Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 23-03-2011, 06:00   #16
Senior Cruiser
 
osirissail's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: A real life Zombie from FL
Boat: Gulfstar 53 - Osiris
Posts: 5,416
Images: 2
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

I have been towed a few times at various places along the US east coast and also know some of the guys who do the towing. What folks don't realize is that these outfits are all "independents" who sign up with TowBoatUS or the other outfit for an annual contract. It is always a problem for the main office to get and keep these operators. And of course, the main office is always looking for a more "economical" outfit to contract with for the coming year.
- - What this leads to is a very wide range of "expertise" among the various outfits actually doing the towing. Some are very experienced and have been in the tow business for years - and - other are "newbies" with very little experience or knowledge of how to tow various boats beyond tieing on a rope and pushing the throttles forward.
- - So I recommend that you learn how your boat should be towed and if you are in a position where you need a tow, you discuss with the guy how best to tow your boat and supervise/watch closely everything he does. Keep a really sharp knife handy to cut loose if necessary.
__________________

__________________
osirissail is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 06:47   #17
Registered User
 
doug86's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Between Block Island and Bahamas
Boat: Marine Trader 40' Sedan Trawler, 1978. WATER TORTURE
Posts: 715
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

As someone who actually owned a towboat company, and now works for another, I'd like to clear up a few things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by capn_billl View Post
The big bill you pay to get towed is split between the operator, the boat owner, the local company, and the national company..
This is sort of true for a SeaTow franchise area. SeaTow areas are in fact franchises, and the local franchisee does share a portion of his gross income with the SeaTow International. Each area is responsible for all the costs of owning and manning their boats. Each area also keeps a majority portion of the annal membership fees from the members in their area.

This is completely UNTRUE for a TowBOAT/US tower. TowBOAT/US areas are merely service contracts, not franchises. If a TowBOAT/US contractor bills a customer for any work, the local contractor keeps all that money. Again, the local contractor is responsible for all the costs of owning and manning his towboats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by osirissail View Post
What folks don't realize is that these outfits are all "independents" who sign up with TowBoatUS or the other outfit for an annual contract. It is always a problem for the main office to get and keep these operators. And of course, the main office is always looking for a more "economical" outfit to contract with for the coming year.
That is correct; TOWBOAT/US areas are not franchises; each area is independently owned and the local company bills BOAT/US by the hour for assisting BOAT/US members. The local companies do not receiver any share of the annual membership income. However, BOAT/US is not "always looking for a more economical outfit" for the coming year. Many BOAT/US contracts are multiyear in duration, and never in the history of the TowBoat/US program has a new tower who takes over an area been paid less per hour than the previous one. Most TowBOAT/US areas have been owned by the same person for well over 10 years.
__________________

__________________
"When one is willing to go without, then one is free to go." - doug86
doug86 is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:00   #18
Mooderator
 
capngeo's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Key West & Sarasota
Boat: Cal 28 "Happy Days"
Posts: 4,211
Images: 12
Send a message via Yahoo to capngeo Send a message via Skype™ to capngeo
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

+1 for the above... I was a partner in the first TowBoat/US Sarasota (Offshore Marine Towing Inc). Back in "the day" it was a lucrative business to be in, as 50 miles of coast was covered by only 2 boats... They stayed busy all the time. I'm not sure, but I think today there are at least 15 boats serving that same area... The pie is sliced pretty thin now!

Often now the individual towboats are owner-operated and work under contract with the local service area holder.... Used to be a 60/40% split, but don't know about today.
__________________
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
capngeo is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:04   #19
Registered User
 
doug86's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Between Block Island and Bahamas
Boat: Marine Trader 40' Sedan Trawler, 1978. WATER TORTURE
Posts: 715
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Quote:
Originally Posted by capngeo View Post
Often now the individual towboats are owner-operated and work under contract with the local service area holder....
I think that is still the exception, and probably more common in Florida than anywhere else.
__________________
"When one is willing to go without, then one is free to go." - doug86
doug86 is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:07   #20
Registered User
 
READY2GO's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Florida Keys
Boat: 1978 Marine Trader 36
Posts: 310
Images: 2
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Ok doug86, who pays to fix the rig? The tow captain, BoatUS, or the sailboats insurance? If it was me and I got any resistance at all from BoatUS for paying I would turn it over to my insurance and let them handle it. The have a whole team of lawyers looking for something to do.
__________________
Once a sailor now living on the dark side.
www.mikeandsharondunsworth.blogspot.com
READY2GO is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:12   #21
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,594
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unicorn Dreams View Post
He probably asked and got the wrong answer.
I've heard people give there mast height as what the height of there mast, not including deck to water distance.
Has boat crossing thru a bridge in La. last year ahead of me approaching a drawbridge in front of me that wasn't slowing down and yelled to him on the radio to stop and wait for the bridge to open. He said he had plenty of clearance, bridge tender heard me and closed the barriers, started blowing his horn and barely got the bridge open in time.
Mast was about 3' taller than the roadway, exactly the same as me. as we had the same boats and he insisted he was shortet.

