Release Date: 07/15/2008

With the first storm of the year, Hurricane Bertha, lurking offshore, the Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatU.S.), with 40 years of experience gained from post-storm recovery efforts and thousands of hurricane-related insurance claims files, has four tips that can help boaters make it through this storm season.

"We are smack dab in the middle of hurricane season as we speak.  The hurricane season will only intensify over the coming months," said Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Boating Safety Officer Sgt. Rachel Zechenelly.  "Taking the proper precautions now can save a lot of heartache and agony later in the uneventful chance we get a hurricane or tropical storm this year."

 Make your hurricane plan now, before hurricane warnings are posted. Year after year, some boaters are lulled into believing a storm won't come their way and fail to make a serious effort until a hurricane is forecast.  However, by then there may be no one available to haul their boat ashore and stores may be sold out of basic hurricane supplies such as rope, anchors or fenders.  Whether you are new to boating or been on the water for years, waiting until the last moment and making only a token effort is tempting fate.  If you're likely to be away from your boat during hurricane season, make arrangements ahead of time for someone else to prepare your boat - many insurance policies provide coverage for professional evacuation to a hurricane hole or other storm preparation efforts.

 Speak to your marina staff about their hurricane plans.  BoatU.S. has found that the best hurricane damage prevention requires a full partnership with your marina or boat club.  If you have not already talked with your marina manager, do it today.  Does your marina have a hurricane club?  Learn the details now.  There is nothing worse than seeing boats that weren't prepared break loose during a storm and damage others that were properly prepared.  Ultimately, the success or failure of your own hurricane preparation efforts depends upon the steps taken by everyone in the marina working together.

 Review the free hurricane planning resources at  Take advantage of the BoatU.S. online hurricane preparation worksheet, guide, and other storm planning information - all free for the taking.  When a storm approaches, the Web site's "spaghetti" models can help you track where a storm may come ashore.

 Tell your boat or yacht club's leadership about the best club hurricane-planning guide ever, written by their peers at the Houston Yacht Club (HYC), available at  HYC has developed the most comprehensive boat and yacht club storm-planning guide - developed from years of storm-hardened experience - and it's completely free to download and discuss at your club's membership meeting.

BoatU.S. - Boat Owners Association of The United States - is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 650,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 885 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatU.S. Magazine, the most widely read boating publication in the U.S. For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.

For more information, contact Rachel Zechenelly at 225-765-2984 or