos Libras Make: Catalina
Model: Morgan
LOA: 45’3”

Beam: 13’9”
Draft: 5’3”
Air Draft: 62’5”
Propulsion: Sail/Mechanical
Propane Tanks: 2 X 10lb stored in outside lazarette starboard aft deck

1 X 30lb stored on deck starboard aft for BBQ grill State Registration Number: TX1665BS
US Documentation Number: 1031605 HIN: MRYG0046L495
Insurance: Falvey

We expect to be actively cruising and living aboard year round. Our intention is to be in the waters around Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands during the months of July, August and September (possibly October) 2016. We have reserved a slip for our boat beginning July 15th, 2016 with Marina de Salinas located at the end of Road 701, Playa Ward, in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Contact information:
P.O. Box 364386, San Juan, P.R. 00936-4386
Phone: (787) 824-4193 (Salinas) Email:
We have spoken to the Marina staff regarding their hurricane policy for boats remaining in the marina during a storm. Depending upon the expected path and intensity of the storm, they will either allow boats to remain with proper extra precautions taken, or in the case of a very strong storm, will advise that boats be removed to a more sheltered hurricane hole.
Our chosen hurricane hole is in Los Jobos (See aerial view below) : Approximate coordinates N17°56.353, W066°15.389. It is our intent to investigate and mark locations and depths prior to any storm threat.
There are persons with local knowledge of this place who can be employed as helpers to get our boat into the mangroves, set up our lines and anchors, remove all windage from the decks and help us get ourselves and our valuables to shore should the severity of the situation warrant these actions.
We will make all final decisions based upon the situation as it unfolds and using the National Hurricane Center and our subscribed service from Meteorologist Chris Parker ( You can find his advice for where to be during storm season here:

Hurricane Holes: Emergency plans if unable to get to our primary and secondary hurricane choices:
Ø Move early to the nearest safe location to avoid crowding
  • Ø  Find a place with short fetch and good holding taking into consideration the
    possible wind direction anticipated.
  • Ø  Set out bow and stern anchors and tie off to mangroves with all available
    lines on all sides using appropriate chafe protection.
  • Ø  Puerto Rico Alternate: Seek shelter in the mangroves in Bahia de Boqueron
  • Ø  British Virgin Islands: Seek shelter in Nanny Cay Marina
  • Ø  St. Croix: Seek shelter in Salt River Marina
  • Ø  St. John: Seek shelter in Coral Bay
    Marina Plan:
    Immediately upon awareness of a threat (prior to issuance of hurricane watch):

    Ø Remove foresail from roller furling. Stow below. Secure furling line.
    Ø Remove mainsail and mainsail cover. Stow below.
    Ø Secure reefing lines and halyards to mast and boom.
    Ø Lash boom to deck.
    Ø Remove bimini canvas. Stow below.
    Ø Remove dodger canvas. Stow below.
    Ø Secure anchor on bow roller.
    Ø Duct tape deck anchor locker completely closed. 
    Ø Pump out holding tank.
    Ø Tape tank vents closed.
    Ø Stow all deck water jerry cans below.
    Ø Remove leeboards, store below.
    Ø Stow boat hooks and net below.
    Ø Secure spinnaker pole on deck.
    Ø Secure cockpit table.
    Ø Add extra (double) 5/8” and 3/4” mooring lines per diagram below. 
    Ø Add extra heavy-duty chafe guards to mooring lines.
    Ø Secure cockpit locker with bundle tie and tape.
    Ø Remove flag and flagpole, store below.
    Ø Check to be sure all documents are packed in waterproof case. 
    Ø US Documentation paperwork
    Ø Insurance policy
    Ø Registration paperwork
    Ø Pack evacuation bags.
    Ø Clothing
    Ø Rain gear
    Ø Flashlights
    Ø Radio
    Ø Phones / chargers
    Ø Computers / chargers
Ø iPads / chargers Ø Passports
Ø Banking records Ø Glasses
Ø Wallets
Ø Verify availability of closest evacuation center.
Ø Review marina specific storm plan and requirements. 
Ø Notify insurance of our location and specific plans.
Upon issuance of hurricane watch:
Ø Lash wheel to stern pulpit.
Ø Lock rudder.
Ø Stow removable seat cushion sections below.
Ø Tape and/or tie cupboards closed below.
Ø Remove solar panels from mounts and store below.
Ø Charge batteries to full.
Ø Deflate dinghy and lash onto foredeck or remove to storage location onshore. 
Ø Package bedding in waterproof bags and stow cushions in vertical position. 
Ø Plug sink drains and duct tape.
Ø Stow fenders below
Upon issuance of hurricane warning:
Ø Check dock lines.
Ø Check chafe guards.
Ø Assure all windage is removed from deck.
Ø Tape hatch seams with duct tape.
Ø Tape port seams with duct tape.
Ø Turn off propane at tank and disconnect.
Ø Turn off AC and DC panels.
Ø Remove food from refrigerator and turn off.
Ø Cycle bilge pump to assure working order.
Ø Top batteries to full.
Ø Remove fuel jerry cans to shore.
Ø Close all thru hulls.
Ø Duct tape exhaust outlet
Ø Duct tape companionway hatch prior to leaving.
Precautionary Measures
(Should be initiated at beginning of each Hurricane Season, and on an ongoing basis)
1.) Have your vessel Hurricane Plan established. Know in advance where you are going, what you are going to do, and when you are going to do it.
2.) Involve a friend or family member(s) in your vessel Hurricane Plan so that they may assist. Initiate a "dry run" to ensure that you are ready for the real thing.
3.) Make sure that your vessel's operating systems are in good working order. Replace fuel filters, inspect batteries/charging system, and keep fuel tanks topped off. Inspect all bilge pumps/connections. Inspect fire-fighting equipment for readiness.
4.) Inspect all working and spare dock lines and ground tackle (check chain and shackles). Ensure that all extra line is in good condition and in an accessible location. Have sufficient chafing gear for all working lines
5.) Devote some time to practice tying your vessel as you would for a Hurricane or severe storm. Make sure that your extra line is of sufficient quantity and strength.

Active Measures
(To be initiated at least 72 hours before Hurricane expected landfall)
1.) If relocating your vessel from a Marina, do it now. The longer
you wait, the more difficult it will be getting to where you are going. Vessels remaining in the Marinas that require relocation to other slips (for purposes of vessel safety and cleat/piling stress reduction) will be moved at this time.
2.) Strip as much as you can from the vessel topsides. Bimini tops, dinghies, motors, sails, roller furling, outriggers, chairs, should be stowed.
3.) Enhance watertight integrity above and below the waterline -seal windows, doors, hatches with duct tape. Shut seacocks, cap off or plug unvalved through-hull fittings such as sink drains. Clear cockpit drains.
4.) Make sure that the vessel bilge is free from sludge, debris, and obstruction. Check batteries, connections, charging system, and bilge pumps/connections again.
5.) Hoses, bicycles, and everything else off piers and docks. Dock boxes emptied.

This diagram is a suggestion and we will revise as needed with actual cleats available once we take the boat to our slip in July


  1. This is a great post Tammy - very comprehensive hurricane plan. Fingers crossed that you never have to use it.

    1. Thanks, so do I! It'll be a LOT of work! I asked Bruce if he wanted to go ahead and strip the sails and just leave them in the v-berth for the season and he looked at me like I had lost my mind!

  2. Thanks for this info...have copied and printed its content for my note binder for Storm preparations.

    1. You're welcome Richard! It needs some changes to make it fit each boat as they are all a little different... but it's a good template to use. Also good to print out and cross things off the list when implementing the plan.