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Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

I have two policies, a personal unlimited gold for Auspicious and a professional unlimited gold for deliveries.

I have three good and one horrific experience to share.

1. TowBoat/US showed up to pull me off a soft grounding at ICW mile 81.5. The hazard mark is still on ActiveCaptain although the channel has since been moved. It was in the channel when I found the hump. By the way, this was in January and the tower had a frigid two hour run in each direction. Cost to me: $0.

2. TowBoat/US Annapolis came out with both fuel and a bosun's chair when I ran out of fuel on delivery (my fault - I took the word of the owner that he had just filled the tanks) and the roller furling main jammed in the track. I did get the main unjammed by tacking back and forth while waiting for TowBoat/US. The fuel was much appreciated though. The local tower had another call so he dropped his tanks, fuel, and chair off on my word that I'd stop by the next day to settle up. Cost to my customer - fuel cost.

3. TowBoat/US Virginia Beach came out when our last onboard fuel filter clogged solid and I wasn't making much progress up the Chesapeake. They picked up a case of fuel filters for us and towed us to Little Creek where we ran through a few sets of fuel filters before I was comfortable getting back off the dock. Did I mention this was another cold weather delivery and it was snowing?

On to the bad.

A foreign cruiser who joined Boat/US for the towing insurance ran aground on the way from the Beaufort NC inlet to Beaufort Town Dock ran aground. The local TowBoat/US tower called it a salvage. Welcome to the United States. The cruiser is a member of ActiveCaptain and of SSCA. Jeff Siegel and I both approached corporate Boat/US in our respective capacities to help. Boat/US rebuffed us, stating that they could share no information with us out of regard to the privacy of their member. It is not clear why they ignored the pleas for redress by the cruiser. I continue to be astounded by the poor customer service exhibited in this case, still unresolved many months later.

It would appear that when something goes wrong it goes very very wrong.

sail fast and eat well, dave
Dave Skolnick S/V Auspicious
SSCA President
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sail fast and eat well, dave
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