I got possibilities of 3 Hurricanes being on border on the coast ..I"m on the line of both N and S Carolina

At 9:59pm on September 2nd, 2008, Lola said…
You can see my set up. I'm on the end..the picture was taken from that bulkhead...the white rafts are for dinghys they are bolted in place. Of course im tied to a moving dock...any advice is needed.TY Delete Comment

At 9:56pm on September 2nd, 2008, Lola said…
How in the heck,can I ready for Hanna, and 2 more after that. I know the Marina says we are a safe harbour...but......I have heard that often they tie boats together...what do you think of that.? Also I got that plastic up to shade sun...should I take that out? Also I have the carry on air conditioner on top...should I take it out?

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Hi Lola, I noticed from your picture that there is no dock line attached to the stern on the starboardside, is this the usual way that you are tied in? Is there no mooring pole off the starboard side? Perhaps the marina can put one in for you -or move you to a slip where you can tie off 4 points on the boat- that would be much more secure! If they won't do either of these things, then you could set an anchor off that side to help keep the port side from rubbing on the dock. Hang out you boat bumpers to the exposded side to help protect from other boats that might get loose.
As far as other preparations, it would be a good idea if all shore power electricity is disconnected
so that in the event of power outtage the company can get the juice going with one less customer trying to draw current. If you have an automatic bilge pump, leave that on. (after seeing 20" of rain come down in FL from Fay, that would be a good idea) And of course anything that can get blown off or shredded in the wind- I woud wrap rope around the length of the boom to hold your sail cover on and lash the bimini down as well. I would think your air conditioner would be fine as is, if it was professionally installed and is well fastened in the hatch- call the person who installed it and get their opinion if you can. you could seal up the vent cover with a heavy trash bag if you don't have a fitted cover and duct tape it down, it might be a good Idea to seal off other air ducts on the deck as well. Anything hanging on the walls which isn't screwed on should be stowed and anything unfastened ought to be stowed as well. Of course if you haven't asked God for any favors lately, you might send a request to preserve your homes.....
I'm at St.Simons Island, GA and always remove my dodger, Bimini And sails when it looks like I'll be in the path. Such as when Fay looked to be crossing just below us, I'll just leave everything alone until it's clear again.
I would take in all canvas and any loose items on deck. Idea is to keep windage to the minimum. Make sure all dock line are like new and have chaffing gear at friction points.
Good luck and please do not ride out storm on board.
Capt Bill
First of all remember that the force of the wind goes up with the square of the surface area and wind force. You can't change the wind force, but you can reduce your windage.

That includes ALL your canvas and plastic tarps. Take your SAILS OFF. If you have 100 mph winds there is no sail tie or canvas that won't start flapping. You are on the coast! You could get the full power of the storm when it hits. If you can remove the AC, then do so. Don't leave anything on deck at all. Make sure all your halyards are tide securely. You don't want lines getting loose and fouled in stuff.

When final storm time comes you should run lines to different pilings. Have two lines from every point and a full set of spring lines. The two lines should ideally be adjusted so one takes the load first, and as it stretches the second line begins to take the load. Be sure to allow for the expected storm surge i.e. very high tide. You can run lines to other pilings that are near your boat. Ask the dockmaster. He/she will help you decide which pilings are best for you to use. You should make a special effort to get at least 4 lines off your starboard side to hold you away from the dock.

When we prepared for a hurricane on Tortola, when we were done the whole marina looked like a big spider web of lines with everyone tied to all the pilings within reach.

This is the email I just got from my Dock Master in Deltaville VA where the storm should be much less powerful if it gets there.


In light of the number of storms in the Atlantic and the possibility of a
strike as early as this weekend we are asking all slipholders to make the
following storm preparations:

CHECK YOUR DOCKLINES. Make sure they are of adequate size. Boats up to 30ft
should have at least 1/2 inch lines. Boats 30 to 40 ft should have 5/8 inch
lines. Boats over 40 ft should have 3/4 inch lines. Old lines, old
halyards, and undersized lines are not permitted.

Lines to the north (the prevelant windstorm direction) should be doubled.

Lines should be attached to pilings whenever possible, especially at the
ends of the floating finger piers. The attachment point should be high
enough to allow for three to five foot rises in water level.

We have on hand a new supply of suitable docklines at the marina. If, in our
opinion, your boat is not adequately secured, we will add lines and bill you
for materials and labor.

