We will do everything we can to mitigate risk to your vessel.
Serving all Southport area marinas including BHI, Deep Point, Southport Marina, Indigo Plantation, South Harbour Village and St. James.
“The time for taking all measures for a ship’s safety is while still able to do so. Nothing is more dangerous than for a seaman to be grudging in taking precautions lest they turn out to have been unnecessary. Safety at sea for a thousand years has depended on exactly the opposite philosophy.” – Admiral Chester W. Nimitz
“Reef early, reef often.” – sailors adage to reduce sail before the storm hits
Whether a Navy fleet or simple pleasure craft, early preparation for severe weather is time proven, sound seamanship. While many variables will determine where our vessel falls in the wide range of possibilities from no damage to complete loss; we have a responsibility to mitigate damage to our vessels and surroundings, to the best of our ability.
No amount of preparation would have helped some of the vessels in this photograph where the storm surge completely upended the piers and the pilings were so short that the rise in water lifted the boats of the pilings.
We follow a simple, yet effective approach to preparing your vessel. While not the complete checklist, our professional approach can be summarized in 3 goals:
Goal 1: Secure the topsides – including any vessel to pier connections.
Goal 2: Secure below decks – Keep water out of the boat, secure objects from moving, remove or secure important documents.
Goal 3: Secure the boat in the slip – Position the boat in the slip and have it stay there throughout the storm.
Depending on the vessel, this is either straightforward and quick or, as in the case of a sailboat with sails and full canvas, may be a major effort. In either case, it is critically important to complete this work WELL BEFORE the wind picks up. We suggest 96 hours before anticipated onset of high winds. Here are a few considerations. Keep in mind that each vessel is different and these lists serve as guidance.
Note: Sailboat mast top antennas and other gear are not removed or secured.
Once the topsides are secure, we focus attention down below. We want to minimize the chance for leaks either from rain or sea, ensure there are no loose objects that can become projectiles from rocking and rolling in the slip and remove or waterproof bag critical vessel documentation. Here are a few considerations. Keep in mind that each vessel is different and these lists serve as guidance.
Once the topsides and below decks are completely secure comes positioning the boat in the slip and securing it to stay in position throughout the storm – the most challenging and arguably the most critical facet of securing your vessel. What makes this so challenging are the many variables we must consider but over which we have little or no control, such as:
The lesson: These and other variables require an analysis and plan for each vessel long before a storm threatens and must consider marina plans as well.
So our approach is to work with the vessel owner, in discussion with the marina operator, to make a plan that describes how best to secure the vessel. Considering the unique configuration of each vessel and slip, we determine how best to tie up the vessel, what type, diameter and length lines are needed to accomplish our plan, what fenders are needed, etc. All cleats, lines, ropes, chocks, and winches will be checked for integrity and chafe gear installed as necessary.
CONTRACT – ALL VESSELS must be under contract BEFORE the threat of a storm. Due to our contractual obligations we cannot accept vessels once a Tropical Storm or Hurricane Watch is set for the Cape Fear region.
COST – Placing a vessel under contract requires a $50.00 non-refundable payment with signed contract. That assures you of service in the event of a storm. Once you express an interest, we will visit your vessel to analyze the effort in securing her and provide a quote.
PAYMENT INFO – We accept Cash, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, DISCOVER and check local to a Southport bank.
NOTE: We recommend a contract early in the season to guarantee your vessel is in the queue for preparation.
Vessel owners who sign up for annual Watchdog Vessel Monitoring Service© are automatically enrolled in our Severe Storm Watch and Vessel Preparation Program©, if desired, at no cost.
To learn more or discuss getting started: Call us at (910) 742-0083 or
Email us by filling out our Contact form with your email and phone number and we will contact you.
Q. Does cYc guarantee my vessel’s safety in the event of a storm?
A. No. Each new storm brings lessons learned. Insurance companies are still studying the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy to fine tune storm preparation best practices. The learning never stops. While we do our best to keep up with best practices, we can only do our best. No one can guarantee you won’t have damage if you, or we, follow our checklists.
Q. Will cYc provide the lines, fenders, chafing gear necessary to secure my vessel?
A. It is the responsibility of the vessel owner to have the gear onboard to properly secure the vessel. During our analysis and planning for securing the vessel, we will identify and advise the owner of the gear necessary to properly secure the vessel.