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S. Florida Hurricane Plan / Haul Out Contract

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by Danvilletim, Mar 6, 2014.

  1. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    We're trying to figure out insurance for a new to us 70' sport fish. Insurance is asking for a storm plan.

    Is it normal for such a boat to be hauled at threat of a storm? Seems like anything like this (enclosed flybridge) would be a giant sail up on blocks.

    None the less... Any advice on what people do or tell insurance company would be great!
  2. lovinlifenc

    lovinlifenc Member

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    My only suggestion is this.

    In the event of a coming storm, you should be ready to take whatever measures you detail in your Hurricane Plan. Doing otherwise might lead to problems should your vessel be damaged as the result of a hurricane.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    And that is your response; In the event of a coming storm, you should be ready to take whatever measures you need to do to ensure the safety of the ship. Including relocating her to safer waters.

    I have been responding to a few of these request lately. That is your attitude and response (above). You will commit to the safety of the ship including relocating her is what the insurance companies want to happen (read). If the insurance companies do not spec a seasonal area, they expect you to protect the investment. In Florida, You just can not leave a boat in harms way and expect coverage. DUHA...
    You have to understand why homeowners insurance is a challenge, Some times state endorsed. State won't promise anything for a boat.
  4. Savasa

    Savasa Senior Member

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    We are currently located in a known "hurricane hole" in NC. Last year our insurance agent advised us the terms of the policy had changed and in the event of a named storm the boat had to be hauled and stored ashore. I checked around and the only marinas within 2 day's travel able to haul and store us were on the Outer Banks of NC. When I asked what the reasoning was behind moving the boat from a known safe haven to an area that regularly gets hit by hurricanes and sustains considerable damage more often than not the answer was that this was what the underwriters now required. I told the agent to stuff it. We changed companies after having been with the original company without a claim for 20 years. Dolts.
  5. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    We have an ocean front house on hatteras nc... The beach has been hit 2 times in last 8 years, but threat of a hit are more like every other year.. And when it did get hit, insurance was a joke.

    I'd imagine that the marinas in ft Lauderdale can not even come close to hauling out any significant percentage of boat if a Storm comes.. So are these other folks rolling the dice, have ins that doesn't require haul out, or truly moving their boats?
  6. kkreicker1

    kkreicker1 Senior Member

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    I am in a very similar position. I am in a safe small marina. I did have the older piling removed and new ones longer ones installed. We chain the boat to the dock and triple the lines. I spent several storms on the boat and felt safe.
  7. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    I have to say; If your truly in love with your ship, it would be moved out of harms way in time. If it's just a boat, you leave it alone and have hope in your insurance .... cause for this thread...If you really like your boat, you tie extra lines on it or Chain it down..

    There is no substitute nor complete answer ( yep, your f$%^&d) in protecting your ship. If your really concerned, mover her out of harms way before the storm hits (take the hint).

    We learned during Sandy, ON GROUND STORAGE DID NOT WORK. Let me re-phrase that for the reading impaired.
    On ground storage still floated aweigh. Dumb s^&ts.. Another hint.

    Chaining your boat to the docks???? Whole docks,, with a bunch of boats still tied was found inland, Did I mention Dumb s^&ts???
    Still another hint.

    If you love your ship, your prepared. Including moving her in time. The rest, count on insurance...
    Reminder to myself, I'm F#%&*d..

    Sorry to be cold (pi$%^d) upset, cranked, But your losses cause the prepared boat owners rates to rise to unreal high premiums. (F) thank you very much..
  8. Mark Woglom

    Mark Woglom Senior Member

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    Yes. I have a similar size boat, with unrestricted seasonal/geographic coverage.

    My primary advice is to write down a plan that you are 100% sure you can accomplish, regardless of the circumstances. If you develop a plan that says "I'll get the boat hauled", and you can't get that done as the storm arrives, you give the insurer some ammunition to potentially deny a claim. They could argue that they bound coverage on the assumption that you would execute your storm plan.

    I gave my insurer a plan that gave me plenty of options. The basics of my plan were as follows:

    1. At a minimum, I would secure the boat, wherever it might be located, with additional lines, fenders, and chafing gear. (I was specific as to size/type). I'm 100% sure I can get this done.
    2. To the extent that I felt that it could be safely accomplished, and if I deemed it feasible, I would make reasonable efforts to relocate the boat to a location where storm impacts were predicted to have a lesser impact.
    3. I would consider hauling the boat, if a suitable location was readily available.

    I'm insured with one of the major underwriters, and they did not question my plan. They bound coverage immediately upon submission of my plan.

