Perhaps the single best safety tip for owners of the best center console boats is to always make sure you prepare your boat for storms well before any threatening weather appears.
There are certain safety measures that everyone who owns a center console boat should take, especially if they live on the Gulf of Mexico or the Eastern seaboard.
To keep your boat intact and seaworthy, complete this checklist of tasks before storm season arrives.
Docks that are old or in poor condition won’t be able to withstand the rough waters and high winds that storms often bring the way docks in good condition can.
Get your dock and pilings inspected by a pro to ensure they won’t break apart and damage your boat and surrounding structures.
Check your seawall during low tide at least once per year at the beginning of the season and following large storms. Look for potential issues like:
You’ll also want to check the ground around the seawall for erosion. If you notice any of the previously mentioned structural concerns, have the wall inspected by a marine contractor.
Some issues are purely cosmetic, but some are quite serious. Don’t take chances with your center console boat.
It’s not recommended that you leave your boat on the lift during a storm, as the surge can rise higher than it when it’s in a fixed position. Consequently, leaving it on the lift increases the chance of the piles breaking and collapsing your lift.
If you can remove your boat and store it elsewhere, raise the cradle beams as high as possible before tying off the cradles to the piles.
You can also remove the gearboxes, switches, and motors — just make sure you secure the cradles before removing the gearbox.
If you don’t have anywhere else to store your boat during a storm, your first task will be to estimate the likely surge. If you expect it to remain below the raised height of your boat, create a drainage system to prevent water from overloading the lift or collecting in the hull. Don’t rely solely on pumps, as they can easily fail during a storm.
If possible, tilt the boat on the lift by a couple of inches so rainwater can run out of the scuppers. Then, raise your center console boat as high as your lift allows and secure it tightly.
When people own custom center console boats, safety is one of their highest priorities, and rightly so — boats tied to floating docks aren’t as safe during storms as they would be if affixed to anchors or moorings.
By arranging the lines and positioning your boat appropriately, you can minimize the potential for boat and dock damage during inclement weather.
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