Here Comes 2012 Hurricane Season… Are You Ready?

Here we go again!  Hurricane season 2012 officially gets underway on Friday, June 1.   Ever since Hurricane Charley made a direct hit on Burnt Store Marina as a Cat 4 hurricane, I’m paranoid about hurricane season!  If you want to see more Hurricane Charley, click here to visit Sail Winterlude, my personal website.   Here’s another post regarding Hurricane Charley and general hurricane issues, Jim Cantore Stay Away From My Boat!

Several years later, returning to the US from six years cruising the Western Caribbean, we had the misfortune of having Hurricane Ida form literally on top of us in a two night overnight from Colon, Panama to Providencia, Columbia … read about it here:  Chased By Hurricane Ida.

I much preferred the hurricane free Rio Dulce, Guatemala, Bocas Del Toro, Panama or even Shelter Bay/Ft Sherman, Panama!  But we’re not there now and we need to get the boat prepared since we’ll be back in central Illinois for the summer.  Last year I did a series of posts on Hurricane Preparedness – since the preparation is similar annually, here are the highlights:

Taking the Headsail off the Roller Furling

Our checklist to leave the boat in the water during hurricane season has evolved since last spring, so here’s a free updated PDF if you want to see what we do — not that it’s right, it’s just what we do!  🙂

Click Here for the Free Downloadable PDF Checklist Leaving the Boat In the Water During Hurricane Season

For More Hurricane Preparedness information check out these posts:

Hurricane Season:  Are You Ready (2011) … a good overview and 10 Tips for hurricane season.

Tips Removing A Roller Furling Jib … the original

Step by Step:  Putting a Roller Furling Jib Back On … this post has more photos and information that the prior post — and to take the jib off, you merely reverse the steps.

10 Tips for Revisiting Dock Lines for  a Hurricane – oh what a tangled web we weave!  We were lucky in Hurricane Charley, but our basic web has not changed!

How to Find a Caretaker and Caretaker Checklist — emphasizing the importance of having a competent willing caretaker (paid in our case) for your boat if you’ll be away for hurricane season.


Hurricane Marty and Marina LaPaz

Hurricane Preparedness #1 in a Series

Hurricane Preparedness #2 – valuable tips to reduce windage aboard.

Hurricane Preparedness #3 — overview of dock lines (see 10 Tips for Revisiting Dock Lines for a Hurricane above for more information)

Hurricane Preparedness #4 — 5 miscellaneous tips

Hurricane Preparedness #5 — Caretaker — more detail in the above caretaker posts

Plus, there’s all kinds of good information from sv Que Tal who sat though Hurricane Marty in the Sea of Cortez at anchor.  Here are a few of the posts that are posted on

Staying Put:  Ground Tackle for a Hurricane …  sv Que Tal & Carolyn’s article that was the cover article for Cruising World — Carolyn researched all the boats that were anchored through Hurricane Marty in the Sea of Cortez and what the results were.  Great article!

Hurricane Warning:  Riding Out a Big Blow at Anchor … sv Que Tal/Carolyn’s article in Blue Water Sailing

Hurricane Charley was Particularly Destructive for Boats With Sails and Canvas Left On

Easy Hurricane Tracking at a Glance — the software and instructions from Carolyn/sv Que Tal/ helped us ride out Hurricane Ida — very scarey, the hurricane hit Nicaragua 120 miles east of us in Providencia… it could have turned left just as easily as right and we were so lucky!

As I mentioned in the intro earlier … sv Winterlude endured a direct hit from Hurricane Charley on FRIDAY, August 13, 2004 at Burnt Store Marina, Punta Gorda, Florida.  A Category 4 hurricane, the winds blasted to 130 – 156 mph — intense!  Here’s our experience afterward:

After the Hurricane — read this to see what it’s like having your boat go through a cat 4 hurricane while you’re thousands of miles away…..  🙁

So there you have it, 18 posts specifically targeted to Hurricane Preparedness.  You can never be too prepared … we learned the hard way!

Taking the Mainsail Off for Hurricane Season

Do you have hurricane experience?  Anything you’d do differently?  Please leave a message and share!  Cheers — Jan



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