Sounds like to screw ups where you were at RAM, the towboay and the skipper of the boat also for running into the bridge. It's a shame, but thank goodness for insurance. Hope everyone was okay..
Possibly WITHOUT insurance folks wouldn't act so stupid!! Certainly more responsible,,
__________________
Randy

Cape Dory 25D Seraph
rtbates is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:16   #22
Registered User
 
Artif's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 261
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Why was it being towed, it's a sailing boat after all.
Sails and engine failed???
__________________
Artif is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:28   #23
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29° 49.16’ N 82° 25.82’ W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,392
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Quote:
Originally Posted by Artif View Post
Why was it being towed, it's a sailing boat after all.
Sails and engine failed???
Going under a bridge in the ICW it is not a good idea to sail and in fact at many bridges it is prohibitted to even have your sails up at all.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is online now  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:28   #24
Registered User
 
doug86's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Between Block Island and Bahamas
Boat: Marine Trader 40' Sedan Trawler, 1978. WATER TORTURE
Posts: 715
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Quote:
Originally Posted by READY2GO View Post
Ok doug86, who pays to fix the rig? The tow captain, BoatUS, or the sailboats insurance? If it was me and I got any resistance at all from BoatUS for paying I would turn it over to my insurance and let them handle it. The have a whole team of lawyers looking for something to do.
Ready2, IF the towboat is found at fault, then his (the local contractor) insurance will be the one to pay. Boat/US's insurance would not come into play (unless of course, they insure the sailboat.)

However, there is a big IF. The law assumes that a boat owner knows more about his boat than a towboat captain does, and therefore information provided by the sailboat is generally considered the most reliable information available in circumstances like this. This means that the towboat captain isn't negligent for relying on information provided to him by the owner/operator of his tow.

I'm not saying this is what happened in this case; merely hypothetical.
__________________
"When one is willing to go without, then one is free to go." - doug86
doug86 is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:35   #25
Mooderator
 
capngeo's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Key West & Sarasota
Boat: Cal 28 "Happy Days"
Posts: 4,211
Images: 12
Send a message via Yahoo to capngeo Send a message via Skype™ to capngeo
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Also, a lot of the TowBoat/US contractors are insured by TowBoat/US... And the premiums are just stooopid (yup, 3 "o"s) expensive!
__________________
Any fool with a big enough checkbook can BUY a boat; it takes a SPECIAL type of fool to build his own! -Capngeo
capngeo is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:43   #26
Moderator Emeritus
 
Pblais's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Hayes, VA
Boat: Gozzard 36
Posts: 8,700
Images: 15
Send a message via Skype™ to Pblais
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

While the issue may make for good discussion we really know nothing about the parties, the arrangements, and what transpired on the boat. A boat being towed is under command of the tow boat captain. I'm not seeing that being the only issue since the towing contract is also a part of this mess to be sorted out.

As a boat owner I know exactly all the bridges, wires, cables and assorted things I can't fit under or over within a very large radius. There are facts in this story that are clearly missing.
__________________
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
Pblais is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 07:55   #27
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Boat: Ketch, Hardin 45
Posts: 440
Images: 6
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
huh? every bridge has a scale that shows height above water... no need to know the tide, just read the clearance from the scale.

cheers,
Nick.
Nick
Please note: I've seen those height boards missing because some vessel scrapped them off the bridge piling. I can't point the finger at who done it. But usually they have to wait for the next years funding, before they can replace them.
Accidents do happen and hopefully it will never happen to US.
Mark
__________________
boasun is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 08:02   #28
Do… or do not
 
s/v Jedi's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: in paradise
Boat: Sundeer 64
Posts: 9,198
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

Quote:
Originally Posted by boasun View Post
Nick
Please note: I've seen those height boards missing because some vessel scrapped them off the bridge piling. I can't point the finger at who done it. But usually they have to wait for the next years funding, before they can replace them.
Accidents do happen and hopefully it will never happen to US.
Mark
huh? the scale was missing? how do you know that? If one expects the scale but it is missing, one should stop and use other means to verify clearance. But somebody posted that the scale wasn't missing and that it showed 62' while the boat needed 64' clearance.

cheers,
Nick.
__________________
s/v Jedi is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 08:09   #29
Registered User

Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Lafayette, Louisiana
Boat: Ketch, Hardin 45
Posts: 440
Images: 6
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

One question: Was there a towing check off list used before taking that sailboat under tow? And on that list did it request the vessel being towed dimensions? Was the dimensions listed in meters or feet?
This list should have been completed before taking that vessel under tow.
__________________
boasun is offline  
Old 23-03-2011, 08:21   #30
Registered User
 
Unicorn Dreams's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Clear Lake Marine Services - Seabrook, Texas
Boat: Gulfstar, Mark II Ketch, 43'
Posts: 2,359
Re: Sailboat under tow had mast broken off on the Blue Heron Bridge-today

I believe the owner/skipper may have posted on here, I may br wrong though, Quote by Bazzas Boat, Post #11


The Tow Boat US Captain never asked the owner/skipper his mast height. Foreign registered boat and crew. Boat clearance above water line is 64'. Owner/skipper saw bridge markings 62' (exceptional high tides due to Moon, registered US Government clearance at Blue Heron bridge 65') when nearing bridge but unable to notify Tow Boat US Captain in time. Tow Boat US captain dragged sail boat under Blue Heron bridge and now refuses liability after previously admitting full responsibility. Does any one know the US law?
__________________

__________________
Formerly Santana
The winds blow true,The skies stay blue,
Everyday is a good day for SAILING!!!!
Unicorn Dreams is offline  
Closed Thread

Tags
mast, sailboat

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Broken Mast - How Can I Repair ? ronnmexico Construction, Maintenance & Refit 25 30-11-2010 16:45
Broken Mast Step GorillaToast Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 6 25-09-2010 18:54
Into the Blue - Dreams, life, and a little blue sailboat travisgriggs General Sailing Forum 40 18-03-2009 22:41
Lady's Island Bridge Broken Sunspot Baby Cruising News & Events 1 26-11-2008 07:46
Broken Mast kirby Monohull Sailboats 10 22-09-2005 18:02



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:57.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.