Hurricane Plan

In over six years living on a boat in Florida, we have not had the displeasure to experience a hurricane. Our plan was dependant upon where we were and where we could haul out or hole up. Our ground tackle wasn’t sufficient. We basically didn’t have much of a plan at all. We are changing that now.

The first step was to purchase a storm anchor. Our shiny new 73 pound Rocna arrived today, along with 200 feet of 3/8″ high-test chain. (33 is kilograms)

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We plan to use it in a tandem anchor rig, in the event of a hurricane.

tandem anchor rig is where two anchors are somehow connected in line with each other, on a single rode which is deployed from the boat. “Rig” refers to the entire system deployed in the water, i.e. anchors and rode, including shackles and/or swivels.

There is no standard for this, but for this article the terms will be defined as follows. The primary anchor is the aft-most anchor, i.e. that closest to the boat. The tandem anchor is the forward most, i.e. that out in front of the primary.

The rode is split into two sections, the primary rode and the tandem rode. The tandem rode is either attached to the front of the primary anchor or is simply an extension of the primary rode. We’ll use our primary anchor as the tandom anchor in this setup. It’s a 44 pound Bruce, which will give us a total of 117 pounds of anchor down there. For more on the tandem rig see this link:

http://www.petersmith.net.nz/boat-anchors/tandem-anchoring.php

 

 tandem-terminology-diagram
Our new chain is larger, heavier and stronger than our old chain. Almost half of the old chain was rusted so bad it was no longer useful.
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We cut away over 75 feet of rusted links and saved the good section.
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We then stretched out the new chain in order to mark it every 25 feet.
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I purchased load-rated shackles to tie everything together. (supposedly the best money can buy)
We’ve identified a likely cove to anchor in if a hurricane comes our way. I can’t tell you where it is, as I don’t want everyone else getting in there and ruining it for us! Kim and I took a handheld depth finder and sounded the anchorage in our dinghy. It has ample depth and enough swinging room for our use. It could support one more boat if both cooperated.
We actually hope that we never have to execute our hurricane plan, but if it happens, we’re now much better prepared. Both of us feel better about the situation now. There are more steps to take to prepare a boat for a big storm, but there’s plenty of info out there from experienced owners and captains. Here’s a helpful link to The Boat Galley’s advice:
Are you ready for a storm?
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5 thoughts on “Hurricane Plan

  1. Mark Womack

    Does the location that you are in require you to leave in the event of a named storm? We rode out a hurricane on the boat at our home marina and wound up leaving in the middle of the night on the dinghy because a huge boat that had anchored out in the bay was dragging towards us.

    Reply
  2. Sixbears

    Careful out there. We lost a boat last year by North Captiva Island. Had not realized the channel had changed since the last time we were there two years earlier. Had to abandon ship; wind and waves snapped the keel off.

    I’ve got some suspicions where you might be ducking into, but I’m going to keep my mouth shut. Good luck. Hope it doesn’t come to running to that.

    Reply

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