Storm Planning


The purpose of this document is to provide guidance for Marina Management and Berth Holders in the event of a major force of nature, including Hurricanes and/or Storm Surges. The procedures laid out here form the backbone of the plan, and will not necessarily cover every aspect or possible occurrence. Rather, this is meant to provide necessary information, steps and possible remedial activities to help ensure the least amount of damage and cleanup during this kind of event.


This plan has been formulated to ensure proper lines of communication are established and Marina Management and Berth Holders are all working together and along the same lines as each other. Having a written document that can be ‘hands-on’ is vital to proper planning. To this end we have tried to make the plan simple, step-by-step where possible, and allow for flexibility and adaptability. This plan will be in a continual state of refinement.


For the purpose of this plan the following terms will be defined as;

RHADC Marina – The area attached to the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club, on the western side, made up of the system of concrete docks and the floating dock system enclosed.

Marina Management – The Flag Officers, Committee of Management of RHADC. and Dock Committee

Berth HOLDERS – The license holder of the berth, and/or any sub-licensees or assigns.

Hurricane Watch – As issued by the Bermuda Weather Service, meaning the possibility of Hurricane force winds (sustained 64+ knots) within 36 hours.

Hurricane Warning – As issued by the Bermuda Weather Service, meaning the possibility of Hurricane force winds (sustained 64+ knots) within 24 hours.

Plan Initiation – The time at which the Marina Management implement this plan, and which shall drive all other timings included.

Stages of the Plan

Early Warning

  • The point at which a Hurricane has developed and may pose a threat to Bermuda. This may be 2-3 days in advance of any official Hurricane Watch being issued.
  • Marina Management will meet to discuss the state of readiness, review the Plan and ensure necessary steps are ready to be implemented if necessary. A Chairman will also be selected at this point to progress the Plan as necessary.

Plan Initiation

  • The point at which a Hurricane Watch is announced


  • A structured system of notice boards, telephone message system, telephone call, faxing, emailing etc. to inform the Berth Holders of the implementation of the Plan.

Boat Removal

  • The first stages of the Plan, being removal of boats planning on vacating before the proper securing of those remaining may preclude this.

Boat Securing

  • The proper tying of boats remaining to reduce potential damage to the Marina or other occupants


  • The steps not involving boats that will be necessary to secure the general area.
  • The steps in this part will have a detrimental effect on continuing efforts by Berth Holders as power may be switched off and access to floating docks removed.


  • The point at which the Plan has been put into action and all parties are prepared for the Hurricane. This will be determined by the Marina Management and followed up on as necessary.


  • The point at which the Hurricane has safely passed and any necessary work can begin to restore the Marina back to normal.

Post Mortem

  • The review of the Plan, the effectiveness of the actions and timings and the reworking of same as necessary.


Time frame

In the event of a potential threat, and this Plan being initiated, the following timeframe will be used to drive the above stages. Please note this timeframe is for use of the Marina Management, although it will allow Berth Holders to be familiar with the steps, timings and progression to help boost the overall effectiveness of the Plan.

Time                                                 Stage 

Time 0000 – 2 days                          Early Warning

Time 0000                                        Hurricane Watch Issued

Notification begins

Boat Removal begins

Time 0000 + 12 hours                      Hurricane Warning issued

Boat Securing begins

Time 0000 + 24 hours                      Preparation begins

Time 0000 + 30 hours                       Readiness is determined

Time 0000 + 36 hours                       Hurricane Strikes


Requirements for boats leaving

Berth Holders who have indicated they plan to remove their boats from the Marina and all boats on the West side of the outside camber need to ensure this is done at the earliest opportunity after the issuance of a ‘Hurricane Watch’. As the plan is built relevant to the information on owner’s preferences, any boats that remain, or are delayed in moving, that should be leaving can cause possible problems.

It would be a good idea to ensure that your storm mooring has been checked and is ready to accept your boat. Leaving this activity to the last minute will be problematic.

Essentially we will be moving boats around in the Marina, utilising vacated spots where possible to better secure remaining boats, and for the better protection of the Marina facilities and equipment. This activity will begin 12 hours after issuance of a Hurricane Watch, and may mean that your boat will not be able to be removed easily and safely if not moved promptly.

It would also be a wise idea to remove any personal items from the docks before you go. Things like personal water hoses, power cords, etc. should either be taken or stored in your dockbox if applicable. If you wish to remove your dockbox as well, you will need appropriate tools.

