What Do Houseboats Do In A Hurricane?

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Anytime bad weather is headed towards the water new boat owners will probably all have the same thought… what do I do? There are a few different things that can be done to help your boat or houseboat weather the approaching storm. 

Ideally if a hurricane is headed towards your boat you should get the boat and yourself inland and out of the path of the storm. If this isn’t possible then you will want to remove all of the electronics and anything else that is easy to move but expensive and take it with you when you leave.

We will discuss some other options that you have available to you in the rest of this article.

The first thing you could do for your houseboat is remove it from the water entirely. Depending on the size of your houseboat this could be easy or impossible. If at all possible planning ahead and taking your boat inland is often the best course of action.

The debris in the water as well as the storm surges can easily damage or capsize  even the largest houseboat. Moving your houseboat on to land will not only protect it from sinking or capsizing but it will not have as much possible damaging debris around it either. 

The second thing you can do to protect your houseboat from an upcoming hurricane is to board up the glass and remove all the expensive electronics. This obviously requires some planning ahead as there can often be a shortage of plywood as everyone tries to board up all their house windows too. 

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If you live in an area that is often hit by hurricanes, it is a good idea to have some extra plywood stored so you don’t have to risk the stores being out. On top of the plywood it’s a good idea to remove all of expensive electronics that you can and put them somewhere more waterproof. 

Obviously you can’t take every single item on and off your boat every time there is a storm but taking the most expensive items that are easily carried is a great idea. Many people will have thousands of dollars of electronics on board their houseboat between the fish finders, toys, satellite devices, radios, and more. 

Taking the time to remove those items can save you a lot of hassle and money too if your boat insurance doesn’t cover water or storm damage. 

The third thing you can do is move your boat or houseboat out of the storm’s path. The main issue with this is that hurricanes can be headed for a specific location and change course after you’ve already moved your boat but in most situations this will be the best option. 

Especially since most houseboats will be on a river and not the ocean you can spend a day taking your houseboat inland and avoid most of the damage that could be done to your boat by the storm. Certainly this requires taking some time but if you are able to go 50-100 miles inland your damage should be minimal if any at all. 

Much of the damage done to houses that far inland is from the rain and flooding which those things should not affect your houseboat much or at all. 

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Whatever you choose to do all of these have one thing in common… planning ahead. If you live in an area where a hurricane is headed you have to plan for that hurricane to hit every time that it is headed your direction even if it might not hit you. 

Of course your houseboat isn’t as important as your life so if a storm changes where it will hit land and you aren’t prepared just accept that your houseboat is going to get some damage and concentrate on protecting your family and house as much as possible. 

Just remember that things can be replaced and your houseboat can be repaired so losing your life trying to save a boat is never worth it! 

Matthew Robbs

I love the outdoors and especially spending time with my family. Whether on a boat or at the beach, my happy place is near the water.

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