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The order of priority when preparing Niceville Yacht Club for a hurricane is:

1. Protect human life.

2. Seek to prevent or minimize personal injury.

3. Reduce the exposure of property to damage.

4. Minimize damage to property that cannot be relocated.

5. Seek to restore normal operations as quickly as possible.


This document is the hurricane/storm preparation procedures that Niceville Yacht Club will follow during hurricane season. This document is not all-inclusive, but provides a good minimum of items that can be useful during planning, preparation, and evacuation. It is important that the slip owners, renters, and guests in the marina are aware of the basic elements of hurricanes and steps to be taken to ensure their safety and the safety of their vessel. Niceville Yacht Club’s hurricane alerts are intended as a supplement to other available sources of hurricane information to add to your awareness, as a vessel owner, and the need to begin your hurricane preparations. The purpose of this notice is to aid slip owner and occupant awareness of the approaching storm, so they may take appropriate action.


This hurricane plan is premised on the full cooperation of the slip renters and guests of the slip renters in the event of voluntary evacuation of the marina and the docks. All marina tenants must have a current plan for their vessel outlining appropriate steps they are taking to secure or remove their vessel(s) during a hurricane. Vessel owners and operators are advised that they may need to seek safer harbors due to the wide-open waters and exposure specifically from the southwest.

The owner of any vessel left in the marina during a hurricane will be solely responsible for any damage to docks, piers, dock systems, other vessels, and/or marina property. Owners are solely responsible for removal and clean-up of their vessel if damaged or sunk during a hurricane. 


Marinas are not safe locations for vessels during a hurricane or tropical storm. Their proximity to the water and coastal regions generally place these facilities either close to or directly in the path of these storms. While not required, it is highly recommended that vessels be relocated well in advance to safer locations in order to protect both the vessel and the Marina. The following procedures will enhance Niceville Yacht Club’s ability to protect the lives and property of our marina customers and safeguard our facilities.



Hurricanes cause extremely dangerous weather conditions and require you to have a plan of readiness in their event. To qualify as a hurricane, winds must read a sustained speed of 74 mph. hurricane winds have been known to reach in excess of 200 mph. Winds are not the only danger that accompanies hurricanes. They can also include storm surge, flooding accompanying tornadoes, damage from debris, lightning, and erosion. Hurricanes can last for days and create additional circumstances that can keep you under emergency conditions for sustained periods of time. To be fully prepared for a hurricane requires that you have resources ready not only for the term of the hurricane, but also for the period following, where you may be dealing with dangerous or damaged structures, loss of power, and comprised movement and residency.



Storm Surge – water that is pushed towards the shore by the force of the winds swirling around the storm. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to create hurricane storm tide, which can increase the mean water level up to more than 18 feet.

Tropical Disturbance – a rotary circulation with little to no development on the ocean surface but better development in the upper atmosphere and no strong winds, a common phenomenon in the Tropics.

Tropical Depression – a low pressure area with some rotary circulation on the ocean surface and a sustained wind speed of less than 29 MPH.

Tropical Storm – a low pressure area with a distinct rotary circulation and sustained wind speeds from 39 – 73 MPH.

Hurricane – a low pressure area with strong and pronounced rotary circulation and sustained wind speeds of at least 74 MPH



  • All hands-on meeting

  • Clear grounds for loose items

  • Secure all trash cans and dockboxes with straps

  • Dock check all vessels for proper tie-ups, loose gear, sails, etc.

  • Bring back-up fueling station on-site

  • Clear store, post important contacts on door

  • Tie open all gates


  • All hands-on meeting

  • Turn off all power and water to all docks

  • Secure all doors and windows

  • Ground recheck for loose items

  • Recheck all docks and vessels

  • Secure all computer equipment and business records

  • Shut off fuel supply and fuel power


  • Maintain communications with staff

  • Conduct initial survey of damage

  • Generate priority list

  • Check all boats and docks for damage

  • Arrange debris clean-up

  • Maintain detailed records of events, damage, losses, and expenditures

  • Contact all necessary contractors

  • Assist and contact tenants as needed

  • Inspect all electrical feeds and restore power

  • Inspect all water feeds and restore


  • Vessels under 35’ will have no less than a quantity of 6, excellent condition, ½” lines or more if cleats provide.

