Preparing Your Equipment for Hurricanes and Extreme Weather
Protect Your Investment by Following These Tips & Guidelines
As severe weather approaches, we know marinas and boatyards have to work overtime to ensure your customers’ vessels, as well as your yard, are properly protected. During our many decades in the industry, we have witnessed the enormous damage caused by these types of storms. This is why we encourage all of our customers to include your equipment as part of your severe weather preparedness checklist.
Machine Prep Tips
Robbie Gunnlaugsson, Director of CustomerCare at Marine Travelift, shares the following tips for getting your boat handling equipment ready before severe weather arrives including hurricanes, tropical storms, and severe thunderstorms:
- If possible, bring all of your Marine Travelift equipment indoors
- If you are unable to bring your machine indoors, drive it to the highest possible ground away from any buildings or large structures
- Remove all slings and spreaders from your boat hoist. Raise block to near 2-block position
- Remember to remove all engine batteries
- Be sure to cover the engine exhaust and air cleaner inlets to prevent rainfall and/or debris from entering the engine
We also recommend having a backup supply of parts available on-site for your machine in the instance that any damage should occur. Your boat handling equipment parts supply should include batteries, filters for both the engine and hydraulics, and hydraulic and lube oils.
Post-Storm Inspection & Recovery Checklist
After the storm, regardless of damage, all machines should always undergo a detailed inspection prior to being keyed. Taking the proper steps will ensure that no further damage is done to your boat handling equipment.
Severity 1: High winds, flying debris, no flooding
- Visually inspect and clear unit of any debris
- Repair/ replace any damaged components
- Complete all checklist items listed in the preventative maintenance chart listed under the daily, weekly and monthly intervals
Severity 2: Partial Flooding (above gear reducers and into the engine compartment)
- In conjunction with completing steps from severity one
- Ensure batteries are dry and remove cables, inspect and replace as necessary
- All components partially or fully submerged must be inspected and serviced before returned to service
- Drain, flush and fill all submerged gear reducers with fresh fluid
- Disconnect and clean any electrical connections that were submerged
- Drain, clean and refill any reservoirs found to have water contamination (hydraulic tank, fuel tank, gear reducers, pump drives, engine oil)
- A complete filter change is recommended within one to two-run hours after the fluids are changed
Severity 3: Total component submersion (above engine compartment and beyond)
- In conjunction with completing steps from severity one and two
- Pressure wash unit to remove any debris. If the unit was submerged in salt or brackish waters, a heavier steam cleaning is recommended to remove any remaining salt
- If total engine submersion is experienced, it is recommended that you contact your local engine dealer to schedule a technician into service the unit
- Drain and clean all fluid reservoirs with fresh fluids (fuel, hydraulic oil, etc.). It is suggested to run a filtration unit on the machine to ensure all water that made its way into the system is removed
- With the battery(s) removed from the unit, disconnect, dry, and clean all electrical connections, applying dielectric grease to all connections before reconnecting. Ensure all electrical components are completely dry before attempting to install new batteries
Always refer to your owner’s manual for all operation and maintenance information for your equipment. If you have any questions about preparing your Marine Travelift mobile boat handling equipment, or inspecting it after severe weather, our team is available to assist you here. In addition, our global team of dealers and factory service technicians are always ready for dispatch, should you need them.