Recently, parts of the UK and Ireland were hit by freak weather conditions. Unfortunately, it was an unpleasant reminder that the possibility of a storm causing damage to your boat while it’s in a marina over winter is all too real.
Crowds gather to watch as massive waves crash over the lighthouse at Porthcawl, Wales, as a storm passes. Image Credit: Reuters
That’s why we’ve created a storm preparation guide to make sure your boat is well-equipped during the winter months to handle any extreme storm weather that may come its way while in the marina.
1. Un-stepping your mast
Many marinas state in their terms and conditions that your mast must be un-stepped over the winter season, which is extremely sensible. Strong storm winds are likely to catch your mast and blow the boat over if it’s up, which not only causes costly damage to your boat but also to the surrounding boats – which you may end up paying to fix – which is why Specialist Boat Insurance is so important.
We also recommend removing your boat’s bimini top – if you have one – as many are light-weight and no match for strong stormy winds – meaning there’s a strong chance of it being blown away over the winter.
A marina in sunnier times before the storms hit.
2. Tidy your deck
This might sound obvious, but make sure that your deck is free of any loose items. If strong winds hit, these items will be the most likely things on your boat to become airborne and do some serious damage. Additionally, tie down or dismantle any heavy items that could be blown away.
3. Strong mooring line
This could be the difference between your boat surviving a storm in good condition or not. Make sure you use strong, thick mooring line, and tie it to as many points as you can. Also take care to tie up your fenders, as you don’t want those blowing about in the storm either!
Boat bumper protectors waiting to be removed.
4. Remove electrical connections
Just because electronics are inside your boat doesn’t mean they won’t feel the effects of a storm too. If strong winds start to blow your boat around, any electrical items plugged in could be torn out of the socket and damage both the item and the electrical connection.
5. Speak to your neighbours
Have you taken the necessary winter and storm preparation for your boat? Have your neighbours?
Speak with them to make sure that they’ve taken the same precautions you have. If they’ve not secured something down properly – it puts your boat at risk too, so keep an eye out for anything your neighbouring boats have missed.
6. Winter Boat Insurance
Even when taking all precautions, there’s no guarantee that your boat will come out completely unscathed. If the worst does happen, you’ll be glad to have had Specialist Boat Insurance which will keep your vessel protected when moored up, even during a storm.
At Insure4Boats, our policies can be tailor-made to your exact needs. If you sail your boat all year round and keep it in a marina between the 31st October to the 1st April, our Winter cover add-on is essential to keep your boat protected.
Frosty weather is also an inevitable part of the UK winter too. Make sure you’re protected against loss or damage as a result of frost or freezing – such as your pipes freezing – with our Frost cover add-on.
If you’re already an existing policyholder and wish to add Winter or Frost cover to your policy instantly, give us a call on 0800 668 1661, and we’ll make sure your boat is protected for the winter season.