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Old 12-11-2012
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Experience with SeaTow

What has been the forum members experience with SeaTow? In particular, I am concerned with salvage vs. assistance. The sales pitch is that if you join, they will provide assistance at no additional charge. If the boat is in peril, it becomes a salvage where a high percentage of boat value can be charged and is not covered by membership. Peril can cover lots of territory. If I'm fishing in open water and engine won't start, am I in peril or just inconvenienced? Who decides? SeaTow says they will cover soft groundings provided 5 things exist, including that you must be able to rock the boat and they must be able to pull you off in 15 minutes. With a large boat, wing keel, and soft mud, there's a good chance you can't rock the boat, but are you really in peril? I have membership with SeaTow because of proximity of one of their facilities but have not needed them for assistance. I will start a similar thread for TowBoat US.

Last edited by NCC320; 12-11-2012 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 12-11-2012
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Re: Experience with SeaTow

I think the real difference is who is near your location. I know where I am there are 2 Sea Tow locations within 30 miles of me. The nearest TowBoat US is about 60 miles away, so it is a no brainer. As far as the salvage bit goes, these are franchises, so there could be unscrupulous operators, but I don't see the issues as anything but isolated. I can't imagine an operator risking that unsatisfied of a customer, at least for the price of any boat I can afford!
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Old 12-12-2012
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Re: Experience with SeaTow

The only time I asked a question on an Internet forum and got a unanimous opinion was when I asked whether I should get SeaTow or BoatUS for my planned trip down the ICW from Maine. There was only the former in my home waters at the time so I would have gone with them if I hadn't asked.

I've had to use BoatUS more than I expected to to some engine issues which I hope are behind me. I've got nothing but good to say about their service. They are franchises as mentioned and I did encounter an unscrupulous operator who tried to shake me down for additional money by threatening to seize my boat. The BoatUS mothership slapped him down so hard it was a pleasure to watch. They even sent me a copy of the email assuring him that, if he ever did anything like that again, they would jerk his franchise so fast his head would spin.

I notice, when I am in ports with both, the BoatUS craft seem to be quite busy and SeaTow mostly sits. Same thing with radio traffic. I do like SeaTow's automated radio checks though.
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