Severe weather events can cause significant damage to your boat. Read our tips on how to prepare for these events.

If something does happen, we're here to help with Club Marine Assist for roadside assistance and our 24/7 claims service.

If you are experiencing an on-water emergency or a life-threatening situation, you should call 000.

As a boatie it's important to keep an eye on the weather. If a severe weather event is forecast, you should prepare for:

  • the worst-case forecast
  • the storm front to hit you directly
  • poor weather to arrive quicker than expected
  • poor weather conditions in the days prior

The Bureau of Meteorology provides extensive weather information and alerts via the BOM website, BOM Weather App for iOS, and BOM Weather App for Android.

Review your Club Marine boat insurance to make sure you have appropriate cover. If you need to make changes, update your policy online:

  • review your sum insured
  • check your premiums are paid
  • check contact information

Keeping records of your boat and equipment can help make the claim process easier:

  • take photos of insured property, purchase receipts and records
  • an inventory may be helpful, though it isn't necessary for a claim
Trailerable boats (once out of the water) are more straightforward when it comes to severe weather preparation.
  • If possible, move your boat to an area unaffected by the forecasted severe weather
  • If you can't safely move your boat away from the severe weather, try to keep it somewhere it will be protected like a garage or shed. If this isn't possible, move it away from trees and power lines
  • Disconnect any mains power e.g. battery trickle chargers
  • Ensure the boat and trailer can't move using wheel chocks and trailer brakes
  • Remove electronics if possible or cover them if they can't be removed
  • Remove portable fuel tanks
  • Remove bungs 
  • Fold down and secure biminis, clears, and other materials that could catch the wind
  • Remove other portable items that may become damaged, dislodged or catch the wind
  • Add covers if you have them or cover with a tarp or canvas secured with rope
Boats kept on water require extra effort to prepare for severe weather as they are more exposed to the elements. Our checklist below may help reduce the risk of damage to your boat.
  • If it is possible and you have time, relocate the vessel to a safer location
  • Move a vessel from a swing mooring into a marina
  • Be prepared for mooring breakage - ensure the anchoring equipment is operational and easily accessed in case the boat breaks free and emergency services need to secure it

Mooring and dock lines should be strong, stretchable, and resistant to abrasion and UV. Nylon ropes have good stretching ability which can help absorb some strain as your boat is pushed around in the storm.

  • If flooding or a tidal surge is expected, tie mooring lines with additional slack to allow your boat to stay on top of the water
  • Add additional mooring lines
  • Double the lines where possible and attach to separate cleats or strong points
  • Check the cleats attached to the vessel and jetty
  • Add chafe protection to prevent rope failure and damage caused by rubbing. This can be homemade and applied quickly using canvas, sail tape, garden hoses or old fire hoses
  • You can't have too many fenders. If you have extras, use them all. Any type of fenders will help protect vessels from hitting the marina or other boats

Consider the weather forecast when deciding to use covers or not.

In heavy rain, covers will help keep water out of your boat, and your bilge pump should remove water that gets into your hull.

If heavy rain is forecast:

  • Add covers to keep rain out of your boat
  • Fully charge your battery and check your bilge pump is operating correctly

In strong winds however, covers can increase the overall wind resistance of your boat, causing it to be pushed into surrounding objects - or worst case, break from its mooring.

If high winds or cyclonic conditions are forecast:

  • Remove covers and clears to reduce wind resistance
  • Protect the cockpit and electronics using custom covers, canvas or shrink wrap plastic and tape, secured as tightly as possible
  • Apply secondary tie downs if secured on deck
  • If practical, deflate and stow in vessel or other location
  • Where possible, remove all electronics
  • Cover fixed electronics with shrink wrap and tape
  • Where possible, remove aerials and antennas

Power surges can cause damage to electrical components.

  • Fully charge batteries – they will be needed for bilge pumps
  • Disconnect from shore power before the severe weather arrives

Unsecured items can cause damage to your boat or surrounding boats.

  • Remove and pack away cushions, furniture, barbecues and other loose items
  • Clear decks of any loose items
  • Remove perishable goods from the fridge and freezer, and don't forget the bait freezer!
  • Turn off the fridge and freezer at the switchboard (save your battery for the bilge pump)

Rolled-up sails add to the wind resistance of your boat and can become unfurled in high wind.

  • Remove all sails and stow below deck
  • Tape windows and hatches using duct tape or shrink wrapping tape
  • Close all seacocks (especially the head seacocks)
  •  Leave any cockpit drain valves open
  • Make sure all cockpit drains, gutters and scuppers are clean and unblocked
  • Ensure bilge is clear of loose items such as cable ties that may clog or seize the pump and/or float switch

Severe weather can cause catastrophic damage, and we recognise this can be a very difficult time for you. We are here to support you with your boat insurance claim to get you back on the water. Additional support is available, and we also have options to support you if you are experiencing financial hardship.

Once the severe weather has passed, check your boat as soon as possible:

  • Recharge batteries to ensure bilge pumps keep operating
  • Patch holes using tarps, shrink wrap and tape to prevent further water ingress through damaged hulls, broken windows etc.
  • Remove any water from the vessel ASAP. Dry using fans, open hatches (once rain has stopped) and moisture absorbing products to avoid mould
  • Check mooring and berthing ropes and cleats for damage. Replace or repair if necessary to avoid breakages later on
  • Be vigilant for fraudulent assessors and repairers. Do not make any upfront payment of excess without speaking to us first
  • Have an alternate contact person listed on your policy if you are going to be interstate or overseas during a severe weather event
Give us a call on 1300 00 CLUB (2582)
Any discounts offered are applied to our standard rates. Promotional or other discounts may apply from time to time. Minimum premiums may apply. Any discounts/entitlements only apply to the extent any minimum premium is not reached. If you are eligible for more than one, we also apply each of them in a predetermined order to the premium (excluding taxes and government charges) as reduced by any prior applied discounts/entitlements.

Any advice here does not take into account your individual objectives, financial situation or needs. Terms, conditions, limits and exclusions apply. Before making a decision about this insurance, consider the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)/Policy Wording and Supplementary PDS (if applicable). Where applicable, the PDS/Policy Wording, Supplementary PDS and Target Market Determination (TMD) for this insurance are available on this website. We do not provide any form of advice if you call us to enquire about or purchase a product.

Club Marine Limited (ABN 12 007 588 347), AFSL 236916 (Club Marine) issues this insurance and handles and settles claims as agent for the insurer Allianz Australia Insurance Limited (ABN 15 000 122 850) AFSL 234708 (Allianz). Club Marine is a related body corporate of Allianz. Copyright © 2024 Allianz Australia Limited