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BoatUS shares guide for boaters and marina operators to prepare

As we head towards the end of August, boaters and marina operators across the country now have hurricane season on their minds. With several major hurricanes expected to hit U.S. shores this year, it’s imperative to be well prepared. 

Fortunately, BoatUs has shared a detailed guide for both boaters and marinas to secure their boats safely in anticipation of these storms. Let’s go through some of their key points in marinas staying prepared.

Allocate Staff Accordingly

BoatUs’ guide points to one particular example of a marina owner putting an emergency staff together whenever a large storm is approaching. Most marinas don’t have the personnel available to attend all of the boats and will depend on boat owners to strip their boats and add extra lines and chafe protection. In these cases, it could be beneficial to hire additional staff to handle last minute tasks for preparation. 

Make Arrangements Well Before Hurricane Season

There is the possibility that some boat owners won’t be able to prepare their boats on short notice. In that case, some marinas offer to haul or prepare boats for a fee. However, this should be arranged well before hurricane season. Some marinas located by a seashore arrange to have boats moved to a marina further inland.

Store Boats Ashore 

A study by the MIT found that boats stored ashore were far less likely to get wrecked than boats stored in the water. Hauling boats is usually the foundation of a hurricane plan for marinas. Some marinas have arrangements in place to haul boats whenever a hurricane is looming. 

When To Take Action

Many experts believe that taking action following a hurricane “warning” advisory may be too late, as the extreme low pressure of a hurricane occurs too close to the eye of the storm. 

Marinas and boat owners are best advised to move or prepare their boats before a hurricane watch is issued. If a plan includes relocating a boat, bridges may be locked down and certain ‘hurricane holes’ may be inaccessible.

Review storage contracts regarding emergency situations:

Marinas should ensure that the verbiage in their storage contracts protect them in emergency situations. The verbiage should clearly outline what the marina is permitted to do in case of an emergency, and how services will be charged. Key points that should be covered include:

  • Marina permitted to move the vessel to a safer location if possible
  • Marina not necessarily required to provide the service
  • Tenant/owner billed at marina’s prevailing rate and required to pay all costs incurred by marina on tenant/owners behalf
  • Tenant/owner shall indemnify and hold the the marina safe and harmless from any and all liability, injury, loss or damage caused or resulting to the vessel due to an emergency situation
  • Marina shall not be liable for for any loss, damage, detention, delay or failure to perform in whole or in part resulting from causes beyond the marina’s control
Wrapping Up

In the end, it all comes down to preparing well in advance and for marinas to communicate hurricane preparation plans to boaters. Having a plan in place before boating season will put boaters’ minds at ease and build trust with the marinas in which they store their boats.


DockMaster Software is an industry leading management system for marinas, boatyards, and boat dealerships. DockMaster includes Unit Sales, Prospecting and F&I with fully integrated financial management and numerous integrations with CRM applications, dealer websites and text/messaging services. The Service module includes estimating, labor tracking, and complete parts management with ordering/receiving, subcontractor fulfillment and invoicing. DockMaster Mobile allows technicians to clock on/off jobs from any mobile device. Visual Marina™ management includes storage & billing, occupancy tracking, reservations and dry stack management, including integrations to leading consumer applications for boat rentals, online reservations, concierge/launch scheduling and our new Fuel Integration with FuelCloud. DockMaster also includes Point of Sale, Order Entry with eCommerce and a complete accounting system. Learn more at and follow DockMaster on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Or email

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