The 2016 Atlantic hurricane season came to a close on November 30th. The season featured a combination of destructive hurricanes and climatological oddities, including a freak January hurricane!

In all, there were 15 named storms and seven hurricanes that formed in the Atlantic Basin in 2016, the most since the 2012 season. As we reported at the beginning of the season, NOAA had predicted that “the 2016 Atlantic Hurricane Season should bring 14 named storms, of those, eight are predicted to become hurricanes and four are predicted to become major hurricanes,” so they were pretty accurate!

The 2016 Hurricane season saw the end of the Florida’s “hurricane drought” that had lasted for more than a decade, when Hurricane Hermine pushed inland near St. Marks, Florida, early, in September as a Category 1 Storm. Prior that, Hurricane Wilma was the last hurricane to make landfall in the Sunshine State, in October 2005.

But the big story of Hurricane Season 2016 was Matthew. Despite dire early predictions, the most populated areas of South Florida were spared a direct hit from Matthew but still it was a devastating storm particularly for boaters. According to BoatUS, Matthew caused an estimated $110 million in damage to recreational boats, as the once Category 5 storm barreled through and off shore of four coastal states.

Hurricane Matthew

While that sounds like a big number, it is actually quite small relative to the size and nature of Matthew. Maritime experts believe that was largely due to the storm keeping mostly off shore, and that boaters had a lot of time to prepare, and heeded the warnings.

If there is a lesson learned from what was a bad, but could have been even worse Atlantic Hurricane Season for Southern US coastal boat owners, it is that: Preparedness is Key!

A Pontoon Boat is Moved to Safety out of Matthew's Path

A Pontoon Boat is Moved to Safety out of Matthew’s Path


 Recapping Your Hurricane Preparedness Plan

In the wake of Hurricane Mathew, as BoatUS and other maritime experts pointed out, many boat owners were spared significant damage to their vessels because they were properly prepared. The 2017 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.

A casualty of Hurricane Matthew - A Hurricane Plan could have prevented this!

A casualty of Hurricane Matthew – A Hurricane Plan could have prevented this!

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.

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



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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