    In my opinion, it's impossible to have a definitive plan. You don't know where your boat will be when a storm is forecast, and storm predictions are not 100% accurate. A plan that sounds easy today, may not be so easy when a major hurricane is moving up the coast, and everybody is trying to get their boat moved to the few safe(r) havens that might be available.

    I have a significant deductible for named storm damage (10% of the boat value) so I have every incentive to take care of the boat. To the extent it's possible, moving or hauling the boat will be a lot cheaper than paying that deductible.
  9. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Ours is much like yours. We can't make promises to move the boats out of the area or to have them on land. We talk preparation and talk options. We outline what we will consider but no commitment on what we'll do. And like you we have very substantial deductibles which makes it possible. We actually have a per boat deductible as 10% of $1 million whichever is greatest and all owned boats limited to only slightly more than the value of our most expensive boat.

    But we can't even predict where we or a boat will be at the time. I continue to be amazed and their definition of a hurricane zone or area. Compare Fort Lauderdale marinas to New York and New Jersey over recent years and tell me which is the high risk? How much wind? How much storm surge puts things at risk? One insurer was insisting homes that were above any hundred year surge weren't high enough. What is also ironic is that the latest tightening on South Florida insurance is a direct result of damage in the NE.

    In South Florida one insurer accepts marinas west of 95, one marinas not quite as far west, and the next doesn't accept any marinas. The insurers have no consistency on what a hurricane hole is. I had one who first wanted us to get a slip or slip commitment at a marina they considered safe but then wanted us to guarantee we'd get the boat there. I asked what if we had the boat in Tampa or in Houston even at the time and they said it still had to be in the specified marina to be covered.

    I think you put together consideration of moving it north and to land but there's the risk the storm is going to follow you right there. You find a safe marina or mooring and there's the risk of other boats.

    But don't commit to doing something you can't be absolutely sure you can and will do. Then shop insurers.

    We have a hurricane plan purchased with NC marinas but we do not guarantee we'll move a boat there. We have some slips further inland than our dock at our home, but can't guarantee their safety.

    The one thing we made clear in our plan was that human life and safety was most important and that judgement was up to us and to each individual and if either we or the persons involved felt they shouldn't do something, then they wouldn't.

    I can tell you there was extensive back and forth and my refusal to put a solid guarantee led to a higher deductible and a higher premium. I talked to insurance people who didn't realize there were locks between Fort Lauderdale and Lake Okeechobee. One who couldn't understand that you couldn't leave Fort Lauderdale in the morning and have it pulled out at Jarrett in Beaufort NC that afternoon.

    I guess with a better plan we could have gotten a better rate but I couldn't come up with one I was comfortable with. Oh, and our home is just as bad as it's officially in a high risk zone by the latest flood maps and designations. While our house was built in 96 and has had no damage, neighbors were built in the 50's and no damage, yet our rates and theirs have skyrocketed.

    Not sure this is any help but it's just don't over commit, shop insurers, and put the various options you might consider in your plan but make it clear they are listed for consideration at that time but with no promises attached. And one more, do not agree or finalize without an attorney reviewing the plan and policy for you. They know the words that will get you into trouble.
  10. ArcanisX

    ArcanisX Senior Member

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    Many a very insightful information, as usual. A bit more:

    Know what you need insurance for. You can only suit yourself if you understand what you want. (None of that in your original post hence the advice)

    I mean, if it's more of a "pre-fixing upkeep costs" you will want no to minimal deductables and likely a sky-high premium. If it's the old meaning of "preventing ruin", then settle on high deductable while bargaining premium down. You need a wide coverage for both.
    If you just need insurance papers for the sake of it, submit unreal hurricane plans, agree to a high deductable, and therefore get your paprers for cheap.
    If it's everything in an "optimal package" then you're paying way more then you should :)

    Also as outlandish as it sounds, don't be afraid to go without if there are no acceptable terms to be found. I've witnessed a 12% on insured cost premium without even a policy anyone would be comfortable with (admittedly, on a larger, more "costum" boat). That's not an insurance, that's giving your boat over in 8 years, and unless you seriously expect it not to last that long, that's an awfully bad deal.
    (If you need "insurance" for legislative reasons in this case, get it using the "cheap" route)
  11. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Jarrett in Beaufort and Bennett in Wilmington are the two in NC that I know who hurricane haul.
  12. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I managed 12 yachts during our Category 4 storm, Wilma when it hit south of Fort Lauderdale. Only 1 sustained ANY damage over $500. The key is the dock it's tied to being strong enough. On all boats I removed any canvas, cushions and things of that nature. The worst boat suffered $5,000 in damage and this was basically paint scratches/chips on the transom from the tin roof 100 yards away blowing off. I always double tie all lines, put out as many fenders as possible, tie them as tight as I can allowing for a 1' of surge and to as many points as possible. Some pilings were broken or snapped off by some of the boats 1 or 2, but no damage to the boat occured. We saw 140-150mph winds here.

