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  Topic Review (Newest First)
03-03-2007 09:41 PM
sailingdog Enhydras-

I believe it is actually illegal to require compensation if you do not have the towing endorsement. I don't believe that there is any law saying that if the guy wants to give you money, that you can not accept it. One is payment for service, the other is a gift—huge difference legally.
03-03-2007 06:19 PM
Enhydras PBzeer,

Anytime you accept assistance from a commercial tower you should determine weather it is covered service, in the case towing insurance i.e. Tow Boat/US, Vessel Assist, or Seatow (those are the ones I know of there maybe others), or is it a fee for service- salvage. If it turns out to be a fee for service you should have contract with the stating what his rates are, what he is responsible for and any other information that might be pertinent. He should give you an estimate of the cost but this will likely only a ball park estimate because as we all know thing on a boat rarely go as planned and this especially true when dealing with a salvage.

I know that the Boat/US web site had some excellent info the difference between towing and salvage and what to look for in both. If I can find the web address I will post in this forum.

Also be aware that if you do a good sam tow of another vessel it is illegal to except any compensation unless you are licensed by USCG and have a towing endorsement
03-03-2007 01:00 PM
PBzeer Enhydras - so in the event of a hard grounding, any assistance should be determined beforehand whether it is salvage or otherwise? Or is it atuomatically considered salvage?
03-03-2007 12:16 PM
Enhydras K1svk

In the case of a true emergency- the possible injury or loss of life- I would immediately contact an emergency response agency i.e. Coast Guard, Baywatch, or harbor patrol, as they have the personal and equipment to deal with medical emergencies. If it was determined that I had the best and quickest response time I would of coarse respond. However bobbing around in ocean 3 miles from land with a broken impeller and an over heating engine, with everyone getting seasick is not considered a life or death emergency.

I realize that this less likely to happen on a sailboat- only a small percentage of my tows are sailboats- but it can.

Cruising Dad
A soft grounding is basically just stuck in the mud were there is no damage to the boat and pulling the boat out of the mud is not likely to cause any damage to the boat. A hard grounding, damage to the boat dewatering of the boat or babysitting of the boat, waiting for the tide to come back, is almost always considered a salvage
03-03-2007 11:00 AM
camaraderie A hard grounding is one in which there is already damage to the boat or their is immediate peril to the vessel (on a reef and beginning to pound for example). Many hard grounding can be salvage situations. A soft grounding means there is no damage and you just are stuck and need a tow off a soft bottom.
03-03-2007 02:27 AM
cpcohen I've used my towing insurance a few times in the past 10 years, in about 5,000 miles of cruising. Yes, it's been worthwhile -- even a short tow is expensive. And the time we needed a diver to free a fouled prop would have been _really_ expensive!

I use Boat/US.

03-02-2007 11:05 PM
sailingdog CD-

I believe the major difference between soft and hard groundings is the damage done to the boat. In a soft grounding, the boat is not damaged, and is not in danger of being damaged—just stuck. In a hard grounding, the boat is usually damaged, and possibly taking on water or in danger of further damage.
03-02-2007 10:11 PM
werebeagle I would think that all else being equal, ie no real emergency, just stuck or adrift, that the policy would be members first.
03-02-2007 03:51 PM
Originally Posted by Enhydras
I am an independent tower who contracts with Boat US (we're vessel assist on the west coast). I charge $175/hr and I try to tow between 5 and 6 knots depending on the boat and sea conditions. My typical tow last[s] 6 to 8 hrs. If you are not a member I require a working credit card number up front. For most people it's better to be a member, when you need a tow (sooner or later every one needs a tow, even me) you just call on the radio, give me your member number and I tow you home no fuss or muss. Also members have priority over nonmembers which can mean the differ[a]nce of waiting 5 or 6 hours on a busy weekend.
I'm not sure you want to respond to this question but - Is it really the policy of your employer that you selectively respond to requests for assistance based upon membership status rather than exigency?
03-02-2007 03:49 PM
Cruisingdad Enhydras,

So what is a hard grounding and what is a soft?
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