We must have a key or combination for access to your boat, including storage
hatches. Leave additional lines available for emergencies.

Remove canvas and other items from your boat to reduce windage and damage to
your boat and others, including people.

Store tenders on land.

Tie down and/or store any loose items.

Check shore power cords to see that they have adequate length to allow for
storm surge.

Electricity will be cut off for safety reasons when water rises close to the
level of the docks, transformers and wiring.

During severe storms pilings and docks present the greatest hazard to your
boat. Hauling out or anchoring out is strongly recommended. Check your
insurance policy to ensure that everything is current. You are responsible
for damage to other boats and to docks.

Prior to and during storms our staff works hard to protect all property at
the marina, but 35 years of marina experience has shown that we cannot cover
everything, especially during the height of the storm. Thank you for your

Good luck
I know you and a number of others are anxious about the coming storm on the East Coast. But, down here on the Texas Gulf Coast (or as the marine insurance companies call it, hurricane alley) this is fairly common and Paloma has endured and/or dodged endless named storms (up to Cat 4 hurricanes) in her 29 years in a slip on the Gulf - Claudette, Alica, Rita, Katarina and the list goes on and on and on. Sail boats are tougher than you think - when Paloma was down in Puerto Isabella, there was an unexpected squall that blew through the marina with winds over 100mph (as measured at the South Padre Island Coast Guard station) and I hadn't done anything - no damage other than Paloma got slammed into the dock and exploded the midship fender and slightly damaged the rub rail.
When I know a storm is coming and can get to the boat: I remove any relevant paperwork and the electronics (VHF, GPS, auto pilot, etc.). Then I remove the the canvas from the bimini and bungie the bimini frame to the back stay. I have canvas hatch and companionway covers, I remove them. I don't remove the sails - I roll up the roller furling with four or five extra wraps, then wrap a second line around if from just above to just below where the halyards attach to it - it's fine so long as it doesn't unfurl and try to sail your boat out of the slip. For the main sail, I take it off the topping lift and tie if off to the cabin trunk hand rails. I leave the sail cover on, but tightly wrap a line starting just above the sail cover on the mast and continue wrapping until I get to the aft end of the boom. For the boat itself, I double up the lines and loosen them a bit, add two more spring lines (put some sort of chaffing protection where they cross the boat or the dock - I have pieces of old fire hose from an office building that I use) and put out extra fenders on boat sides of the boat (even if you only have a finger pier on one side). I have seen people do more and come out no better than Paloma (whose only damage came when during Hurricane Alica - a Cat 3 - in the 12-foot storm tide, a Tayana 37 - who did nothing - broke loose, knocking two other boats loose and Paloma was the first boat that didn't move). I've seen people do nothing and sustain damage, but less than you would expect - generally roller furlings unfurl and destroy the head sail, biminis get all twisted and screwed up and maybe the hull banged up from hitting the dock or something else.
Then I drive back home, get a cup of coffee and review my insurance policy.
I want to Thank you all.. I spent the day at the boat...did all your advice, bimini down, double lined,carry on air cond is in foot locker, all loose inside secured, tied over the sail covers...did not take sails down..but are really tied secure., put out extra fenders...Advice at the Marina...they wanted lines tight. It has floating docks. Sea cocks closed, auto bilge is on...left shore elec on....The Marina folks said this is all for nothing...they all are doing nothing.

With 3 Hurricanes, I don't want to take a chance...I need to spend tomorrow putting my ply wood up at my house. The RV is ready, and I will leave if things get bad here in NC. Boat is at Little River, SC. My house is at Ocean Isle NC
I will post a photo of my ready for the storms boat soon....Thanks again...Please continue to post, You have very good advice and experience to share.
After thought, I saw where I could put my anchor below...Thoughts? its at the bow at this time.
Is that Coquina Harbor?

They're not going to tie anyone to you in the spot where you are. They do that in double wide slips where 2 boats are both tied to floating docks: tying them together will keep them both from beating against their own docks.

Those shades should be down as should your air conditioner. You should even run a line around both of those sails. Wrap one long line barber pole fashion around each sail to help keep them in place in the event the covers fail. An ounce of prevention is worth a shitload of money.

A hour of your time is worth investing. You never know how much wind you're gonna get until the next morning.

s/v Veranda
Yes I am at a floating dock.
Ok Im all tied up and tidy...just waiting now.

Also house is all ready. Very nerve racking...Thanks again for your help and a good discussion.


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