This is the announcement that Bill Durr sent out Saturday to the slipholders at Hammock Island. Perhaps it will be helpful to other boatowners in Pasadena.
Hope for the best but prepare for the worst. Here are some suggestions:
1). Consider moving your boat to a safer place. Most damage comes from boats battering into pilings, piers or other boats. On land is safer than in the water. The floating piers in Baltimore's Inner Harbor provide better protection than our fixed piers and they have plenty of transient slips. A search for “Baltimore marinas” will provide a list and phone numbers. This option is the one I think makes most sense. Anchoring out with a pair of storm anchors has also been a successful strategy in the past. If you decide to move your boat, don't wait too long.
2). Strip your boat of all sails and canvass, i.e. biminis, dodgers, etc.. If you elect not to remove your sails, at least lash them securely to forestay or boom. Remove your boom and stow it below or double tie it in place. If mainsheet or fittings let go, the boom can easily sweep your shrouds away. If you don't remove your jib, at least tie the furling drum to stanchion. If the furling line parts and you don?t have the drum securred, the jib will unfurl with ugly results.
3). Check your dock lines carefully and add chafe gear wherever they come in contact with boat or pier (plastic hose from Ace Hardware works fine but make it a loose fit). Add a second set of lines trying, if possible, to lead them to different cleats. Don't loosen your lines. This way, if a cleat fails the second line will hold. Tie the second set higher on the pilings than the first. Make sure you have good spring lines in place. They are your best defence against storm surges. By the way, a second set of lines is the best cheap insurance I know and I highly recommend them, not just for hurricane preparation, but anytime you will be away for a while.
4). Put out all the fenders you have. They probably won't help much but they can't hurt.
5). Make sure your cockpit scuppers are free and clear. Sandy is bringing 5+ inches of rain. If your scuppers are blocked this can amount to 1000lbs of weight in the cockpit.
6). If you are on Pier D, tie your boat bow out (stern to the bulkhead. This is specific for Hammock Island.). This provides less resistance to waves. We lost a boat once when the water rose, the lines held the stern down and waves broke over it. Remove outboards.
7). If you have a dinghy on board or on a rack, take it home. At the very least, secure it well
7). Finally, and most important, don't even think about staying aboard and weathering the storm. Years ago a slipholder and his two sons decided to ride it out in the slip. The winds only hit 40+MPH or so but even at that speed they were unable to adjust the lines or to get off the boat. Do all of your preparations as early as possible and go home. With a little luck it will prove to have been a wasted effort...but maybe not.