Boater Safety Checklist in Advance of Hurricane Hilary

With Hurricane Hilary working towards arrival in Southern California Sunday night and early Monday morning, the U.S. National Weather Service Los Angeles/Oxnard has issued warnings about potential significant marine issues that include:

  • High surf
  • Strong winds
  • Dangerous rip currents
  • Coastal flooding/beach erosion from San Pedro to Seal Beach, Catalina and Long Beach Harbors.
  • Dangerous conditions for South and Southeast facing Harbors.

Ventura County Harbor Patrol officials say recreational boat owners should prepare now to help prevent damage to their boats.

Here’s a list of helpful tips for boat owners when any significant storm or weather event is approaching:

  • Secure your headsail with bungee cords to prevent unfurling.
  • Double up lines and fenders. Spread out your lines to multiple cleats. Pre-approval is needed if lines will cross into additional slips or anchoring while tied to the dock. Be sure to check lines for fraying or damage.
  • Consider removing your canvas if you have not already done so.
  • Make sure you leave plenty of room between your vessel and the main dock as lines will stretch.
  • Secure any or all items that the wind could potentially blow or lift off the vessel.
  • Dock space must be clear of any extraneous items that could be damaged or cause damage during the storm, aside from secured dock boxes.
  • Ensure batteries are fully charged and bilge pump is operational in the event of lost power and heavy rains.
  • Ensure you have adequate slack in your power cord as your vessel will move in the wind.
  • Do not remain on your boat during severe weather.
  • Please adhere to local warnings and evacuation routes. If local officials determine it is not safe to be at the marina, please follow recommendations to evacuate temporarily.

Editor’s Note: this story was published on Aug. 18, 2023.