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I own a boat: what do I do when hurricane season approaches?

Louisiana boat owners have good reason to be wary when hurricane season is on the radar. A devastating wind or surge of water up the Gulf of Mexico can cause incredible damage to boats still in the water. So how can a Louisiana resident handle the situation? According to the State Farm website, boat owners can take important steps to help safeguard their vessels against a harsh storm.

First, have your boat insured. This is a good step for your boat’s normal, everyday use, since boat insurance can cover your vessel in case it is damaged or if you should end up in an accident with another boat. Additionally, boat insurance can offer coverage for times of bad weather. Make sure you check your insurance policy to see that weather damage is included as part of the coverage.

If possible, you should take your boat inland so that it is not in the water when a hurricane hits. However, this may not always be possible for some boat owners. If so, you should find out what direction the prevailing winds will blow as the hurricane approaches, as the bow of your boat should be placed in that direction. Also anchor the boat with no less than two anchors to help secure it. The water depths of the anchor lines should reach ten times to ward off the coming storm surge.

Additionally, look for ways to fortify your boat. If your boat has windows, cover them up and seal them so that they are not broken. Check for any hatch or door that can blown open by heavy winds and secure them. Look for loose objects and remove them so that the winds do not carry them off. If something cannot be taken off the boat, like a wheel or a boom, secure it as best you can.

Also, do not neglect your boat’s electrical system. Switch it off and take out the boat’s battery, and also do not forget to turn off your vessel's fuel lines. Taking these steps will help prevent damage to your boat’s electronics and also keep water from flooding into the engine of your boat.

Be aware that this article does not offer any legal advice, but is written to offer information on Louisiana’s maritime laws.


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