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Tips to Salvage Boats Damaged by Hurricane Harvey

Among countless other things, Hurricane Harvey has left many damaged boats in its wake. As reported by the BoatUS Catastrophe Team, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas, and Rockport, TX are the hardest hit areas for recreational boats. 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 and vandals.  But, be sure never climb in or on boats that have piled up together or are dangling from dock pilings or other obstructions. Remember to obtain permission before entering a storm-affected marina or boat storage facility.

Minimize further damage. Protect your boat from further water damage resulting from exposure to the weather, leaks, mildew, dry mud, etc. This could include covering it with a tarp or boarding up broken windows or hatches.  Regardless of the boat’s condition, it should be cleaned and dried out. All wet materials, such as cushions, should be removed and saved for a potential insurance claim.

Related Stories: 3 Tips to Help with Your Boat Insurance Claim

“Pickle” wet machinery. Engines and other machinery that were submerged or have gotten wet should be “pickled” by flushing with freshwater and then filled with diesel fuel or kerosene. To learn how to pickle a boat motor, go to:

Call your insurance provider. If your boat is sunk or must be moved by a salvage company, BoatUS recommends that boat owners not sign any salvage or wreck-removal contract without first getting approval from their insurance company. 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 department at 800- 937-1937 as soon as practical, or they may file a claim using the new BoatUS app or online at

Related Stories: Storm Resistant Fishing Camp

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