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NCC320 12-11-2012 11:29 AM

Experience with TowBoat US
What has been the forum members experience with TowBoatUS? 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. and don't know specifics of TowBoatUS contract...not trying to compare the two. Just want to know whether they really assist, or is membership a sneaky way charge you a big bill for salvage. I will start a similar thread for SeaTow.

travlineasy 12-11-2012 12:07 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
You can look at TowBoat US contracts online, and be sure to read the fine print. I have been very happy with their services, they've towed me off hard groundings three times during this voyage, and I couldn't give them anything other than the highest marks.

I opted to take the $150 plan for unlimited towing, and it was worth every penny I paid.

Good Luck,


chef2sail 12-11-2012 12:15 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
I have Tow Boat US unlimited and have used them like for a couple of soft groundings in the Jersey ICW where we had no hope of ever becomming unstuck. Used them once when we were struck by lightening at the request of the insurance company to move the boat for a haul out. I have had nothing but good experiences with them so far, All costs of these incidents were covered by my policy,


OPossumTX 12-11-2012 01:01 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
In my dealings with them I have found that they graciously accept American Express. They towed me and my boat to the slip after I lost power. It wasn't cheap though it was cheaper than leaving my boat in the ICW miles from home.

I will have unlimited before I go out that way again.

Minnewaska 12-11-2012 01:15 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
I've called TowBoatUS only once for assistance and it was this past season, believe it or not.

Second sail. Motor ate an impeller right outside the harbor (I highly suspect the yard guy did not open the seacock when he changed my fuel filters earlier in the week. Denies it, but the impeller was brand new, less than an hour on it).

Dropped the hook and replaced it, but could not get it to prime, so I reluctantly called. They could not have been nicer. As we were coming into the harbor under a hip tow, I mentioned something of my humiliation for needing a tow.

Without hesitation, TowBoat skipper said we would tell everyone that I was towing him in. :)

PBzeer 12-11-2012 01:42 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
Nothing but good experiences with them for me. Including them finding somebody in the bayous of Louisiana where they didn't have an operator.

TowBoatUS or SeaTow though, get the unlimited. All it takes is one call to pay for years of dues.

arf145 12-11-2012 02:26 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
Just for the peace of mind on the frequently thin Chesapeake, the Tow Boat US unlimited has been well worth it. But we've actually used them twice, both for engine trouble. With the first, the engine wouldn't start when we were way out on a windless day. The second time, the exhaust elbow busted about a half mile out in the channel most boats run in in our area. In both cases, TB US was great.

davidpm 12-11-2012 04:04 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
I had the same thought. They towed this boat off without even a discussion. Boat was high and dry and the wing keel was in about 3 feet of sand.
Nothing to complain about.

Slayer 12-11-2012 04:13 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US
Wow,....keels must be pretty strong to withstand getting spun around while burried in the sand like the boat above.

Minnewaska 12-11-2012 04:15 PM

Re: Experience with TowBoat US

Originally Posted by davidpm (Post 960083)
I had the same thought. They towed this boat off without even a discussion. Boat was high and dry and the wing keel was in about 3 feet of sand.
Nothing to complain about.

Wow. Watching that rudder drag through the sand gave me the willies. Who said a spade rudder is no good for blue water?

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