Safety - use your head

Most important is to put the boat in a safe environment. Use weather charting to avoid bad weather. Never leave a protected anchorage when the weather is deteriorating. In the Ocean, sail away from thunderclouds, no matter where that leads until the storm has passed.

When a hurricane is forecast to cross the Islands North of Grenada, sail to the SOuth end of Grenada or to Puerto La Cruz, Venezuela. It takes less than four days with the wind on the beam to sail from USVI to Puerto La Cruz which has five hurricane safe marinas ($1,000/mo). It is easier to travel up the Island chain in the summer, and down in the winter. But insurance carriers want you to take the boat South in the summer because of the threat of hurricane damage. If you have a policy like that, you are not insured during hurricane season above about 13 degrees N. Latitude. The South end of Grenada is at 12 degrees N. But don’t think that the boat will be guaranteed to be safe if South of 13 degrees. Grenada was wiped out by a hurricane in 2004. The insured boats were covered, but many boat were lost, some with the owner aboard.

Safety comes from knowing the weather and moving the boat to a safe place. As long as you have a weeks warning of a hurricane coming over the Islands, you have plenty of time to sail South to safety. If a hurricane pops up seemingly out of nowhere, take the boat to the nearest hurricane hole and tie it to the trees. Get off the boat. If there is no close hurricane hole, put down three anchors connected to a swivel connected to a bridle and anchor off the stern as I teach. For my introductory PDF on stern anchoring click here  SternAnchoring.pdf.