Harbormaster Department advises mariners about severe weather
Due to the possibility of severe weather that could impact the region within the next week, the Harbormaster Department is urging all boat owners to take necessary precautions.
If possible, vessels should be hauled out of the water and stored at an inland location. Waiting until the last minute before a storm will cause longer delays at the limited number of hauling areas in town.
Private marinas have extensive, preplanned emergency hauling lists. Be sure to check with your marina and make sure you have been included in this plan.
During any severe weather, vessels will not be permitted to tie up at any of the public dock facilities, including Besse Park, the Tempest Knob boat ramp, Onset Pier, or any of the town-managed transient moorings. Any vessel left at any of these locations within 24 hours of landfall of a storm will be removed at the boat owner’s expense.
For vessels that are left on a mooring or at a private dock, owners should take extra steps in preparing for any severe weather. Be sure to remove all loose gear, take down canvas, and secure all equipment that could become free. Be sure to inspect the mooring lines and add extra pennant lines and storm anchors if possible. Keep a spare throw anchor with line on-board in case the vessel becomes free from its mooring. Make sure engines, generators, and bilge pumps are in good working condition and that batteries are fully charged.
Additionally, be sure to review all of your safety equipment. Attach extra fenders around your boat to minimize any hull damage from docks or other vessels that may become free during severe weather.
The Harbormaster Department stresses: No one’s boat is worth risking a human life to protect! The department does not support the idea of “riding out the storm" on a boat. This is extremely dangerous and has a great potential for injuries or even loss of life.
The Harbormaster Department asks that if the decision is made by the boat owner to risk “life and limb” in an attempt to protect their boat, notify the department to file a float plan and wear a lifejacket or survival suit for the duration of the storm.
The Harbormaster Department will continue to keep residents posted as more information becomes available. Contact the department offices at 508-291-3100, ext. 3186 or the Dockmaster’s Office at 508-295-8160 with any questions or concerns.