FACE NORTH TO EAST - In the Melbourne area hurricane force winds will
come from the north and east 99% of the time. We are extremely well
protected from south and west winds. Tie your boat facing north to east so
the bow will be into the prevailing wind. If this is not possible, be sure
you have adequate dock lines on the north & east, and adequate fenders to the
south and west.
CLEARANCE - If your boat normally lies one foot or less from a dock or
another boat, RE-TIE IT so there is adequate clearance for your boat to move
side to side and front to back in the slip.
SPRING LINES - Run from a windward piling or dock to a cleat as far to the
opposite end of the boat as possible. Make these lines as long as possible so
they can stretch and act as shock absorbers. This eases the wind gust shock
loads on the piling as well as the boat. All boats at MYC docks should have
at least one spring line; two must be rigged for winds like we had with Erin.
BOW LINES - Assuming your boat is facing to windward, there should be
lines running from your bow cleat to both sides to hold it squarely in your
slip. DOUBLE UP these bow lines to help stop the violent side-to-side motion
caused by the high winds. The second lines should be tied slightly looser
than the main bow lines to allow for rising water.
ALLOW FOR RISING WATER
- At our docks normal water levels fluctuate about 1-1/2 ft. In heavy storms
and hurricanes, the water level can rise to level with the dock deck. Make
all your dock lines as long as practical so your boat can rise with the water
and not be "held down" by too short lines. In the hurricanes of
2004, the water level rose to nearly 3' OVER the MYC dock. You must
account for this in tying your dock lines.
REMOVE ROLLER FURLING JIBS AND MAINS BEFORE THE WIND RISES. Remove
Mains too, or at least wrap them securely inside the cover on the boom (tie a
line with tight half-hitches down the entire length of the boom). After
the hurricanes of 2004, when one 'securely tied' main escaped from both
the lashings and the sail cover, in the middle of the hurricane, it is
STRONGLY recommended that you remove it. The escaped main started to
deploy itself, and were it not for the heroic efforts of Jack Leahy to
board the boat (in 6' seas in the harbor in 70Kts of wind) and secure the
sail, this boat, and the docks it was tied to, and all the surrounding
boats, would have been casualties of the hurricane).
BIMINIS - REMOVE THEM!
Or at least fold them down and lash them securely. Also, remove anything that
can flap, rattle or vibrate including dinghies. High winds will destroy or
remove anything loose.
BOOMS - Lash to
deck or rig a triangle bridle from end of boom to cleats or stanchions
on stern quarters.
EXTRA LINES - Leave extra dock lines in an UNLOCKED lazarette in case they
are needed later.
CHAFING GEAR - Make sure lines running thru chocks are protected with
rubber hose or commercially available chafe protectors. This could be the
cause of your boat breaking loose if not taken care of.
DOCK LINE SIZE - Use nylon dock lines. For boats 25' or less 3/8" is
barely adequate. For boats 25' to 35' - 1/2" dock line is adequate. For 35'
to 44' use 5/8" to 3/4".
- The typical fender that is adequate for holding your boat from the dock
on a calm night in a protected harbor will do little good in a hurricane.
However, it is still a good idea to deploy all fenders on your boat in an
attempt to minimize damage to boats and pilings should lines stretch or
MCALLISTER'S MAXIM -
OVERKILL IS JUST ABOUT RIGHT!