WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH -- As the peak of hurricane season approaches, experts say boat owners should prepare their boats now before it's too late. Captain Gregory Woodby works for Aquatic Safaris and Towboat U.S. He said, "A lot of times people are scrambling at the last minute to try to get their boat secure." Captain Woodby says the first thing to do to prepare your boat for severe weather is to have a plan. Once you know severe weather is on the way, you should get your boat out of the water if it isn't too big, according to Captain Woodby. "The boats that end up sinking are smaller boats. The batteries run dead and they just cannot keep the water out," he said. If you don't have a place to keep your boat on land, consider a boat storage unit. Kim Loyd of Watermark Marina of Wilmington says boat owners can lease hurricane spaces. She said, "They take them inland or to someone's house, big inconvenience. If they're brought here they know they'll be safe and secure and they know that their boats are going to be protected." When your boat is tied up in the water during a storm, Captain Woodby says a lot of damage is done by other boats that break loose from the dock. He said, "Whatever lines you have attached to the dock, make sure they're new lines and they're chafe-guarded with the proper materials and then have another set of lines in case they would actually break." Captain Woodby says chafe guards for your rope are relatively cheap and are well worth the investment. He also recommends boat insurance because he says damage during severe weather is inevitable.
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