Essential tips to keep your boat snug and safe as the storms bite

A topical tip today, as the first gale of winter is finally here. If your boat is still afloat, try these tips.

If you are in a marina on a windward berth, try tofind a leeward one. A boat, broadside on to the fury of a winter gale will take a battering if she’s on the windward side of a pontoon – fenders can chafe, or even pop out. If you are on the windward side, add extra fenders – in fact large, ‘balloon’ type fenders are best and won’t pop out if the boat heels or bounces.

If you have your own pontoon, it can be worth fendering it with rubber or carpet. In France they often use car tyres covered with canvas.

If your sails are still on, add lashings to the boom cover and furling jib- the last thing you want is for them to come loose and flog themselves to pieces.