What to do before and if you get caught in a storm.
Sometimes storms seem to appear out of nowhere. Lightning is no fun on land, let alone out on the water with a giant metal mast protruding from your boat. It can cause you to spend large amounts of money in repairs, and even worse it can put you and your crew in danger. A good sailor always keeps an eye out for bad weather, but in the chance that you find yourself on the water one there are a few precautions you can take to provide safety for you and your crew.
Equip your boat with a Lightening Protection System-
These systems will redirect the charge of the lighting in a way that will hopefully prevent serious damage to your vessel. Think of them like the surge protectors we use to protect our televisions and computers.
If you see signs of a bad storm, try to escape its path.
If getting out of harms way is not an option, put on your PFDs and take down your sails!
In the cases of high winds, you want to get your sails down to prevent the boat capsizing.
Move inside and towards the middle of the boat. Don’t be a storm chaser! Take Cover!
Unplug all Electronics
We do this during every storm around my house, and it is the best way to be sure that your marine equipment doesn’t get toasted. No one wants to have to buy another full set of electronics! And if you are that individual that has been trying to talk his wife into letting him buy some new toys for his boat, by all means leave them plugged in.
We hope that none of you are ever faced with a situation like this! Always keep an eye on the skies and the radars. If you see any signs of foul weather, just stay/go on shore. It’s not worth the risk of riding it out. Norton’s also offers a Marine Weather Endorsement through ASA. If you have any interest in learning how to plan and navigate based on the weather, ASA 119 is definitely something to look into