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View Poll Results: Tow Boat U.S. or Sea Tow
Tow Boat U.S. 13 92.86%
Sea Tow 1 7.14%
Voters: 14. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-10-2009, 10:54   #1
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TowBoatU.S. or Sea\\Tow?

West Central Florida.
Local cruising.
Soon to venture further - Keys in Nov. Bahamas next spring??

They seem to be about the same price.

They seem to have lots of "dots" on their maps.

I could not find the SeaTow contract on the website. I found the TowBoatUS one easily enough.

What say you all?
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:09   #2
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TowBoatUS. I had Seatow many years ago but switched to TowboatUS after an experience a friend had in the Chesapeake with Seatow. TowboatUS now operates in the Bahamas too. By the way, I finally had to get a tow last season. The first time. Crossing to the Bahamas on a rare windless day and the engine died. TowboatUS got me and towed me to Crandon. Excellent service. For east coast and Bahamas cruising you'd be crazy not to have this insurance.
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Old 03-10-2009, 11:57   #3
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TowboatUS are part of BoatUS who are advocates for boaters and are an excellent organization.

I have witnessed very predatory activities by SeaTow. However, to be fair, SeaTow in Fajardo PR, the only ones I have used, are a very good outfit.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:08   #4
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My vote for TowBoat US. Had to use them twice - once for a very long round-trip from base for the tow vessel - and never any hassles.
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Old 03-10-2009, 12:37   #5
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Sea Tow : Home Page and BoatUS Towing are both independently owned FRANCHISE operations, so it might be reasonable to expect some variability in quality based upon each individual operatorís competence and integrity.
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Old 03-10-2009, 13:35   #6
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I used Seatow last year and was happy.
But I would normally say go with TowboatUS.
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Old 03-10-2009, 15:44   #7
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Neither!
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Old 03-10-2009, 15:53   #8
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Neither!
I will have to depend on you then when I can't fix it eh?
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Old 03-10-2009, 16:12   #9
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Thumbs up Thumbs...

...thumbs and more thumbs. If your job requires the use of all thumbs to repair it, then I'm your man!

A bit more seriously though, we having towing as part of our hull insurance, plus when you look at how often we have been towed, paying an additional yearly amount so you can be a 'member' just doesn't seem worth it.

Fair Winds,
Mike
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Old 03-10-2009, 16:32   #10
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.
A bit more seriously though, we having towing as part of our hull insurance, plus when you look at how often we have been towed, paying an additional yearly amount so you can be a 'member' just doesn't seem worth it.

Fair Winds,
Mike
I have been cruising, initially from Toronto to the Bahamas, and for the last five years Florida to the Bahamas since 1990. For the first few years I was too dumb to get towing insurance but I'd say I've spent about $1400 over the years for towing insurance. The first time I had to use it was last season and the tow cost $700 so I'd say the towing companies are ahead of me by about $700. However I shell out the $100 or so every year for peace of mind. It's insurance, you hope never to have to use it. I too have towing included in my boat insurance policy but have never used that. TowboatUS and Seatow are much more convenient.

If you travel on the ICW or cruise the east coast it's foolish not to have towing insurance. I went up the ICW one year with a few other boats. It seemed every other day one of them would run aground and need a tow. That convinced me to get towing insurance. When you are far from your home sailing grounds it's a good thing to have.
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Old 03-10-2009, 18:38   #11
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...thumbs and more thumbs. If your job requires the use of all thumbs to repair it, then I'm your man!

A bit more seriously though, we having towing as part of our hull insurance, plus when you look at how often we have been towed, paying an additional yearly amount so you can be a 'member' just doesn't seem worth it.

Fair Winds,
Mike
I guess I could check my boat insurance but think it will be like my car insurance in that it will pay X dollars etc, etc. and will require a lot of forms filled out to get reimbursed for a portion etc. etc.
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Old 03-10-2009, 18:44   #12
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I went up the ICW one year with a few other boats. It seemed every other day one of them would run aground and need a tow.
What is it with them?

Deep draft, bad charts, blown electronic navigation equipment, Mark I malfunction?

A few to me is three. Every other day would mean 1.5 per day, or is that 1.25 per day....wow.
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Old 03-10-2009, 19:23   #13
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What is it with them?

Deep draft, bad charts, blown electronic navigation equipment, Mark I malfunction?

A few to me is three. Every other day would mean 1.5 per day, or is that 1.25 per day....wow.
Charts and chart plotters are not to be trusted in the ICW. The actual depths bear little relationship to charted depths. There is bad shoaling in many spots, usually near inlets but not always. The depths can change from the time you head south to the time you return north. There is little money for dredging. In some spots you have to feel your way through, slowly.

In the story I mentioned earlier, one or another of the other boats ran aground every day for three or four days running. If I remember right one guy ran aground two days in a row and these were experienced ICW sailors, not newbies. I think we were in North Carolina when this happened. Myself I have been aground a few times but luckily got off by myself every time except once when a small sailboat pulled me off.

The Wilmington District seems to have many of the bad spots.
Wilmington District Navigation Branch Home Page
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Old 04-10-2009, 07:50   #14
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There is an outfit in the Northern Chesapeake that might as well fly a pirate flag.

They use the name Vessel Assist.....
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Old 04-10-2009, 08:18   #15
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SeaTow istruely international. I eeded a tow in Bermuda where they have no yellow boat. They paid for the tow by a private contractor - no questions asked.
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