I am an independent tow boat operator who contracts with US Boat and am base in southern California. I charge $200 an hour for nonmembers (for members, I bill US Boats directly under terms of my contract). For billing perpose I start the clock from the time I start the engines at my dock until the time I stop the engines back at my dock. While towing I travel at 5 to 6 knots depending on sea conditions. When traveling not under tow I travel at 18 to 20 knots. Granted most of my tows are for power boats (80%) but I still do a lot of work for sailboats, fuel delivery and jump starts. When you figure that my average tow is 8 to 10 hours the $160 for tow insurance is pretty cheap.
Also if any of you have trouble with a tower and he is displaying a logo for one of the towing insurers -US Boat, SeaTow, Vessel Assist- Please contact the parent company, they will work hard to solve the problem. They and the rest of us in the towing industry are here to provide a fair and useful service to the boating community