Why We Choose to Cruise During Hurricane Season
Jim & I find that cruising in Florida and the Bahamas during hurricane season (June 1 to November 1) is quite nice. The moorings are plentiful, marinas are less crowded, which equals relaxation for us! Here are some things to consider if you decide to sail during hurricane season:
Insurance dictates what your plans for hurricane season cruising will be. We have always carried coverage that allows us to cruise through Florida and the Bahamas during hurricane season.
When considering to sail during hurricane season, there are some things to consider. Do you own your boat outright or do you have a boat loan? If you have a boat loan, your lender can also dictate where you can cruise during hurricane season. Since we own our boat outright, we only have to consider our insurance limitations.
Cost Considerations for Choosing to Cruise in Hurricane Season
It is possible to get hull coverage in hurricane zones (“inside the box”), but it will usually come at a higher cost and may have a higher deductible. Know your policy, and it's restrictions/requirements. A good practice is to keep copies of your policy onboard as well electronically. In case you do have to file a claim, this speeds up the process.
Our current carrier, Pantaenius American Yacht Insurance allows us to cruise from the Atlantic East Coast from Maine through Florida, the Gulf of Mexico to Turks & Caicos. We do pay a higher deductible to do this, but with that comes the peace of mind knowing we are covered in case of storm damage.
What is Required to Cruise During Hurricane Season
Under our Pantaenius policy, we have to submit a hurricane plan for our home base here in Florida. Also, each time that we cruise during storm season we provide a plan to our carrier, based on our float plan. After that, we say a prayer each time we cruise out during hurricane season and prepare in advance for the potential of a storm and prepare well
Know Before You Go – The importance of early planning
Since the majority of our cruising up to this point has been on the East Coast of the US, down through Florida and the Bahamas, we know that there is always the chance for a tropical storm or hurricane to crop up. Because of these factors, it is important for us to pre-plan in case of storms.
✦Know where the nearest protected marina, protected anchorage or “hurricane hole” is.
✦Have the route saved on the chart plotter (again, easy to pre-plan than have to plot a route when there is an urgent need).
✦Have a solid 24-hour weather window in which to move.
✦We have a watermaker and carry an ample supply of food.
✦We top up with diesel fuel and gasoline whenever possible.
Doing the above in advance of stormy weather allows us to be ready to move into our pre-planned hurricane hole when needed, without having to worry about food and fuel and where we are going to go.
Each sailor has to decide what is right for themselves. The most important thing is to avoid putting yourself, your crew or your boat in danger.
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