MIAMI (CBSMiami) – South Florida is a boater’s paradise, but when a hurricane looms, those boats need to be moved from harm’s way. There are many things you can do, but each takes time.

Here are some steps you can take to make sure your boat is protected.

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Rule # 1: DO NOT risk your own life to save a boat.

  • Plan where you will put your boat. A protected garage or well-constructed warehouse is a safe place for a small boat and trailer.
  • If you plan to move your boat, make sure it is in good running order, has fuel, and has charged batteries.

Rule #2: Keep informed of bridge lockdown schedules and flotilla plans if you are moving your boat.

  • Remember to allow plenty of time to move your boat, secure it, and return to your own safe place. A practice run before a hurricane threatens will help you figure out how long it will take you to do this and what obstacles you may be facing.

Rule #3: If you keep your boat in a marina, find out from the dockmaster what the marina’s hurricane plans are. You will need to build that into your own hurricane plan.

Rule #4: Check the mooring hardware and equipment for strength. Hurricane moorings require at least double lines. Coordinate your mooring plan with those of other boat owners around you.

Rule #5: Remove all electronics, personal items, and anything not tied down once you have secured your boat.

Boats that can’t be evacuated are tied off in canals to protect them from Hurricane Irma on September 8, 2017 in Key Largo, Florida. (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)

DO NOT ride out a hurricane on your boat. Too many people have died trying to do that.

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Drawbridge Lockdown Plans:

  • Miami-Dade County: All drawbridges will be locked down 8 hours before winds of 39 mph are expected. Boaters without prearranged slip space will not be allowed on the Miami River.
  • Broward County: Bridges are to be locked down no later than 3-1/2 hours after an evacuation order is issued or when winds reach 39 mph, whichever comes first. But be advised that bridges have been locked down much earlier than that in past hurricane threats.

CBS4 News was with Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue on Friday as they took one of their boats out of the water.

“Besides the boat, we are securing our other assets in preparation for this weekend,” said Mike Salzano.

The owner of a half-million dollar sports yacht sent it to dry dock but in Broward County, dry dock space is filled up.

“We’ve been lucky but this storm looks evil,” said yacht broker Harley Grinning.

At Prime Marina in Coconut Grove, boat captain Craig Irby is taking precautions.

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“I took the boat behind my boss’ house in Key Biscayne in a dead end where we are running lines and doubling up on lines and dropping anchor there and doing everything possible that can be done to keep it from beating up against the dock.”