The key to protecting your boat from cyclones or severe weather is planning, preparation and timely action. Each boat owner needs a plan unique to the type of boat, the local boating environment and the severe weather conditions.

Severe weather season in Queensland is from November to April. Before the next disaster season hits, develop a detailed ‘WHAT-IF' plan of action to protect your boat.

Boats damaged in a marina
If your boat is on a trailer
If time permits remove your boat and trailer out of the cyclone path. Ensure the boat is located away from trees or loose objects. Remove the outboard, safety equipment, radios, sounders, bimini covers and any other valuable items that may be blown away or damaged.
Once all equipment has been removed, remove the boat from the trailer. Place it on the ground facing the direction the wind will come from and away from trees or objects that may fall on it. Lash it with 24mm rope or chains to ground anchors or the most secure object available. Finally half fill it with water, except for stern drive or inboard motored boats.
If you are unable to remove the boat from the trailer, turn the boat to face the wind, let the air partially out of the tyres and place wooden blocks between the frame member and the axle inside each wheel. Lash it with 24mm rope or chains to ground anchors or the most secure object available. Filling a boat on a trailer with water may break your trailer spring therefore so axle wedges should be forced into the springs to distribute the additional weight on the axle.
If your boat is in the water
Contact your local Coastguard, Volunteer Marine Rescue Unit, Marine Watch or Harbour Master to find out where the designated safe anchorages are and any cyclone plans that may be in place.
Know your marina’s extreme weather contingency plan – particularly if they require you to remove your vessel.
Ensure your boat can reach the safe anchorage, remembering that tides may be higher than normal – make a trial run at the beginning of the cyclone season.
If you are out on your boat during severe weather, personal safety is the number one priority. At the first sign of bad or severe weather while you are on the water, make sure everyone on board is wearing a personal flotation device or life jacket.
If you cannot get back to your normal mooring or boat ramp, look for shelter in rivers or creeks with a mangrove fringe to act as a buffer zone from the wind. Remember that heavy rain will increase the flow of ebb tides in any creeks or rivers.
If your boat is moored
Double all ties. Make ties high on pilings to allow for rising waters. Cover all tie lines at contact points with rubber or other materials to prevent chafing.
Be sure batteries are sufficient to run bilge pumps throughout the storm.
Insert plugs in engine ports. Strip bimini tops, sails or any other object that could blow away. Put duct tape on windows and hatches. Disconnect shore power. Close fuel valves and cockpit seacocks.

Plan ahead before you go out on the water

Always check marine weather forecasts before you go boating. Keep checking them while you are on the water.

All of Queensland – 1300 360 426  
Marine warnings – 1300 360 427
South east Queensland – 1300 360 428

Make sure you’re covered

For most boat owners, marine insurance is a necessity but not all boat insurance policies are created equal, so it pays to compare. Ensure your policy covers damage caused to your boat and damage caused by your boat during a storm, flood or fire.

Find out more and Get Ready

Check out these other pages and resources to help you Get Ready.