Cyclone Oma – Preparations for boats

Cyclone Oma Preparation for your Boat

Cyclone Oma is heading towards the Queensland coast, we are already seeing the seas and wind build. The different weather models have it heading up the Queensland Coast and down the NSW coast so at this stage its best to be prepared as this weather may affect us over the next week.

Below is some information provided by the Queensland Government for preparing for severe weather. We’ve also got a video below which goes through the different scenarios according to how your boat is located.  Your boat may be moored, anchored or in a marina, this video show you how best to prepare for each situation. West Marine in the United States produced this video based off thorough data provided by Boat US for Hurricane (northern Hemisphere) which are the same as Cyclones (Southern Hemisphere).

Remember to stay safe!

Checklist to prepare your boat for severe weather

To prepare your boat for storm activity

  • use a suitable rope to secure your boat (ropes have more ‘give’ than chain)
  • double up on mooring lines and check they are in good condition and the right size
  • check that all mooring are secure
  • store all loose gear below deck (for example, gear, deck furniture, boat hooks, and life rings)
  • secure hatches
  • reduce wind loading to a minimum and remove covers, bimini tops and any clears
  • deflate and store dinghies
  • check all bilge pumps work and that all self-draining holes are clear
  • check your boat is watertight
  • give your contact details to the appropriate authorities if you will leave your boat unattended during the storm
  • leave your contact details on your boat for emergency es in case your boat goes adrift
  • make sure your insurance policy is current.

During severe weather

Personal safety is the number one priority at all times. Use common sense if you are stuck in severe weather.

If you are travelling and cannot get back to your normal mooring or boat ramp, look for shelter in rivers or creeks

with a mangrove fringe to act as a buffer zone from the wind. Remember that heavy rain will increase the of ebb tides in any creeks or rivers.

If you are in a marina or hardstand area, ask the manager for instructions. Follow evacuation advice from police and emergency services.

Tropical cyclone season

Tropical cyclones in Queensland can have more unpredictable paths than those in other parts of the world. They can last from a few days up to several weeks.

Maritime Safety Queensland has published extreme weather event contingency plans to reduce the damage caused by cyclones and tidal surges in most harbours in Queensland.

The extreme weather event contingency plan for your area tells you what to do if a cyclone warning is posted and how to respond to the different warning and/or alert levels.

Boat owners have responsibilities under each level. Make sure you know these to take the best safety precautions for your boat and surrounding infrastructure.

Extreme weather event contingency plans

Extreme weather event contingency plans vary from region to region.

Extreme weather event contingency plans are available for:

  • Cairns, Cape Flattery, Cooktown, Half Moon Bay, Innisfail, Karumba, Mourilyan, Port Douglas, Port Kennedy and Weipa
  • Townsville
  • Mackay
  • Gladstone and Bundaberg
  • Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

These extreme weather event contingency plans are available at Maritime Safety Queensland offices or from the website at


Other areas use the Bureau of Meteorology cyclone warning system:

  • Cyclone watch – gale force winds are likely to affect the area within 24 to 48 hours
  • Cyclone warning – gale force winds are likely to affect the area within 24 hours.

Whichever alert system your area uses, make sure you are familiar with what you need to do for each level.


Check out this helpful severe storm preparation video below