Blog | How Badly Did Irma Impact Local Marine Industry?

October 16, 2017

How Badly Did Irma Impact Local Marine Industry?

By many accounts, Hurricane Irma did a fair share of damage to Florida. Estimates of total costs to homeowners and area business are in the billions. Despite that, in many respects, the state “dodged a bullet.” Given the power and the duration of the storm, things could have been a lot worse. Now, a little over a month since the epic storm made landfall, most businesses, including those in the Keys, have returned to normal operations.

That is good news for our local economies. How well did the marine industry fair? Statewide, the marine industry — which is a major contributor to our economy — did not suffer any major damage or setbacks. In particular, industry heavy South Florida, was largely spared. This is all according to a trade group called the Marine Industries Association of South Florida, which reported that Irma inflicted “only minor damage on boatyards and marinas in Broward and Palm Beach counties, all of which are open for business.”

Most importantly, the association also reported that there was “minimal storm damage at seven show sites for the upcoming Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show.” The show, also known as “FLIBS 2017,” is scheduled for Nov. 1-5. The show sites include the Bahia Mar resort and marina, Hall of Fame Marina, Hilton Fort Lauderdale Marina, Hyatt Regency Pier 66 Marina, Las Olas Municipal Marina and Sails Marina.

Speaking to the Sun-Sentinel, Staci Love, with the Lauderdale Marine Center in Fort Lauderdale, said that the center, “lost some trees, gates and electrical power during Hurricane Irma, but is open for business.”

We are happy to report that all of the yachts in our care at Marina Bay and our other marinas fared well, and our marinas, and brokerage offices, are open for business!

No Time to Let Your Guard Down

Just because we have just come through a bad storm like Hurricane Irma, and many homes and businesses are still in the process of recovering, it is no time to let your guard down. We still have over a month till the end of what has been a very busy Atlantic Hurricane Season — which began on June 1st and runs through November 30th. Late October and November storms are still a very real possibility. Remember, Hurricane Sandy, the second most costly hurricane in US history, made official landfall on October 22nd, and did not completely dissipate until November 2nd, 2012!

Keep Your Yacht’s Hurricane Preparedness Plan In Place!

We urge all yacht owners to keep their Hurricane Preparedness Plan in place until the very last day of the season. Much of the reason why the storm’s impact to our local marine economy was so minimal, had a lot to do with preparedness.

If your boat is docked in an area at high-risk for hurricanes such as Florida, most boat insurance companies will insist you have a hurricane plan in place.  26 North Yachts can help you to develop your hurricane preparedness plan along with our sister company, Florida Yacht Management (FYM).

Yachts that sign up for FYM’s On Demand Yachting solution will be docked in Marina Bay. Marina Bay is what local insurers refer to as a “hurricane hole,” meaning that its location is a safe distance inland, and less subject to the dangers of storm surge. If your yacht cannot be accommodated with dockage in Marina Bay, FYM provides captain services to move your vessel to other insurance company designated hurricane holes.

In addition to making sure your yacht is secure in a safe “hurricane hole,” we will provide your insurance company with all the details of your hurricane plan in writing, to prove that you have done everything humanly possible to protect your motor yacht.

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26 North Yachts’ Hurricane Plan in Action 

If your vessel is signed up with FYM, the following will occur in the event of a storm:

The hurricane plan swings into effect as soon as a Tropical Storm Warning is issued by NOAA. At that time all, vessels currently docked in Marina Bay will be secured in Marina Bay, 4 miles inland, west of I-95 on the New River in Fort Lauderdale Florida.
2525 Marina Bay Drive West, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33312. Vessels located in
alternate locations will receive the same preparations, as follows:

  • All available fenders and docklines will be used to secure the
    vessels to the docks/floating docks.
  • All removable canvas, cushions, and loose deck equipment will be
    removed and stored indoors.
  • All hatches and seams will be blue taped.

Your vessel’s LOA determines Line Detail, as follows:

  • Under 60’ = Doubled 1⁄2” Lines (Tenders Included)
  • 60’ – 100’ = Doubled 3⁄4” Lines
  • 100’+ = Doubled 1” Lines
  • All Vessels will receive Nylon Braided Lines with locations as follows:
  • 2 on Bow, 2 on Stern, 4 Spring Lines

For all yachts we will:

  • Deploy anchors if deemed necessary.
  • Photo documentation of preparations.

Hurricanes and tropical storms can be unpredictable. However, one thing you can be sure of is that you have a better chance of protecting your boat, if you work with experts who understand the value of being prepared.

For more information on how to personally prepare, and protect your home or business during hurricane season, visit FEMA.

You can see live coverage of any approaching storms or bad weather at

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It’s not always easy to stay on top of what’s new in motor yachts. If you would like to benefit from our expertise in these areas, or if you have any questions or comments about this blog post, do not hesitate to contact our Sales Specialists, or call us at 954-900-9988.


Main Image: Courtesy NOAA

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