Hurricane Prep

Thread starter #1
Well it seems someone left the Hurricane Magnet on because the storm is tracking, as of today, Friday the 26 at 9Pm, right towards Fairfield County in Connecticut. I thought some of you might be interested in my storm prep. I am actually a bit embarrassed to show you this pictures because my boat looks pretty horrible here. In any case, as this point my concern is will the dock hold together.

Just so you know. We are on springs. There is a new moon. The tide swing at my location is as follows:
Sunday 08/28/11 11:10AM 7.64 feet High Tide
Sunday 08/28/11 5:22PM -0.22 feet Low Tide
Sunday 08/28/11 11:04PM New Moon
Sunday 08/28/11 11:29PM 8.03 feet High Tide

Irene's center will pass over around 6PM--just after low.

The tidal range could not be worse.

The morning tide swing is 7.86 feet.

The evening tide swing is 8.25 feet.

Estimates are for 6' of surge from the storm.

Figuring worst case--that could be 14' at High--but probably less.

Here is the morning satellite photo.

Here is my present configuration. I'm probably putting an anchor out in the channel off the back, angled slightly away from the dock.. I will take it to the port side aft winch, and lead to my coffee grinder so I can take it up tight. I will need some chain to reinforce the finger piers, and for my big Danforth. West Marine will be crazy tomorrow. So my plan is to head to Home Depot and use the rope I have on the boat. I also have two more fenders to add and one flat foam fender.

I stripped the mainsail and cover off. It was a PITA hauling it, all 80 lbs of it up the dock and the steep gangway. You can admire my new boom and the Rigid Vang I cobbled together with parts I found on eBay. The boom is about 15" longer than the original and I'm planning on getting a new mainsail next year along with a Tide Marine low friction track system on top of my present Stainless Steel Track. I had to custom fabricate the toggle to mount the boom. I bought the boom for $400 and paid $650 for the toggle to mount it, and will probably spend more as I am thinking of modifying it slightly. In any event, I'm particularly proud of the job I did on that boom. It gives me a nice triple reef system.

If you look closely below, you will see the attachment for my finger pier doesn't look too good--it has a sharp bend in it. One thing is good. I'm in one of the more protected areas. There are tall buildings to the west and north of me. The channel is deep and narrow and makes a bend as it heads south-east. There is a a fetch in that direction of less than half a mile and the harbor entrance is narrow and has a bend. So wave action is not a concern. Still--something bent the heck out of this piece of steel.

I have seen cleats rip right out and this is not the newest dock. So I ran a line to just about every cleat, with one from the bow to the main dock. I have one from the stern going to the main dock and plan to most that one to a finger pier one over from my T position. I have two forward springs, two aft springs, two stern lines, three bow lines. I used to galvanized shakles with thimbles to lenghten two of the lines.

Lots of people are leaving their boats very poorly moored up. I plan to go around and shoot some video with my friend Sven tomorrow in Norwalk harbor and see what breaks loose on Monday. The fellow next to me has a new boat with the thinnest dock lines. I may do something for him, if I have time, as it is a pretty new center console.

Here is a view of the whole dock area. You can see the little boat on the left. I think it will fill with water and sink. Just as a point of interest, in a recent storm on a spring tide, the parking lot where I am standing was flooded. The horizontal piling and the concrete you see in the lower left were not covered with water, but the whole lots had 5-6" of water in it. I want to go back and sight along this concrete sea-wall to gauge how high the pilings are. I might have to think about running some chain from the top to the low water mark on my two end pilings.

One last shot. I threw this line to the other cleat and realized I need chain across here. You can see that if this breaks, I'm screwed.

I have a 22' x 24' tent garage. I emptied that out tonight and loaded my pickup truck with about 2000 lbs of gear. I plan to strip off my four Thule Load bars and I should be able to drive around in the storm to check things out. no matter how windy it gets. I want to pull the canvas off the tent garage tomorrow--no sense ruining a brand new shelter.
Thread starter #4
I wanted to add two more fenders and move a dock line, but the place was locked up tight and I could not get in. I checked the height of the piling, I doubt the storm surge will be high enough to float the dock off, so I was not planning on setting an anchor. I should be fine. Winds will gust to about 90 mph at the most. My pickup is a dually, filled with 53 gallons of diesel and 2000 lbs of weight in the bed. I should be able to drive around ok, as long as I avoid routes with trees. I plan to video the event as much as possible. I expect to see some boats break loose from their moorings. Lots of poorly moored vessels. I guess I understand that, it is one heck of a lot of work to prepare for this event.

I took down out 22' x 24' tent garage and it was brutal in the humidity this morning. Just getting my Main Sail home on Friday exhausted me. that thing must weigh around 80 lbs and it was bulky and awkward to carry.

Here is a view of my dock from the parking lot. The blacktop was cover in the last storm at high tide--that was unusual. You can see how high the pilings are. We would need at least 5' of storm surge to lift the docks off the top.

All my Sunfishes are flipped over and will be fine unless a tree comes down. This is BlackJack.

I started pulling the tent down around noon. It was 100% humidity and I was soaked like I was swimming almost immediately. Dixie Sunfish in the foreground on my TrailEx trailer, and Kokini the sea dog on the right side. Canada Sunfish on the right near the tent.

Tent down. Most of it folded up on the right side and weighed down with wood, ladders and misc stuff.

Tent cover folded up.

My nice clean shop is now a total wreck. Dixie stuffed in there. You can see where the back de-laminated last winter. I don't want any more water getting in there so that is why it is in the garage.

So all I need to do is tie one inflatable RIB to it's trailer and put some wood under the tongue so it doesn't scratch up the porch and I'm done.

We have about a dozen bags of ice, out refrigerator is on the coldest setting with lots of stuff in there to hold the cold. I don't think we will lose power but we are ready for anything, candles for light, and batteries. It should be interesting.

I'm looking forward to driving around in the storm tomorrow. Oops just remembered I should move the Volvo sedan away from the trees.
Thread starter #6
My Etchells is on its trailer in my backyard.

I have some great pictures but no way to upload at the moment. At about 11 am the number of people without power went to 4 million plus one. Estimates are up to a week to restore power. I thought we would be ok but a big tree came down and our little pocket which had power went down.

My big boat is ok. The dock started to float off the shorter pilings and the one liveaboard would push them back on. My pilings were another 2' taller. My issue was my finger pier started coming apart. The parking lot had knee deep water. I was able to get in about 90 minutes after high tide.

The whole day was an adventure and I have to think about conserving power. I will try to upload some pictures and video later.