FAQs & Advice



What Every Skipper Should Know:
  1. Meet with the crew to explain the situation and reassure them. Make sure that they know what to do, and what not to do, when the extreme weather arrives. Explain such things as keeping low in the boat, not moving around excessively and not going out on deck unless necessary. Give them all an assignment to keep them occupied and keep their minds off the situation.
  2. Determine position of storm, wind direction, speed and estimate time to your location.
  3. Secure all hatches; close all ports and windows. (Keep the water on the outside)
  4. Pump bilges dry and repeat as required. This helps eliminate "free water affect." (Sloshing of water in the bilge as the boat rolls which can effect stability)
  5. Secure all loose gear above decks and below. Put away small items and lash down larger ones. Anything you want to have when the storm passes must be secured.
  6. Break out life jackets and foul weather gear and exercise your authority as skipper by requiring them to be worn by everyone on board. Do this before the weather gets bad, don't wait too long.
  7. Ready emergency equipment that you may need such as hand pumps, bailers, first aide kit, sound signaling device, etc.
  8. Get a good fix of your position and plot it on your chart. Make note of the time, your heading and speed.
  9. Make plans to alter course to sheltered waters if possible.
  10. Continue to monitor channel 16 on your VHF radio for updates to severe forecasts.
  11. For extremely severe weather, break out your abandon ship procedures and review them.
  12. Make sure the life raft is ready to be deployed.
  13. Make sure emergency food and water are in the life raft.
  14.  Rig jack lines and/or life lines and require anyone who must go on deck to wear a safety harness.
  15.  Make ready your sea anchor or drogue if needed.
  16. Turn on navigation lights.
  17. Keep away from metal objects.
  18. Change to a full fuel tank if possible.
  19. Keep a sharp lookout for floating debris and other boats.
  20. If you have a choice, do not operate the boat from the flybridge.
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