As yacht owners, yacht charter operators, and all other yachting stakeholders well know, Hurricanes Irma, Jose, and Maria, have wreaked havoc to many areas of the Caribbean. Several popular island charter destinations went relatively unscathed, while others are, even now, still struggling to recover.

With tourism the main economic driver for most of the islands of the Caribbean, and with the winter yacht charter business season on the verge of unfolding, the various chambers of commerce, and tourism boards of the region are doing their best to provide as much information as possible, about the state of their marinas and other infrastructure to support yacht visitors and their guests.

For example, The St Maarten Marine Trades Association has launched a new website  that has been designed to provide accurate, objective and up-to-date information in order to create a realistic picture of travelling in the Caribbean this season and give updates on the recovery efforts within areas affected by the recent hurricanes. Visitors to the site can get info on:

  • Maarten/St. Martin
  • Barths
  • Anguila
  • The US Virgin Islands
  • The British Virgin Islands
  • The Turks and Caicos
  • Dominica
  • Puerto Rico
  • Saba

There is even a tab for Islands that were not at all directly impacted by the hurricane, which include many popular yacht charter destinations such as Martinique, Antigua, and Saint Lucia!

South Florida and the Florida Keys

While Hurricane Irma did its share of damage to Florida, our marine and yachting industry was dealt only a glancing blow.

In particular, the yachting hubs of South Florida, such as Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach, were largely spared. This is all according to a trade group called the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which reported that Irma inflicted “only minor damage on boatyards and marinas in Broward and Palm Beach counties, all of which are open for business.”

Most importantly, the association also reported that there was “minimal storm damage at seven show sites for the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.” The show, also known as “FLIBS 2017,” is scheduled for Nov. 1-5. The show sites include the Bahia Mar resort and marina, Hall of Fame Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina and Sails Marina.

Speaking to the Sun-Sentinel, Staci Love, with the Lauderdale Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale, said that the center, “lost some trees, gates and electrical power during Hurricane Irma, but is open for business.”

We are happy to report that all of the yachts in our care at Marina Bay and our other marinas fared well, and our marinas, and brokerage offices, are open for business!

Key West

Key West was not as lucky as South Florida, but by most recent accounts, the “Conch Republic” is Open for Business! Key West unofficially reopened its doors and shores to tourists on October 2nd. Since then the cruise ships have been returning, the drinks have been flowing on Duval Street, and it was officially declared “open for business” by  the Monroe County … on October 19th, just in time for what is gearing up to be the most celebratory Fantasy Fest on record, which runs from October 20th to 29th.

Hurricane Season Is Not Over Yet – Keep Your Hurricane Plans in Place!

Just because we have just come through a bad storm like Hurricane Irma, and many homes and businesses are still in the process of recovering, it is no time to let your guard down. We still have over a month till the end of what has been a very busy Atlantic Hurricane Season — which began on June 1st and runs through November 30th. Late October and November storms are still a very real possibility. Remember, Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly hurricane in US history, made official landfall on October 22nd, and did not completely dissipate until November 2nd, 2012!

We urge all yacht owners to keep their Hurricane Preparedness Plan in place until the very last day of the season.

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.

FYM’s Marina Bay is a designated “Hurricane Hole.”

 

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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