With Hurricane Matthew finally headed out to sea, the storm has left behind some damaged recreational boats in its wake. To help affected boat owners with the recovery effort, BoatUS has these tips to get the salvage process started quickly to protect and preserve the value of any boat harmed by the storm:
Remove Valuables. If your boat has washed ashore, remove as much equipment as possible and move it to a safe place to protect it from looters or vandals. It’s a good idea to put your contact information somewhere conspicuously on the boat – along with a “No Trespassing” sign. However, for your safety, never climb in or on boats that have piled up together or are dangling precariously from dock pilings or other obstructions.
Minimize Further Damage. Protect your boat from further water damage resulting from exposure to the weather. This could include covering with a tarp or boarding up broken windows or hatches. As soon as possible, start drying out the boat, either by taking advantage of sunny weather or using electric air handlers. All wet materials, such as cushions, must be removed and saved for a potential insurance claim. The storm may be gone, but the clock could be ticking on mold growth.
“Pickle” Wet Machinery. Engines and other machinery that were submerged or have gotten wet should be “pickled” by flushing with fresh water and then filled with diesel fuel or kerosene. To learn how to pickle a boat motor, go to: www.BoatUS.com/hurricanes/pickle.asp.
Consult Your Insurance Provider. If your boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, BoatUS recommends that boat owners should not sign any salvage or wreck-removal contract without first getting approval from their insurance company. That’s because proceeding without your insurer’s knowledge may jeopardize your coverage.
The BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Team is currently operating in the affected areas. All BoatUS insurance customers have assistance available for post-storm recovery and are urged to call the BoatUS Claims at (800) 937-1937 as soon as practical.
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