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Preparing your boat

By TIMES WIRES
Published August 28, 2006


PREPARING YOURBOAT

Tips to minimize damage to boats:

Take action early. The storm's fringe activity - high winds, high seas - will make preparations difficult. Drawbridges will be closed to boat traffic once an evacuation order is issued.

Double all lines with rig-crossing spring lines fore and aft. Attach lines high on pilings to allow for tidal fall and rise or surge.

Charge batteries for automatic bilge pumps.

Remove canvas and boat covers. Canvas can withstand winds up to about 70 mph. Flapping canvas can damage the boat's finish.

Seal windows and engine-room vents with duct tape to prevent water intrusion.

Photograph or videotape your boat before a storm. Then photograph it again once it is secured as proof that you took reasonable care to protect it. Take pictures of neighboring boats to show how they were secured in case they damage your boat.

Remove all valuables and portable electronics.

Leave the boat unlocked so authorities can check it for occupants after the storm. If thieves want to get in, they will. Leaving the boat unlocked can minimize damage.