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  Topic Review (Newest First)
07-13-2010 09:29 AM
chrisncate ...
07-13-2010 08:58 AM
donradclife I suggest you look at salvage charges like ambulance services. The average amubulance ride takes about 15 minutes and costs $1000. If you try to break it down on an hourly basis, it looks like piracy. However, most of the time the ambulances (and the salvage boats) are sitting around doing and earning nothing.
07-13-2010 08:33 AM
sailingdog On a recent delivery I had to get the boat I was on towed.... The TowBoat US bill would have been $750 or so. Given that TowBoat US unlimited memberships only cost $125 or so, that means the previous five years I've been a member have just been paid for... I look at TowBoat US membership like AAA for my boat... not something I want to use, but nice to have when I need it.
07-13-2010 08:24 AM
svsirius I have no comment on the specific charges however no one is factoring in the downtime. Seatow is not pulling boats 24x7. Part of the charges must be the amortized cost of all assets. He has to cover boat,dock insurance etc 24/7 365 whether he is working or not so the charges while engaged reflect the overall costs. Obviously very few commenting here run a business for profit. Independent of whether you feel the charges are fair they are what the owner feels he has to charge to survive the business. I don't know many millionaire recreational tow operators, if there are maybe that's a business to go into.
07-13-2010 07:13 AM
remetau We were anchored out off the beach for the July 4th fireworks and stayed there overnight. During the night a storm hit and we dragged our 60 lb Bruce with all chain rode into shallower water. We have a 5 9 draft and landed in 4 5 water. We were grounded. Since the weather calmed down we decided to sit there until morning and then deal with it. We sat there all day waiting for the tide to come back in and during which we tried kedging off, motoring off, putting out the jib to heal over and motor off, but we were stuck. We have Tow Boat coverage so we called them in. They attempted the same with no luck. We finally got off by having them tow us along with healing us over about 30 degrees by pulling the halyard. Final bill: Zilch. The captain wrote us a receipt showing that without the coverage it would have cost us $160 for the crew of two at one hour.
07-13-2010 07:01 AM
sailingdog Good point Minnewaska.
07-13-2010 06:38 AM
Minnewaska Folks, we are bickering with someone who plans to check out of their real life. I'm just saying there may be irreconcilable differences here, as crisncate is clearly motivated by a significant disconnect with the mainstream at the moment. I say, good for him/her if they've found a way to be happy. Just don't ask the rest of us to change with you. We like and understand the current system/dream, as imperfect as it is.
07-13-2010 05:32 AM
Originally Posted by chrisncate View Post
...Go buy a cell phone, a gallon of gas, a burger, a car, or any other item and tell me that the "free market" decides anything these days. We ALL take what we are presented, and that is just it. There is no free market...
Huh? Just the fact that I can go buy those things, or choose where to buy them, or choose which of a multitude of brands to buy, or choose not to buy them at all, is UNEQUIVOCAL PROOF that there is a global free market. Unless you think "free market" = "gratis market."
07-13-2010 12:46 AM
bljones Hey, Mr. "people prey on others" you left a few costs out of your tow estimate, like:

At least two divers to set those "precious" airbags- what is a good qualified diver worth, or should he simply do his job for the admiration of the people and karma points?

You're about half light on crew. Two boats, two licensed salvage/tow skippers, at least two line handlers.

Do you think those TWO tow boats came free, with no carrying costs and no running costs? Two boats with engines running all day... how many gallons of fuel went into this rescue?

Insurance. Nuff said.

Airbags- somebody has to pay for them.

Finally, the "Lost Opportunity" cost. While SeaTow was tied up with this guy all day, they had no opportunity to take on other tow work. if, conceivably, they could have picked up a couple of $500 tow jobs while hauling this boat off the reef, then that cost gets added on as well.

What you fail to understand is that this is not a charity, it is a business, just like a doctor, or a lawyer, or anybody else you turn to when the chips are down. Don't like the system? put your money where you mouth is, Wavy Gravy, and start your own pro bono, power to the people, pay whatever you think it's worth, man, kumbaya towing service...
And don't bitch when you get stiffed by some other guy who sounds a lot like you.
07-13-2010 12:43 AM
sailingdog Chrisncate—

First, your overly simplistic analysis fails to account for travel time. Most tow boat operators charge from when they leave their base to when they get back to their base, and IMHO, that's fairly reasonable.

Second, you also fail to account for the fact that there are serious risks when working salvage, maybe not in this case, but in general, there are.

Third, you also fail to account for the environmental risks that can occur in a salvage situation. Say the boat was heeled over because the owner was an idiot and neglected to put out an anchor to keep it from getting washed further aground. Say the boat heeled and the fuel tank started to drain out the fuel vent? Now, you have a film of diesel over the surface of the water—which the USCG can fine the boatowner up to $800,000 IIRC.

If the salvage company's actions could prevent the diesel fuel spill, wouldn't it be worth paying the salvage company a fraction of that amount of money??
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