Hurricane

How to prepare your boat in Beaufort County for Hurricane Florence

Boater Tom Hubbard, of Bluffton, packs up the jib sail as he secures his 40-foot sailboat docked at Port Royal Landing Marina in preparation for Hurricane Matthew.
Boater Tom Hubbard, of Bluffton, packs up the jib sail as he secures his 40-foot sailboat docked at Port Royal Landing Marina in preparation for Hurricane Matthew. jkarr@islandpacket.com

Editor’s note: In a press conference Tuesday morning, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster lifted the mandatory evacuation for Beaufort, Jasper and Colleton counties. To read more, click here.

As Hurricane Florence spins toward the Carolinas, Lowcountry boat owners need to make preparations for the incoming storm.

Boat owners are advised to get their boats out of area marinas if there’s a hurricane evacuation and make plans to secure their vessels.

Most boaters tie their boats to sheltered “hurricane holes” around the state.

Hurricane holes are low-lying tidal creeks with high banks, often sheltered by trees.

A boat should not be left on a trailer on land, because it’s likely to blow over.

Marinas also urge that nobody stay on a boat during a storm.

Spots to check: Up some local rivers — the May River, Bull Creek, Colleton River, Chechessee River and Little Chechessee.

The Beaufort County Emergency Management Division of the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office also recommends the following:

  • Check your marina’s policy concerning hurricanes.

  • If you live more than 30 miles from your marina, leave a set of keys with a friend who can care for your boat if you can’t get there.

  • Store an extra line on your boat and make sure the battery is charged. Check the automatic bilge system to make sure it works properly.

  • Clear all decks of all removable objects, such as plastic windshields, cushions and sails.

  • Have your trailer in good condition. The tires should be inflated and the wheel bearings greased. The winch should be operable.

  • Remove boat electronics (depth finders, chromoscopes, radios).

  • Remove lightweight aluminum boats and dinghies. Place on high ground and fill with water to anchor.

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