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  #1  
Old 07-07-2008
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Boat towing services?

Hi,

What are your thoughts on boat towing services? Are they worth it? Which is best? Am I a sissy?

Rick
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Old 07-07-2008
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Useful in coastal areas, especially if you suck at boat engine maintenance.

Which is best depends on where you're located.

Are they worth it... they can be....

Yes
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 07-07-2008
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I needed a tow three years ago in Bermuda. No Sea-Tow there!. But they paid for the tow, no questions asked! Great service!
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Old 07-07-2008
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The guy I bought my boat from had to have a long tow. It cost him over $500. I have unlimited tow insurance.
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Old 07-07-2008
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How reliable is your boat?

If you know it won't let you down, and you don't mind the time and delays that may be incurred after an engine failure, you might not want tow service.

OTOH if you are in an area where there are frequent changing shoals, bad fuel, and gremlins in the engine bay...the investment seems more prudent. One load of bad fuel and one balky old engine, can make the tow membership quite reasonable. It all depends on how things add up for you and your boat.
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Old 07-07-2008
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They're all worth it, I have Sea Tow on one and Vessel Assist on the other.

I used VA when my lift pump went out one night, there was no wind, no moon and it was getting dark.

VA was there in about 30 mins, hooked me up and had me safe and sound in my slip, he even check under the dock to make sure there was no gallywoggles under there
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Old 07-07-2008
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Helped an owner get his well found boat to St. Thomas and the engine quit just 3 miles from the dock. 41 foot ketch towed 3 miles and then the next day we had to be moved off the fuel dock approx. 100' to his slip. Luckily the tow service(same guy) tore up the original invoice and combined the two tows. Cost $1,060.00! IIRC Could'a been worse!
Cost of Boat US membership plus unlimited tow service...somewhere under $200.00 a year!

I figure when my next boat finds me, something will break (as all things mechanical will), or I'll be able to soft ground it a couple of times in a years time, sooo, I'll not sail without it.
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Old 07-07-2008
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PalmettoSailor will become famous soon enough
I sail on Chesapeake Bay and one of the first pieces of advice I was given was to pay for the Boat US Unlimited towing due to the many opportunities you have to find the bottom. I haven't yet needed it for the reason I orginally thought, however I did have to use it to get back to my slip when my freshwater pump went Tango Uniform. The winds were favorable and I was able to sail to just outside the creek entrance, leaving less than 1/2 mile to the yard. I then called boat US and they said they'd be there in 1/2 an hour. Exactly 30 minutes later, I saw the familar red and white boat come around the point and 15 minutes after than I was tied up at the maintenence dock. The bill for that short tow would have been almost $700 if I didn't have insurance.

So for my sailing situation it seems like a good idea.
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Old 07-07-2008
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I never thought I would need a tow. After all, I own a sailboat. If the sails don't work I can use the motor; if the motor doesn't work I can use the sails.

Well, I got hit with a double whammy on Saturday. Tacking through a channel in 25k wind when my kick-up rudder pivot bolt broke. I noticed the rudder floating behind the boat, attached by the pull-up line. The boat rounded up immediately and was quickly blown towards the lee shore, only 100' away.

What to do? Start the motor, of course. I reached over the transom to lower the outboard bracket. In my haste, I didn't notice that my knee was on the fuel line. When I lowered the motor, the fuel line ripped right out of it, destroying the fitting.

Ok, no motor, no rudder, what's left? Drop the anchor. Too late. I was only 20' from shore by then, and the anchor didn't bite. Fortunately, the bottom was soft mud and weeds, so no harm came to the boat. She stopped with her nose to the shore, just as if I had planned it that way. The centerboard held us in place, but the 25k wind was doing its best to drive us further up the beach.

I called TowboatUS on the radio but got no answer. So I called the BoatUS 800 number on my cell phone and they dispatched a towboat, which arrived a half hour later. They tossed me a line and slowly pulled me back as a raised the centerboard. Took about 5 minutes and cost $118. Since I had no rudder and no motor, I also needed them to tow me 2 miles back to my mooring: another $120 CASH. BoatUS paid $50 of that under my basic membership.

I upgraded my membership today for unlimited towing (inland, fresh water) for $34. If I hadn't been so cheap and had this before this weekend I would not have had to pay anything for the tow. Live and learn.
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Old 07-07-2008
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in a lot of ways it is like AAA. If you need itr once, it will have paid for itself for several years,

Quote:
Originally Posted by heinzir View Post
I never thought I would need a tow. After all, I own a sailboat. If the sails don't work I can use the motor; if the motor doesn't work I can use the sails.

Well, I got hit with a double whammy on Saturday. Tacking through a channel in 25k wind when my kick-up rudder pivot bolt broke. I noticed the rudder floating behind the boat, attached by the pull-up line. The boat rounded up immediately and was quickly blown towards the lee shore, only 100' away.

What to do? Start the motor, of course. I reached over the transom to lower the outboard bracket. In my haste, I didn't notice that my knee was on the fuel line. When I lowered the motor, the fuel line ripped right out of it, destroying the fitting.

Ok, no motor, no rudder, what's left? Drop the anchor. Too late. I was only 20' from shore by then, and the anchor didn't bite. Fortunately, the bottom was soft mud and weeds, so no harm came to the boat. She stopped with her nose to the shore, just as if I had planned it that way. The centerboard held us in place, but the 25k wind was doing its best to drive us further up the beach.

I called TowboatUS on the radio but got no answer. So I called the BoatUS 800 number on my cell phone and they dispatched a towboat, which arrived a half hour later. They tossed me a line and slowly pulled me back as a raised the centerboard. Took about 5 minutes and cost $118. Since I had no rudder and no motor, I also needed them to tow me 2 miles back to my mooring: another $120 CASH. BoatUS paid $50 of that under my basic membership.

I upgraded my membership today for unlimited towing (inland, fresh water) for $34. If I hadn't been so cheap and had this before this weekend I would not have had to pay anything for the tow. Live and learn.
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Telstar 28
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

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