A yacht with fenders securely tied to the toe rail at East Cowes Marina
08 Oct2018

Heavy weather in harbour

Our suggestions for weathering storms afloat

If you're in one of our marinas, we'll always walk the pontoons before and after a storm (and during if it's sensible to do so) to keep the boats safe. If we find a problem with your boat we'll sort it, then give you a call to let you know. 

Sometimes taking a few basic precautions ahead of a forecast storm can really make all of the difference to your own peace of mind.

Reduce windage

Extra windage from covers and sails will make the boat move in its berth, straining ropes and putting pressure on fenders.

  • Remove cockpit tents, sprayhoods and other covers to reduce windage
  • Remove furling jibs and mainsails - this reduces windage which reduces loads on lines and fenders
  • If you can't remove the jib: wind the jib sheets around the headsail and secure the sheets to cleats. Tie the furled headsail with an extra rope or sail tie
  • If you can't remove the main: lash down the mainsail and cover - even though the cover looks secure, they can flap apart in storms.

Make the boat sung

Make sure that the boat is as secure as possible from all wind directions

  • Check fenders are blown-up and use as many as possible. £60 on a new fender is a good investment for a £60,000 boat
  • Check mooring lines are in good condition and replace any thin or chafed lines
  • Tighten the lines so the boat can't surge forwards and touch the pontoon
  • Double-up mooring lines and add shock-absorbing snubbers
  • Lock your wheel or tiller to stop the rudder banging

Don't forget down below

If your boat is surging in the berth, then can water get down below, or things break loose and cause damage?

  • Make sure your automatic bilge pump is working OK
  • Close seacocks for the toilet, engine and sinks
  • If you have to leave a dehumidifier (not always a good idea) then secure it well, and ensure that the drain can only empty into the sink or bilge
  • Secure or remove any delicate or valuable items


If you are worried about another boat in the marina or see something you think is dangerous, please tell the marina team so they can sort it out in good time.

Get a quote