Cyclones and Boats

If your boat is on a trailer

  • Remove the outboard, safety equipment, radios, sounders, bimini covers and any other items that are valuable or may be blown away or damaged by the wind.
  • Remove it from the trailer, placing it on the ground facing the direction the wind will come from, and lash it with 24mm rope or chains to ground anchors or the most secure object available. Place the boat away from trees or objects that may fall on them.
  • Half fill the boat with water, except for stern drive or inboard motored boats.
  • If you cannot remove the boat from the trailer, turn the boat to face the wind, let the air partially out of the tyres and place wooden blocks between the frame member and the axle inside each wheel. Lash it with 24mm rope or chains to ground anchors or the most secure object available. Place the boat away from trees or objects that may fall on them.
  • Filling a boat on a trailer with water may break your trailer springs and axles wedges should be forced into the springs to distribute the additional weight on the axle.

If your boat is in the water

  • Contact your local Coastguard, Volunteer Marine Rescue Unit, Marine Watch or Harbourmaster to find out where the designated safe anchorages are in your area and any cyclone plans that may be in place.
  • Know your marina’s cyclone plan – particularly if they require you to remove your vessel.
  • Ensure that your boat can reach the safe anchorage remembering that tides may be higher then normal – make a trial run at the beginning of the cyclone season.

Moored boats

  • Double all ties.
  • Make ties high on pilings to allow for rising waters.
  • Cover all tie lines at contact points with rubber or other materials to prevent chafing.
  • Install fenders to protect the boat from rubbing against the dock or mooring.
  • Be sure batteries are sufficient to run bilge pumps throughout the storm.
  • Put duct tape on windows and hatches.
  • Insert plugs in engine ports.
  • Strip bimini tops, sails or any other object that could blow away.
  • Disconnect shore power.
  • Close fuel valves and cockpit seacocks.

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