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  #31  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

Quote:
what about my situation. taking on water (slowly) tied to a mooring. engine will not start.

salvage or tow?

once towed, the boat de-watered after the plug was pulled.....
I wouldn't be suprised if the tow captain has enough latitude in their response that it depends a lot on the mood of the tow captian. Most being like most of the responses here, and a few like this.
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  #32  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

or the mood of the people he's towing...

also, It wasn't the member's boat... If it were a member's boat (yours) you likely would have had a "better" outcome- as it was your buddies boat, and he hadnt joined- this captain wasn't as worried about his interests as he would have been about yours- maybe.


I don't know- It's apparent however that at no point were you or your buddy actually concerned about your safety or personal well being- so you got that goin for you. which is nice.
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  #33  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

i have two experiences in florida keys. am well satisfied with their professionalism and courtesy. on larger sailboat I would expect them to advise waiting until last hour of a rising tide unless you are in a special situation. they certainly will help you rig anchor from the halyard to get heeling if needed.
if there is a better option I don't know of it.
hope you never need them but its nice to have that full membership.
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  #34  
Old 03-18-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

My main beef was, I cast off the mooring buoy and took their tow line to the bow cleat, on the 30'+ inboard boat, then he idled with us for 10 min, turning us stern to the waves. while the contract was being discussed.

I would have been better off tied to the buoy.

given enough time, that boat was going down. and they were in no rush.... the worse it got, better the rate, eh?

it was 2-3' and 10knts from the E, on memorial day weekend. with a cooler and pfd I figured we could swim in, probably take an hour or less. yeah, I was a bit nervous, but more pissed than anything.


On a different day, crewing on a 34' sloop we ran aground on a sandbar off Key biscayne and needed a tow.
captain was not a member. think that was $350 for the soft grounding.
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  #35  
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
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  #36  
Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

I was in the USA for 9 moths last year and early this year and did the ICW from Norfolk to Key West, solo on a boat drawing 6 foot, so Boat US at $150 for the year is a bargain! You'd be crackers to do the ICW without it!

I did have land that jumped up off the sea floor a few times, but I was able to get off myself. My only use of Towboat US was advice on the VHF and phone. If there was a yellow blob on Active Captain that looked bad I would ring them for advice. They were great!

As for the salvage/soft grounding issue if think they should review that stupid policy and have a GOOD TRY before they call it a salvage!

Otherwise just go to Sea Tow or whoever else has a brain!

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  #37  
Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

Quote:
Originally Posted by SVAuspicious View Post
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.
Not sure I follow. If they didn't provide you more info, do you know it was not hard aground and at risk of sinking?
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  #38  
Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Not sure I follow. If they didn't provide you more info, do you know it was not hard aground and at risk of sinking?
I have information from the cruiser. Pages and pages. I have information from local boaters. I have the data that Jeff Siegel of ActiveCaptain and I put together. There is a lot of data. Based on all the information I have, and have passed to Boat/US, the local tower took egregious advantage of a foreign cruiser.

Short version: The tide would have floated them off but the tower said they were on a rock (which doesn't exist there) and intimidated them into signing a salvage contract.

I think this is definitely the exception rather than the rule but the lack of response from corporate Boat/US is very disturbing to me.

I find it all very confusing as I had a good experience with the Beaufort NC tower some years ago. There is no question in my mind that the cruiser I described was very badly treated by the local tower and that Boat/US didn't respond.
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  #39  
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

What a shame. Sounds like a local that did a bad thing.
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  #40  
Old 03-19-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
What a shame. Sounds like a local that did a bad thing.
Agreed.

The really sad thing is that there has been no substantive response from corporate Boat/US.
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