You Are Caught in a Severe Storm in Your Boat

June 1, 2023

You’re out on the water in a boat, enjoying the day and then the clouds roll in. Suddenly you are in the middle of a severe storm. It’s a boaters worst nightmare. What should you do?

All passengers should immediately get into their life jackets and foul weather gear. Make sure they are all comfortable and secured into the center of the boat to reduce the chances of them being thrown around as the boat pitches and rolls during the storm. They should also be seated low and away from any electrical or ungrounded equipment on the vessel.

Secure all hatches, ports and windows to keep water out. Stow all small items and lashing down bigger ones to eliminate the sloshing of gear and passengers as the boat rolls, which can affect stability.

A large storm with heavy rain and strong winds can create dangerous conditions for any type of boat. There may be lightning strikes which can cause a fire, loss of control of the boat or even loss of all power to the vessel. It’s best to have a safe place to go, like a sheltered cove or bay where the waves can be less severe.

If the engine stops, put a sea anchor on a line off the bow to keep the nose of the boat headed into the wind and reduce drifting while you ride out the storm. If the anchor is not available, use your regular anchor to stay anchored in a safe position.


Tornado Dave is the best place to learn more about severe weather and climate science. He's a veritable tornado of information, and he loves nothing more than educating others about the importance of being prepared for extreme weather events. Make sure to check in with Tornado Dave often, as he's always updating his blog with the latest news and information!
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