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post #51 of 59 Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

So how did the boat sink if it was not flooded/sunk to begin with? Something seems to be missing from the details.

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post #52 of 59 Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

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Originally Posted by agboatcaptain View Post

The boat was listing to the starboard side and taking water and sand over the side....................
Its a salvage when the boat is at risk and this sure suggests it would eventually go down without their assistance.

The salvage bills are often negotiated, but I doubt you will simply pay for a tow. Then again, three grand for a salvage is pretty light. This includes raising your boat after it sank?

If they were able to tow you off, I'm not sure what liability you're suggesting they have? If your boat was so full of water and sand that it sunk when not under two, that's all the more proof it was a salvage. Your between a rock and hard place.

Sorry for your trouble.


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post #53 of 59 Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

I saw a boat dragging this summer on Martha's Vineyard. Dragging hard. I rowed out to it and asked some other powerboats that were passing by to call the harbor master. Anyway I ledges out my anchor from the dinghy and the. Reset his. Tow boat from Falmouth showed up. I said I didn't want the guy to get billed or salvaged. The guy could not have been nicer. Said since I'd already settled it, he wouldn't charge the guy anything.

We attached the boat to his and moved it onto a free mooring. The guy said that if the guy had a membership he'd get a payment from towboat but if not he wouldn't charge him.

If i understood him, I think he said they wouldn't go to salvage for a members boat. He said if the guy hadn't had a membership and I hadn't shown up he'd be in for $4k.
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post #54 of 59 Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

So how did the boat sink if it was not flooded/sunk to begin with? Something seems to be missing from the details


While it was up on the beach, it took sand and water over the starboard gunnels. Once Tow Boat US got the bow pointed towards the waves to stop the sand/water from coming over the side, I assumed he would finish dewatering the boat thus, reducing the weight. (I have a 21' Pathfinder) To everyones suprise, he just kept going headed to the Inlet. Why? No one standing there, including me, knew why he would have made the decision to just keep going. They was absolutely no damage to the hull, no holes etc.. The boat got beached because the engine cut off as we were netting mullets. If I had a little more man power, other than my girlfriend, I would have been able to get the bow into the waves, I would have never had this problem.
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

Unfortunately, if it needed to be dewatered to keep from sinking, it was a salvage operation.


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post #56 of 59 Old 09-22-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

It's not cut and dried but one definition of a salvage can be based on your decision to allow them to continue.

If for example if the tow boat reaches you and you explain in detail exactly what you want done and how it is to be done and they agree it is a tow.
If you and the tow guy disagree you wave him off and call someone else.

If however you have no time or inclination to come to an agreement or do not feel you have a choice to accept his help then it is really his discretion as to whether it is a tow or salvage.

IOW if it too dangerous or inconvenient for you to negotiate favorable terms before accepting a tow then according to both law and custom the guy that gives you two makes the rules unless you take him to court and then the court makes the rules.

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post #57 of 59 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

Didn't the tow cap ask you what you wanted him to do? I was towed once a few years ago with a mechanical problem. As I remember, the tow cap specifically asked me exactly what I wanted him to do and where I wanted to be towed. It was obviously part of his ****** to get this clear before starting. If you wanted to bail the boat out, could you have made this clear? A 21' boat can be bailed out with a bucket in short order... if it's still floating. A lot of equipment is not essential. Maybe the lesson here is to communicate instructions clearly in case you get a tow boat that doesn't do what may seem obvious. Like in most things, there is probably a large range of competence in operators.

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post #58 of 59 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

are you talking about 'boat us' or a copycat? either way you need to stop your do-it-yourself foolishness and (A) involve your insurance company and (B) hire a lawyer. you are in a legal mess and need expert help. also might be a good idea for you and any your passenger/witnesses make sworn statements while memories are fresh. my experience with Boat US as both an insurance company and their towing affiliate has been uniformly good but there is always a possibility of a rotten apple.
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post #59 of 59 Old 09-23-2013
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Re: Experience with TowBoat US

I have had great luck with TowBoatUS and long ago SeaTow as well.
I had an engine failure and I sailed to Kent Narrows, got towed through to the other side, and resumed sailing. Another engine issue and I sailed to my marina entrance and they met me to tow me to the dock. And yes, I do know how to sail into my slip, but it is not possible when the wind is blowing the wrong way with our narrow entrance. Bill both times was $0.00

I had a powerboat that sank on her mooring. SeaTow got her floating and delivered to the yard. They billed the insurance company for salvage* and I was not out of pocket at all for this. The last person to use my boat was an adjuster for the company that insured her, so THAT claim went right through

NOTE: BOATUS hull insurance covers hull value and salvage as SEPERATE buckets of money. If your insurance pays out of the same pile of cash for both, you could easily eat up most of the value of the boat in paying salvage with no money left to fix her.

Joe Della Barba
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