We have all invested a considerable amount of money in the purchase and the maintenance of our boats to allow us to navigate in this magnificent area of the Caribbean Islands. The sea, the temperature, the water, the people and the life style are appealing factors that drew us to this part of the world. However, there are two sides to a coin; in this case, the Hurricane Season. It is true that Grenada is outside of the regular path of these meteorological phenomena, however, no one can deny the possibility of a hurricane hit. Ivan in 2004 is a painful reminder. It is worthy and of common sense for a skipper to guard against all eventualities while hoping that it will never happen.
Whisper Cove Marina recognizes this hazard and has established a contingency plan for the Hurricane Season. This plan takes in consideration the choice of equipment, the number of boats at the dock, their placement in relation to others as well as several other actions taken to protect the boats of our clients as well as our own. The plan implies that the owners or operators of the boats will take a certain amount of precautions.
The purpose of this document is to highlight the procedures that Whisper Cove Marina has developed for the Hurricane Season. This document also indicates the MINIMAL obligations of an owner or an operator to protect his own boat and the other boats. It is of course the owner or the operator’s sole responsibility to take the necessary precautions.
We start with the premise that at least one hurricane of level 5 will hit us in the Hurricane Season. This hurricane will arrive rapidly and we will have very little time left for preparations. In light of this premise, our actions will start prior to the Hurricane Season, officially declared between the beginning of June and the end of November. Our actions are grouped into 2 phases
In prevision of the season
Imminent arrival of the hurricane
Month of May
When the probabilities that Grenada could be hit are more than 40%
Whisper Cove Marina has docks, moorings and adequate lines for the Hurricane Season. The docks can accommodate 13 boats. In case of a hurricane threat the number of boats at the dock will be reduced to 6 or less. 12 hurricane moorings have also been installed right in front of the marina. These 12 moorings are anchored to resist extreme conditions and are equipped with a marine screw anchor and a one tonne concrete block.
A) In anticipation of the season
Even though the installations and equipment are regularly inspected, they will be thoroughly checked in May in anticipation of a potential hurricane. The moorings are inspected underwater to ensure the perfect condition of the link between the marine screw, the concrete block and the lines. They are then inspected on a monthly basis during the hurricane season. If the owner or operator of a boat plans on being absent during the hurricane season, he must perform the following tasks prior to his departure:
01. Remove everything that could catch in the wind and exert pressure on the anchorage system or that can be airborne and could injure someone or damage the property of Whisper Cove Marina or the boats close by. Sails, bimini tops, canvas covers, dinghies, solar panels (if applicable), outboard motor, lifting devise for the outboard motor, etc.
02. Safely secure items that cannot be removed … boom (should ideally be removed from the mast), halyard, etc.
03. Ensure that the cockpit drains are not blocked.
04. Prepare the boat to be able to be moved rapidly in case of an emergency … propeller and the bow thrust cleaned, main engine in good condition, batteries fully charged, fuel tanks full, firefighting equipment accessible and operational, rescue equipment available, etc.
05. Keep the other protection equipment available on the boat – fenders, anchors, lines, etc.
If the owner or operator lives on board or close to his boat or if he has reserved the services of a guardianage company (Whisper Cove Marina offers that service), it is then possible to leave the canvas covers, the bimini or other sun shield equipment in place. Of course they must be removed if there is a hurricane threat in Grenada.
B) Actions to be taken in case of an imminent threat of a hurricane
As soon as a hurricane has the possibility of hitting Grenada (more than 40% probability of being hit), the Management of Whisper Cove Marina considers the hurricane as being imminent. The same applies if the movement of the hurricane is atypical, even if the probability is less than 40%. In this situation, the owner or operator of the boat must remove his sun shield equipment (bimini, canvas cover, etc.). The hatches, ports and other openings must be closed and locked. The thruhalls must be closed. Boats weighing more than 15 tonnes will be moved and secured to hurricane moorings. Some boats of less than 15 tonnes might also be moved to leave sufficient space between the boats left at the dock. Owners or operators of boats must install mooring lines of ¾ inches (20 mm) secured to the strongest elements of the boat.
The boats that remain at the dock will be tied 6.5 feet (2 meters) from the pontoon and spaced on their port and starboard side in such a way that they cannot touch the other boats. Even if the permanent anchors are strong enough to theoretically withhold the violence of a hurricane, Whisper Cove Marina has prepared additional anchors. The system consists of bollards for cargos completed with stainless steel cables. The boats will be directly secured to these bollards with the stainless steel cables. An additional anchor will also be installed.
The mooring lines will be secured to the strongest elements on the boat. Additional mooring lines will be added to cleats and winches or other strong points on the boat. It is important to provide a protection against wear caused by friction for these mooring lines and the boat.
The boats that are not at the dock will be tied to the hurricane moorings of the marina.
A disaster can still happen even with all these safety precautions in place. The marina will not be held responsible for damages. The marina offers services to rent space and various services but it does include marine responsibility.
The marina will do everything in its power to protect the boats. If supplement actions must be taken to secure a boat when the owner has not followed the stipulated precautions, Whisper Cover Marina will take action and charge the owner for additional fees encountered.