  • Vessels over 36’ will have no less than a quantity of 8, excellent condition, ¾” lines or more if cleats provide.

  • Vessels over 50’ will have no less than a quantity of 8, excellent condition, 7/8” lines or more if cleats provide.

  • Prior to, or during a hurricane watch or warning, you may be asked to relocate your vessel. If the marina requests that you relocate your vessel and you refuse, your contract will be terminated and you will be asked to leave the marina.

  • All vessels must be kept 100% operational at all times (mechanically) including batteries, bilge pumps, and connections.

  • All lines must be covered with chafe protections within 3 feet of any contact to vessel or dock.

  • Any vessel owned by someone other than a local owner (within a 25 mile radius) must have a local agent who has the authority and responsibility for securing, re-securing, and salvaging a vessel.

  • If significant surge is expected, utility service to docks will be shut down.

  • Secure your boat. If you need assistance, contact the marina prior to event weather.

  • It is strongly recommended that all owners have a haul plan for hurricane season.

  • All loose items and all dinghys, canvas, sails, cushions, outboard motors, ladders, grills, hoses, parts, chairs, plants, bikes, and other items not secured to the boat or dock must be properly removed and stowed.

  • Keep battery-operated radios or alternatives in case of power outages or shut-off.

  • Keep fuel and water tanks full.

  • Remove all valuable electronics.

  • Double/back-up lines with slack are highly recommended on all size vessels.

  • Install additional buffering to your vessel.

  • Board or tape up all windows. Taping will not prevent breakage but may reduce risk of flying glass.

  • Make sure you have documented all of your possessions either in writing, photography, or video.

  • Make sure insurance documents are stored in a safe area.

  • Survey around your boat slip, report any loose dock boards, missing or broken dock box clasps, etc. to the Dockmaster’s Office immediately.



(1) After June 1, 1994, marinas may not adopt, maintain, or enforce policies pertaining to evacuation of vessels which require vessels to be removed from marinas following the issuance of a hurricane watch or warning, in order to ensure that protecting the lives and safety of vessel owners is placed before interests of protecting property.

(2) Nothing in this section may be construed to restrict the ability of an owner of a vessel or the owner’s authorized representative to remove a vessel voluntarily from a marina at any time or to restrict a marina owner from dictating the kind of cleats, ropes, fenders, and other measures that must be used on vessels as a condition of use of a marina. After a tropical storm or hurricane watch has been issued, a marina owner or operator, or an employee or agent of such owner or operator, may take reasonable actions to further secure any vessel within the marina to minimize damage to a vessel and to protect marina property, private property, and the environment and may charge a reasonable fee for such services.

(3) Notwithstanding any other provisions of this section, in order to minimize damage to a vessel and to protect marina property, private property, and the environment, a marina owner may provide by contract that in the event a vessel owner fails to promptly remove a vessel from a marina after a tropical storm or hurricane watch has been issued, the marina owner, operator, employee, or agent may remove the vessel, if reasonable, from its slip or take whatever reasonable actions are deemed necessary to properly secure a vessel to minimize damage to a vessel and to protect marina property, private property, and the environment and may charge the vessel owner a reasonable fee for any such services rendered. In order to add such a provision to a contract, the marina owner must provide notice to the vessel owner in any such contract in a font size of at least 10 points and in substantially the following form:



The undersigned hereby informs you that in the event you fail to remove your vessel from the marina promptly (timeframe to be determined between the marina owner or operator and the vessel owner) after the issuance of a tropical storm or hurricane watch for (insert geographic area), Florida, under Florida law, the undersigned or his or her employees or agents are authorized to remove your vessel, if reasonable, from its slip or take any and all other reasonable actions deemed appropriate by the undersigned or his or her employees or agents in order to better secure your vessel and to protect marina property, private property, and the environment. You are further notified that you may be charged a reasonable fee for any such action.

(4) A marina owner, operator, employee, or agent shall not be held liable for any damage incurred to a vessel from storms or hurricanes and is held harmless as a result of such actions. Nothing in this section may be construed to provide immunity to a marina operator, employee, or agent for any damage caused by intentional acts or negligence when removing or securing a vessel as permitted under this section.

If it is necessary to move you boat a charge of $250.00 will be made to your account. 

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