    In Fort Lauderdale, we cannot get a large surge here because the inlets are so narrow that only so much water can come in per hour. If the water gets high enough to go over the entire barrier island, there is nothing you could do anyways. Also at a lot of the docks, there was nothing near the vessels (within 50'-100') such as palm trees, boats, etc.

    Of the ones at the Marina's west of I 95. I saw A LOT of damage. The ones on land, many of them were hit and scratches by debris on the boat's 5' away. Some of them even fell off of the stands. Plus they are subjected to the full force of the wind with not much to cut it down. Behind a house, the houses cut the wind down and so does the seawall. Same with the ones in the water, they were packed into the marina's so tight, that some played bumper boats, some had damage from the ones ill prepared.....like a bimini top buffeting the boat next to them for hours scraping the windows and all of the paint off. In Ft. Pierce, several marina's had entire rows of 30-40 boats fall over because 1 did and it was like the domino effect.

    In places like the Keys or Tampa bay with a large inlet, I would be concerned about surge. Personally, if the dock is strong, I'd rather leave the boat where it sits and secure it properly. Also, the lines can be pretty tight because double braid will stretch a good 15-18" during hurricane winds and 3 strand 24". You basically want to keep the down the momentum of the weight moving around......momentum is what breaks pilings and snaps lines. Trying to get the boat up the New River before a storm is mayhem and yards could only haul maybe 5% of the yachts in Ft. Laud.

    Many times if you try to run from the storm, you end up running to where it hits. Also, you're tieing up to a dock you've never seen before, don't know how strong it is and etc.
  13. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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    Yes, I pay Jarrett Bay "protection" money every year giving me a guaranteed haul out in case of named storm. They were very good about coordinating it and giving preferential positioning. Most other yards around here, such as True World and Bock have similar programs. JB does a first class job off using the right number of blocks and stands and cross chaining the stands. No record of a surge getting that high up the hill to float you off, which would really take some doing. Anyway, I figured the worst that would happen is that there you'd be, in the middle of the biggest marine industrial park on the east coast. I don't know of a marina near the ocean around here that allows you to keep the boat in the water, Spooner's Creek maybe. The preferred method is haul. Some take their boats further inland up the Neuse or someplace like River Dunes. My insurance company paid for half the haul out costs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  14. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    That's really cold as you said. People in Sandy had many things to deal with and some of those were more critical than their boats. Were they prepared? Of course not. That's like asking if Country Walk was prepared for Hurricane Andrea or New Orleans for Katrina. We tend not to prepare for events beyond what we've ever seen.

    So you've criticized everything they did. What do you think they should have done? Think of a couple with two kids living in the path of the storm. 60' boat they handled themselves without crew. You say move it out of harms way in time. When and where should they have moved it? Does the father do it alone and leave his wife and kids to fend for themselves?

    Yes, we've all suffered as a result, but I'm not going to criticize the victims and certainly not with venom.
  15. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    There are docking systems that do an amazing job. Concrete floating docks with full slips. Anchored with very tall posts which are secure in concrete and are several feet taller than the worst surge experienced. Unfortunately there just aren't many of those actually built.

    I wasn't here but my understanding of Wilma was that there were tornadoes too and the damage was wind damage. The surge was forecast to be much greater than it turned out.

    Honestly, I have hurricane plans for our boats, our home, our business. I cannot say though that I have good plans. I am not certain anyone does. You just have plans to do your best. I can attempt to move boats but our home doesn't move. I've never been through anything like Wilma or Andrew as it hit Dade. I will attempt to react and make wise choices, but I'll definitely not be confident.
  16. Caltexflanc

    Caltexflanc Senior Member

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    I too am curious as to where someone in NY/NJ/NE was supposed to move their boat for Sandy. Oh yeah, yeah wasn't that the Bounty's strategy?

    Good post olderboater, right on.
  17. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    A couple and 2 kids in a 60 footer? We may need to start a new thread here.
    What the hell was a couple with 2 kids doing on a 60 footer in front of storm Sandy?
  18. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Didn't mean they were on the boat. They are the owners. They have a house. But the question remains, what do you think they should have done? They live in the path and their boat is docked in the path.