It would be a wise idea to inform your appointed backups of any travel plans you may have during Hurricane season. Having you and them away or unavailable at the same time during a storm could cause problems. If this is to be the case, please arrange for another backup and inform the Dock Master on 534-2250 or 538 0050/238 0050 or email at or Messages left on the Club’s main voice message box may not necessarily be received and/or actioned.

Please remember that during a Hurricane situation, marine services and personnel will be extremely busy catering to their many customer’s needs. You may wish to review your proposed backups and adjust as necessary. Good planning and early preparation will be your best allies.

Requirements for Boats remaining in the Marina

It is essential that all boats remaining in the Marina be properly prepared and secured well in advance of the storm’s arrival. A list of essential and required items that should be readily available, either onboard or in your dockbox include, but are not limited to;

Things that can or should be done to protect your boat, other Berth Owners’ boats and the Marina facility include:

  • Removing any bimini tops, covers dodgers, etc., or properly securing/stow them such that windage is minimal.
  • Remove and stow all sails, including roller-furled sails.
  • Ensure any covers (such as console or cockpit) are tight fitting, do not add to windage and are adequately fastened.
  • Trim down outboard engines.
  • Shut down any power systems and unplug and store power cords.
  • Store any loose items in the boat.
  • Remove any on-deck anchors and store in boat.
  • If possible, raise or remove swim platform.
  • Secure all ladders in the stowed position.

IMPORTANT:: The Marina Management Team may choose to move boats around in the Marina to allow for better securing and to reduce the risk of damage to boats and/or docks. Please do not arbitrarily move your boat to another berth without first checking with Marina Management. We will have a list of boats that will be leaving in the event of a storm, and will have a planned approach to relocations, so it is imperative that you check with Management.



One of the key items of the Plan is the notification methods and communication lines. The sooner everyone is aware of the potential strike of a Hurricane and begins their action plans, the better.

Once a Hurricane Watch has been issued, the following will happen;

  • Notification will be placed in and around the Club (posters)
  • A message will be placed on the Club’s messaging system. To access use the following procedure;
  • Dial the main number 236-2250.
  • Choose option for Storm Warnings.
  • A message will play containing necessary information and actions.
  • A ‘telephone tree’ calling system will go into effect. You should receive a call from a member of the Hurricane Planning Committee. In this respect it is imperative that you notify the Club of any changes in contact information for both yourself and your backups.
  • A email notice will be sent out to all Berth Holders who have indicated they have an address.

It is important that you acknowledge our message. We therefore ask you to respond to emails or an answering machine notice by return email or a message left at the Club Office.

Essentially every effort will be made to contact and advise Berth Holders of a potential threat. This does not relieve Berth Holders of the responsibility of ensuring they remain aware of Hurricane Watch announcements, and begin preparations immediately.


Proper Securing

Boats tied properly have a much reduced chance of being damaged or causing damage. ALL BOATS ARE TO BE SECURED WITH BOWS FACING WEST.

For most boats in the finger piers the proper method is to tie your boat in the normal manner, utilising bow, stern and fore and aft spring lines. This should be standard practice regardless of weather conditions. In addition to this you should ‘beef’ up your tie-ups by using heavier lines and also add breast lines if there is no other boat alongside of you. The diagram shows this method. Specifically you should:

  • Follow published Berthing Guidelines
  • Use heavy tie-up lines (minimum 7 for small boats).
  • Use extra fenders against the finger pier (whether you have permanently installed fenders or not) – at least 3 fenders of 6” minimum diameter should be attached on both sides of the boat.
  • Tie your boat so its bumpers are against the finger pier.
  • Spread the load on the cleats adequately.
  • Make sure you leave several feet clearance between your boat and the main walkway. Remember, lines do stretch.

RHADC boat tie up diagram

How to tie up your boat during a storm


The following are some of the steps, not involving boats, that will be necessary to secure the Marina and the general area.

  1. All dockboxes shall be fastened to the ground and closed securely.
  2. All boats and equipment must be secured to the ground.
  3. All ramps and angled walkways shall be removed and secured to solid ground.
  4. Follow all Technomarine checks and inspections.
  5. Turn off power to the Marina.
  6. Turn off water to the Marina.
  7. Ensure that all boats have been removed from the left the West side of the breakwater.

Code: Marina/Hurricane Prep Plan rev. Aug 30th, 2011