PHILADELPHIA--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As tropical storm Isaac potentially threatens the Gulf Coast, it serves as an important reminder for boat owners and the marine community to take proactive measures to minimize the potential for injuries and reduce damage to boats.
ACE Recreational Marine Insurance has released its top ten list of important tips to help recreational boaters protect their vessels as well as other property on board during the hurricane season. “The best defenses to protecting your boat from hurricanes or any severe weather are planning, preparation and timely action,” said Damon R. Hostetter, Senior Vice President, ACE Recreational Marine Insurance. “It’s important for boat owners to be aware of preventative measures they can take during the hurricane season. Preparation and contingency plans should be in place before the hurricane season, and well in advance of an impending storm. Resources and time are limited once an active storm is headed your way.”
The following precautionary suggestions are guidelines to be used by the marine community to help prevent injury or possibly reduce property damage.
ACE Recreational Marine’s Top Ten Hurricane Safety Tips for Boaters
|1.||Develop a detailed plan of action to secure your vessel in advance. Options for non-trailerable boats may include hauling your boat, securing your boat in the marina (if permitted) or moving your boat to a previously identified “storm refuge.” Specifically identify and assemble needed equipment and supplies. Keep them together and practice your plan to ensure it works before the hurricane season. Arrange for a qualified and capable friend or a licensed professional captain to carry out your plans if you are out of town during the hurricane season.|
|Owners of boats remaining in a marina berth can take the following precautions: Double all lines. Rig crossing spring lines fore and aft. Attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal rise or surge. Make sure lines will not slip off pilings. Inspect pilings and choose those that appear the strongest and tallest, and are installed properly.|
|For boats remaining on a mooring, the mooring must be designed and maintained to withstand the load that will be placed upon it by the attached vessel. Owners should contact their marina to determine the maximum load their mooring will withstand and how that relates to a Category three storm. In addition, the chain and swivels that connect the mooring buoy to the anchor should be inspected and serviced annually. The mooring pennant to the buoy must be in good condition and should be doubled-up. Good chafing material should be secured in place where the pennant passes through chocks or other potential chafe points. The cleats or attachment points on the vessel should be substantial and have adequate backing plates, not simply washers.|
|For boats that can be trailered, the best course of action is to haul your vessel out of the water and move it to a safe location as far from tidal waters as possible, and away from trees that may topple. Also remember to pull the drain plug and remove electronics onboard.|
|2.||Check your lease or storage rental agreement with the marina or storage facility. Know your responsibilities and liabilities as well as those of the marina.|
|3.||Cover all lines at rough points or where lines feed through chocks to prevent chafing. Wrap with tape, rags and rubber hoses or leather. Install fenders, fender boards or tires if necessary to protect the boat from rubbing against the pier, pilings and other boats.|
|4.||Fully charge the batteries and check to ensure their capability to run automatic bilge pumps for the duration of the storm. Consider backup batteries. Shut off all devices consuming electricity except bilge pumps, and disconnect shore power cables.|
|5.||When a hurricane is impending, and after you have made anchoring or mooring provisions, remove all portable equipment such as canvas, sails, dinghies, electronics, cushions, biminis and roller furling sails. Lash down everything you are unable to remove such as tillers, wheels and booms.|
|6.||Implement your preparations and respond quickly. Key your plan on quick response. Moving a vessel, stripping sails, derigging and anchoring in seas resulting from 35 mph winds is extremely difficult and impossible in 45 mph winds.|
|7.||Maintain an inventory of both the items removed and those left on board. Items of value should be marked so that they can be readily identified. You should also consider maintaining a video or photographic record of the boat and its inventory in a secure location other than the vessel itself for future reference.|
|8.||Consolidate all records including insurance policies, a recent photo of your vessel, boat registration, equipment inventory, and the lease agreement with the marina or storage facility. Ensure that you include the telephone numbers of appropriate authorities, such as the U.S. Coast Guard, Harbor Master, National Weather Service, and your insurance agent, and keep them on hand.|
|9.||Do not stay aboard. Winds, during any hurricane, can exceed 100 mph and tornadoes are often associated with these storms. Above all, safeguard human life.|
|10.||After the hurricane has passed, be aware of possible downed electrical wires which should be considered “hot” and avoid these areas until the power company or electrical maintenance personnel are notified. Although a building, house or boat may be without power, generators may be operating and the electrical lines will be charged. There may be stray AC current from submerged outlets, shore cords in the water, damaged vessel systems, etc. Do not enter the water! Checks should be made for leaking natural gas and propane by smell only, not with matches or candles.|
According to Mr. Hostetter, the more knowledgeable recreational boaters are about proactive safety practices on the water, the better. “In addition to taking precautionary measures before any severe storms, one of the most important components to protect you and your boat is to read and thoroughly understand your insurance policy well in advance. You should ensure the policy’s coverage adequately meets your needs. It is vital to understand the specifics of your policy coverage, exclusions and your duties as a vessel owner. ACE offers Hurricane Haul-Out Coverage, which provides clients who reside in storm-prone areas with coverage for haul-out and storage fees when necessary to protect an insured vessel during a named storm,” he noted. “Along with this, ACE also offers reimbursement of labor expenses associated with marina personnel who prepare your vessel in advance of a named storm, should you be traveling or otherwise unable to protect the vessel yourself. It is coverages like these that boat owners need to be aware of well in advance of an impending storm.”
ACE also offers free preparation guides including Hurricanes and Severe Storms and Hurricane Preparation Tips for Boaters, which include detailed recommendations and tips for the owners of trailerable and non-trailerable boats to undertake prior, during and after a storm. Please visit www.acemarineinsurance.com website to download these safety brochures, by selecting the “Customer Resources” link under “Pleasure Boats and Yachts” on the homepage, clicking on the “Boating Safety and Loss Prevention Tips” link, and then choose the brochure by title. To learn more about ACE Recreational Marine Insurance and obtain valuable information on a wide range of other safety and loss prevention topics, please visit www.acemarineinsurance.com.
ACE Recreational Marine Insurance, part of ACE Private Risk Services, has been serving marine clients for more than 200 years, since 1792 when its predecessor company wrote the very first marine insurance policy issued in the United States. ACE offers exceptional all-risk insurance coverage to protect the entire spectrum of pleasure yachts and boats, including classic boats, luxury mega-yachts and sailboats, sport fishing boats, ski boats, personal watercraft, high performance vessels and select charter vessels. For more information, please visit www.aceprivateriskservices.com. Product highlights are summaries only; please see actual policy for terms and conditions. Products may not be available in all states.
ACE Private Risk Services is the high-net-worth personal lines business of the ACE Group, and provides specialty coverage for homeowners, automobile, recreational marine, umbrella liability and collections insurance for affluent individuals and families. The ACE Group is one of the world’s largest multiline property and casualty insurers. With operations in 53 countries, ACE provides commercial and personal property and casualty insurance, personal accident supplemental health insurance, reinsurance and life insurance to a diverse group of clients. ACE Limited, the parent company of the ACE Group, is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: ACE) and is a component of the S&P 500 index. Additional information can be found atwww.acegroup.com.
Any summary of information or available coverages is intended as general information and is not intended to amend, alter or modify the actual terms, limits or conditions contained in any policy of insurance or its declarations. Exclusions and limitations may apply to some losses. Coverage may not be available in all states.Coverage is governed solely by the terms and conditions of the policy itself. Insurance buyers should consult their agent, broker or other insurance professional if they have questions about their insurance needs.