    You've criticized all those who lost boats, I just wanted to hear what you would have suggested for this boat owner. The parents have a home, a boat and kids to worry about. Does he move the boat? If so when? Where? Doesn't that separate him from his family during the storm? It's easy to say what didn't work, but not as easy to come up with a solution especially when you're in the middle of it.

    They don't live on the boat so you can remove your "What the hell?" They live 37 miles from the marina where the boat is stored.
  19. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    And I know they were not on the boat how? And yes; What the hell?
    Your blasting me?
    No, you don't move a boat during a storm. You move before a storm gets close.
    I'm not in the middle of anything. I move my boat.

    If they were boarding up the house and can't get to the boat, well they were bad scouts and probably lost their boat. I hope & trust they are o k.
    Dual Capital Investment protection could be another thread, again..

    Move her where? Anywhere. There was time to haul and set some on blocks? And get washed away, Anyway? There was time to move somewhere else then.

    I have criticized the loss and insurance issues.
    I have criticized the lack of planning.
    I have criticized my policy premiums increasing for others claims, many that could of been avoided.

    Naw, Didn't plan or think all, but, what the hell, your rite; I have criticized all of those who lost boats.

    Have not heard from any of them but you? You lost any boats in a big storm? Avoided any storms? Your plans are? Tie up to tall piles? Or bug out when you see a storm coming.
    What the hell, My premiums will pay for your loss also, your happy no matter what...

    I have criticized;
    The storm suddenly appeared over night? No warning? Right??


    From the lower Exumas, I moved out of Andrews path and returned.
    My properties were already secured in Florida (SOP, can't secure them if I'm away, Duh).
    I was tied down for Wilma in the East canal at Lettuce Lake. Big mistake. The Santa Barbra resorts buildings (north building was a tower) were moved.
    My Other Florida properties were already secured (same SOP). We survived, but reinforced the need to move our ship and ourselves away before every storm, and have done so since.
    I have criticized myself, I should have moved from Wilma.

    As I was saying, if you love your ship, you move her. Trust in your insurance is a gamble. When you loose your boat, we all have to pay.
  20. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    I still don't know where you think they should have moved their boats or when they should have reacted and done so.

    Sandy was a freakish storm. Initially it's course was projected very different than the one it took.

    October 24-Jamaica. At this time it was not forecast to hit the US.
    October 25-Cuba and Category 3. No one projecting a NJ/NY course. After Cuba weakened to Category 1
    October 26-Bahamas. Later on the 26th the first notices for NJ were issued.
    October 27-Weakened to tropical storm. Then became Category 1 again.
    October 28-The boardwalk of Atlantic City crumbled and the NY Mass Transit closed at 8 pm.
    October 29-Came ashore in NJ.

    Now I will note one thing. The forecasts that did not warn adequately came from the US National Hurricane Center. From the point of the first warnings for NJ until the time very bad conditions hit was only 2 days. At that point, no one could have moved south. So, if you're talking of moving a boat on water, it would have had to have been north.

    However, had the country been getting the forecasts of The European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasts out of Reading, England, their forecast gave nearly an 8 day warning. Statistics have been published which show the ECMWF is consistently more accurate than the National Hurricane Center with it's forecasts.

    My contention is that based on the unusual nature of the storm in path, size for such a low category and surge and based on the forecasts in the US, I can understand the lack of appropriate action. Also, it is further understandable by the lack of options in terms of where to evacuate to from NJ and NY.

    For someone in South Florida to take no action when warned 5 days prior to a hurricane, I would strongly criticize. But I don't criticize the victims of Sandy in the same way. I do have multiple courses of action outlined and plans prepared, but I haven't yet experienced it. Had I lived in NJ prior to Sandy I probably wouldn't have been as well prepared. Many who tried to take action had them fail. Those doing hurricane haul outs in NC have experience and records of success. This same experience didn't exist in the NE and obviously it wasn't successful during Sandy.

    I will do everything I can to avoid loss and raising your insurance premiums but I won't risk lives to do so. I certainly don't like my insurance premiums and find it quite odd that NJ and NY losses end up with those of us in Florida targeted with such increases. I don't like it but I don't place the blame on the boat owners whose actions during Sandy were inadequate. Some people in every storm prepare well and take action and still incur losses. Some do nothing, just take unreasonable risks, and experience no losses. It doesn't mean the ones with no losses did things right and the others were all wrong.