The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season came finally came to a close on November 30th, drawing sighs of relief for many, some of who, have yet to fully recover.
No one in South Florida, The Caribbean, or Texas needs to be reminded of the devastation wrought by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, but we can take a closer look at the season, and see what went right and what went wrong, particularly for yacht owners and the marine industry.
It should surprise no one that the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane season was one of the most destructive on record. From the tragic floods caused by Harvey in southeastern Texas to the Florida Keys ravaged by Irma, and Maria’s widespread devastation in Puerto Rico, the impact of this past hurricane season, was dramatic, heartfelt, and will be remembered for years to come.
According to NOAA, this was the busiest storm season in the Atlantic since 2012 as 17 storms were named. While it was not a record-setting season in terms of the number of storms, it will likely be remembered as one of the most intense in United States history. A hurricane season’s intensity is quantified by Accumulated Cyclone Energy, or ACE, which measures the combined strength and duration of all of the tropical storms and hurricanes that occurred during that given season. An above-average season is about 111 units, while a below average season is less than 66. According to Colorado State University, the ACE value for the Atlantic Season which just ended, is 226, making it well above normal.
As of Dec. 1, this season’s ACE value ranks as the seventh most active on record to date, trailing only 1893, 1926, 1933 and 2005, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Totals are still being calculated, but as of the writing of this article, current estimates are that the U.S. suffered more than $200 billion worth of damage from the 17 storms this season, with the most damage, of course, caused by Hurricanes, Harvey, Irma, and Maria. This makes the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season the most costly on record, easily eclipsing the previous record of around $159 billion, set during the summer of 2005, when Hurricane Katrina inflicted massive devastation on New Orleans.
Some Other Facts and Figures About the 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season
- Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria changed parts of Texas, Florida and the Caribbean forever.
- September 2017 was the busiest month of hurricane activity on record.
- 12 storms, 6 hurricanes and 2 major hurricanes, placed 2017 among the top 10 most active Atlantic seasons on record.
- It may take years for Puerto Rico to fully recover from Hurricane Maria.
- Hurricane Harvey ended a 12 year “Hurricane Drought” where no major hurricane (category 3 or higher) had made landfall on the US mainland.
- Hurricane Irma held Category 5 status for a record breaking three straight days.
However, as devastating as this season was, and particularly the impact Hurricane Irma had on Florida, we are happy to report, that none of the yachts in our care, or inventory, were significantly damaged by the storm. So, if there is any lesson learned for Southern US coastal boat owners from what was one of the worst Atlantic Hurricane Seasons on record, it is that preparedness is key!
Recapping Your Hurricane Preparedness Plan
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, maritime experts pointed out, many boat owners were spared significant damage to their vessels because they were properly prepared. The 2018 Atlantic Hurricane season may still be a long way off, but it is never too early to review your Hurricane Preparedness Plan.
If you plan to keep your boat south of Georgia during the Atlantic Hurricane Season, most insurance companies will require a hurricane plan. Working with several of the local insurance companies, Florida Yacht Management (FYM) is uniquely suited to offer viable hurricane plans to our full time management clients. Situated four miles inland up the New River, Marina Bay is a designated “hurricane hole,” meaning that its location is less subject to the dangerous storm surge that impacts many vessels docked closer to the coast.
FYM provides captain services to move your vessel to designated hurricane holes to satisfy most insurance requirements. In addition, we will work with your insurance company to provide details and documentation to show that you have done everything in your power to protect your asset during the storm.
Without a proper Hurricane Plan – THIS could be YOUR boat!
How Yacht Management Can Help
There are many advantages to having your motor yacht signed up with a professional yacht management company such as Florida Yacht Management (FYM). In addition to handling all the details of managing the operations of your boat, FYM will make every effort to ensure its safety during hurricane season. FYM has a detailed preparedness plan in place for all yachts in our charge.
When a Tropical Storm Warning is announced by NOAA, we begin preparations
for the storm.
All vessels currently docked in Marina Bay will be secured in Marina Bay, 4
miles inland, west of I-95 on the New River, 2525 Marina Bay Drive West, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Vessels located in alternate locations will receive the same preparations, as follows:
- All available fender and docklines will be used to secure the
vessels to the docks/floating docks.
- All removable canvas, cushions, and loose deck equipment will be
removed and stored indoors.
- All hatches and seams will be blue taped.
Your vessel’s LOA determines Line Detail, as follows:
- Under 60’ = Doubled 1⁄2” Lines (Tenders Included)
- 60’ – 100’ = Doubled 3⁄4” Lines
- 100’+ = Doubled 1” Lines
- All Vessels will receive Nylon Braided Lines with locations as follows:
- 2 on Bow, 2 on Stern, 4 Spring Lines
For all yachts we will:
- Deploy anchors if deemed necessary.
- Photo documentation of preparations.
Hurricanes and tropical storms can be unpredictable. However, one thing you can be sure of is that you have a better chance of protecting your boat, if you work with experts who understand the value of being prepared.
For more information on how to personally prepare, and protect your home or business during hurricane season, visit FEMA.
You can see live coverage of any approaching storms or bad weather at stormpulse.com.
Operating a motor yacht can be costly. You can reduce your expenses, and avoid costly repairs by keeping her well maintained. On Demand Yachting from FYM can help. If you would like to learn more, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Yacht Management specialists, or call us at (954) 900-9968
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