WSVN — South Florida is made for boat lovers, but securing your boat before a storm hits is critical.

“You should have your hurricane plan down,” Brett Sternbach from Sea Tow told 7News.

First, figure out where your boat will ride out the storm.

“Best thing always is try to get it indoors,” Sternbach said.

Most storage facilities will let you bring in your boat once a storm is named. If your only option is to keep your boat on the trailer, try to put it in the garage. But if you can’t, get the boat next to the house or something. Close enough to try to block the wind.

Then make sure the boat is secured to the trailer.

“Take your strap, put one end into your eye and then bring it around the trailer here and secure it down this way and then you have one in the front. One we would call midship and one on the stern of the vessel,” Sternbach recommends.

Block the wheels of the trailer with concrete or wood and let some air out of the tires so it can rest against it. Finally, remove important paperwork, expensive electronics and loose items that might blow away.

If you need to tie up your boat, shop early for supplies. You’ll need long, double lines.

“Using the proper diagonal line for the length of your vessel, you will always want to hang extra fenders on the vessel and try to use a three strand poly line along with chaffing gear,” Sternbach said.

“Chafing” gear helps keep lines from breaking. You can use a garden hose or tape. Tie the lines to pillars or cleats on the dock. Clear drains of debris and make sure bilge pumps are working and don’t forget to seal doors and hatches.

If you live on a canal, plan on tying or anchoring the boat in the middle of the canal.

“Always have the boat bow facing out towards the entrance of the canal because you will have your strongest winds coming in from the entrance of the canal,” he added.

Securing your boat is only part of protecting it. You also need insurance.

“Make sure you have adequate coverage. Make sure you understand what the deductibles are under your policy,” said Dulce Suarez-Resnick, NSU Insurances.

Insurance experts say many policies have a special hurricane deductible and it can be high.

“If you don’t understand what that translates into in dollars, you might have a big surprise the day you put in a claim.”

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