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Reflections on Hurricane Ian  Bottom

  • Most of the time my boat lives in a mast up storage facility. It's rather exposed area and saw wind gusts to 85 mph during Ian. Nothing like what happened further South, and there was no storm surge here, but that kind of wind can really do some damage to a beach cat that isn't attended to properly. I was going to just take my mast down and tie everything down but decided to bring it home instead because some of the members of my sailing club that have boats stored there don't do anything, and years ago someone's boat blew into mine and did some damage. I took my boat back to the sailing club today and it didn't look like too many boats were damaged until you looked closely. I saw at least six furling jibs that were in tatters. It seems pretty basic that you would want to remove them before a storm like that. Three expensive monohulls with deep fin keels blew over like dominoes. They were just tied to their trailers, and they blew over with the trailers. I guess the owners figured they were so heavy nothing would happen. With the catamarans, it seems taking the mast down and tying the boat down would be standard procedure if you can't bring it home. With the mast left up and the boat tied down, something else happens. All that wind for all those hours caused several tie downs to loosen just enough for the hulls to come off the rollers and parts of the trailer punched holes in the hulls. I saw a nice Prindle 19 that needs a new starboard hull. And don't just tie it to the trailer. The wind will take the boat and the trailer! Remember "Murphy's Law".

    Bill Townsend
    G-Cat 5.7
  • I’ve had my share of losing boats on the beach before anchoring them down. Mesh tramps help but when a storm comes I put them on the Leaward side of the house, mast, rudders off and cat on the ground with screw anchors holding dolphin striker and rear beam down. Depending on wind the tramp should come off as well. Trees are not good protection for anything underneath. Still dirt and sand get everywhere in tracks etc. then ants move in for high ground. Sometimes our cats get the least amount of attention for a storm but they are soo light and fragile that branches, debris and other cats flying around can quickly put dimples, rips etc. if I had all the time in the world to prepare they would disassembled and brought inside. Everyone should have a plan on what to do with your cat if you are prone to storms in your area. Or if you are out of town and a northeaster whips up with full moon who can u call to pull your boat to higher ground if she stays on the beach.

    Lee Lake George FL
    Hobie 16 -Boomer Sails
    Matrix 5.5

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