Tow question in Newport, RI - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 83 Old 05-29-2019 Thread Starter
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Tow question in Newport, RI

Hello everyone,

my sailboat suffered some damage during hurricane Irma and is being shipped from the Caribbean to Newport, RI. Unfortunately although the engine didn't suffer any damage during the hurricane there was water in the fuel and the engine died - and I couldn't find a technician in the BVI who could fix it.

So the cargo vessel is unshipping "Zanshin" in Newport late next week and I need a tow to a marina/service facility which can fix my engine; this is about 10NM away. I queried SeaTow for a one-time tow but they want $400 per hour and most likely 3-4 hours total; this is much more than I expected.

Can anyone here recommend alternatives?


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post #2 of 83 Old 05-29-2019
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

Buy a TowboatUS Gold yearly subscription for $175 is one way.

Use a smaller boat to hip-tow the 10nm is another way.

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post #3 of 83 Old 05-29-2019
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

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Originally Posted by Zanshin View Post
Hello everyone,

my sailboat suffered some damage during hurricane Irma and is being shipped from the Caribbean to Newport, RI. Unfortunately although the engine didn't suffer any damage during the hurricane there was water in the fuel and the engine died - and I couldn't find a technician in the BVI who could fix it.

So the cargo vessel is unshipping "Zanshin" in Newport late next week and I need a tow to a marina/service facility which can fix my engine; this is about 10NM away. I queried SeaTow for a one-time tow but they want $400 per hour and most likely 3-4 hours total; this is much more than I expected.

Can anyone here recommend alternatives?
Maybe join BoatUs who has a towing service???

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post #4 of 83 Old 05-29-2019
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

Why not run the engine from a jerry jug? Then it's just a matter of bleeding the engine of the old fuel until you have new, clean fuel in it and it should start right up.
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

Towboat US GOLD unlimited towing is kind of a no-brainer if you sail in their service areas.

$175ish a year. May never use it again, but a single tow equals the cost of 5-10 years worth of premiums.
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

I like capta's idea.
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post #7 of 83 Old 05-29-2019
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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

Towboat insurance is worth a shot, but Iím not sure theyíll tow off a shipping vessel. Thatís not really an emergency.

There is a local company, called SafeSea, based in Wickford, RI. They are the local TowboatUS affiliate, but seem to have their own business separately. Iím sure it wonít be cheap. What are you thinking is fair?

I believe the shippers offload up by Portsmouth, but Iím not 100% certain. Where are you specifically trying to get her to? That will matter significantly. Many have their own tow skiffs, but that wouldnít work, if the Bay is all churned up that day or you need to travel south of Beavertail. There is some liability, when towing the boat, and potentially tough conditions.

p.s. Great to hear youíre getting back on the water with Zanchin. Itís a bit surprising that RI is the best choice for repairs, as we are notoriously expensive. Are you planning to cruise New England for the summer?


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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

I dont know what the boat rental situation is there, but that might be a possibility. Just rent a small powerboat for the day.

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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

TowboatUS gold plan covers dock to dock towing to repair services. Sounds just what the OP wants.

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Re: Tow question in Newport, RI

The towing memberships don't work for a vessel that isn't running when the membership is started. Once the engine is fixed and the boat is running I'd do such a membership.

Capta - the engine has a broken high-pressure injector pump. I don't know how a jerry jug and bleeding the lines will make it work, and neither did the engine experts I spoke with.

The destination marina just changed, as they informed me that they cannot accommodate my draft. I am waiting to hear from the marina I'd like to go to and see if they would be in a position to tow me.

I tried to reach SafeSea yesterday, but I cannot call on the phone from here and their e-mail address all bounce. They might be a good option, if I could get in contact with them via e-mail.


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