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Old 31-12-2009, 14:37   #16
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We went from CT to FL, hit the bottom many times, however, we were able to get free every time...but once.. it would have been a $987 bill if I did not have the insurance. So to answer your question, it is very cheap insurance, GET IT!
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Old 31-12-2009, 16:41   #17
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I ran hard aground near the stadium in Biscayne Bay. Tried everything to get off and finally called Towboat as I had the $100 a year insurance. They had trouble getting me off also, but got it done....
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Old 31-12-2009, 16:42   #18
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We went from CT to FL, hit the bottom many times, however, we were able to get free every time...but once.. it would have been a $987 bill if I did not have the insurance. So to answer your question, it is very cheap insurance, GET IT!
I think I'm convinced.

Thank you.
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Old 31-12-2009, 19:19   #19
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We've travelled 7000 miles in last 3 yrs with no tow insurance. Just be overly cautious when cruising at or around high tide. The only time I had a rough time was near boca chica when the total tide change was 2" . Took two anchors tight on winches and an opportune commercial fishing boat to give me a wake. We never explore except on low rising tides. Georgia is rough. Last time down thought I'd give it a try. Found bottom on magenta line between marker 130 and 132 on +1.6 tide =2'mlw. Muddy creek is just as bad. Saw shallows leaving S Edisto heading south at mouth of junction w/ICW. I'm skipping ICW from Jax to beaufort SC in future. Just too many hassles.
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Old 31-12-2009, 19:25   #20
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We took our first trip on the ICW from Maryland to Florida in 1972 and accepted a $100 tow into Belhaven from the Alligator-Pungo Canal when our engine failed. Since that year we have run a portion of the ICW every year and made 17 trips of the full length of the East Coast ICW and never required a tow. Sure we have run aground but not often since we added an electric depth sounder in the nineties. We never required a tow from aground because we were not on a time schedule and we were willing to kedge off at high tide. We also have a full keel with a protected rudder. I've never had towing insurance, but maybe it's time. Certainly the price is right. I would not purchase it, myself, if I was planning to stay in the ICW, but I should have it for possible events approching an inlet from offshore and we do run the coast up to Maine offshore as well as coastal offshore in Florida and the Bahamas. I know I'll never see the $100 price for the 12 mile tow I had in 1972! So, yes, I'll buy that cheap towing insurance. 'take care and joy, aythya crew
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Old 31-12-2009, 20:09   #21
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Works in Bahamas too

We recently sailed to The Bahamas and when we were just 15 miles from Bimini, we had engine problems. With virtually no wind to sail into Bimini, we had to call TowBoat US on our VHF radio. They came from Ft. Lauderdale and towed us all the way back. (They won't tow you into The Bahamas, but can tow you back to the States.) It took them almost four hours to get to us and four hours to tow us back. While we waited for them, they called every half hour to make sure we were OK and to check on our location. When we got to Ft. Lauderdale, they brought us right to a slip at a marina. This is the first time we've ever had to use them, but it was well worth the price. Also, as someone said, with Boat US many marinas and fuel docks offer discounts. We have saved enough with those discounts to pay for the yearly cost.

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Old 31-12-2009, 20:29   #22
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WOW Jan...that's incredible service!!

In my case, my impeller went, just outside of port jefferson N.Y. ...
I tried to sail into the harbor...but had the wind dead nuts on the bow and a 2 knot current against me....a novice crew ..and alot of ferry traffic....coming in and out.
so tacking in a narrow channel was not looking like a good option...although I did try.

I called boat U.S ..thinking they might be right inside the harbor..but they were all the way across the sound..on the connecticut side. It was a good night, I was going to just try to anchor..outside...and save them a trip, but they insisted that it would be no trouble, and they'd rather get me to into port.....like you, they called me a few times enroute to check on me. The Bill would have been $800 plus....

I haven't needed another tow in years, but I don't hesitate when the insurance bill arrives...that $800. would have been my entire vacation budget for that trip.
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Old 01-01-2010, 17:27   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
We took our first trip on the ICW from Maryland to Florida in 1972 and accepted a $100 tow into Belhaven from the Alligator-Pungo Canal when our engine failed. Since that year we have run a portion of the ICW every year and made 17 trips of the full length of the East Coast ICW and never required a tow. Sure we have run aground but not often since we added an electric depth sounder in the nineties. We never required a tow from aground because we were not on a time schedule and we were willing to kedge off at high tide. We also have a full keel with a protected rudder. I've never had towing insurance, but maybe it's time. Certainly the price is right. I would not purchase it, myself, if I was planning to stay in the ICW, but I should have it for possible events approching an inlet from offshore and we do run the coast up to Maine offshore as well as coastal offshore in Florida and the Bahamas. I know I'll never see the $100 price for the 12 mile tow I had in 1972! So, yes, I'll buy that cheap towing insurance. 'take care and joy, aythya crew

Would you feel comfortable WITHOUT towing coverage with a 4'6" draft cruising the entire ICW and never exploring outside the "ditch" channel?
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Old 01-01-2010, 18:27   #24
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I think the focus on " grounding" is misplaced. Most of the time you will be motoring,
It's a good idea to keep an eye on vessels ahead with similar or deeper drafts...keep an eye on the depth sounder, proceed slowly when in doubt..
I've seen vessels ahead of me bump.

if you get stuck, chances are good that you can get yourself unstuck. If there's alot of boat traffic running the ICW with you...it's also likely that someone would offer to help power you off....boaters in my experience are helpful to each other. Powerboaters included.

If you were to require a tow, it would more likely be due to a mechanical problem, in my opinion..and not a grounding...i.e : transmission, fuel, overheating, etc.etc .so maybe another question is how much do you trust all your mechanical systems.
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Old 01-01-2010, 19:11   #25
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Some time back a friend grounded us so bad we called SeaTow came and could not even get to us after waiting hours for the tide SeaTow came back and spent 3 hours getting us back in the water, by this time James my friend blew the motor so they towed us back home close to 45 miles. If james had not been a member it would have cost over $1,200 even got lucky the SeaTow capt. had ciggs that he gave us.

If you ask me only a fool would not pay the $150 a year to protect your investment of your boat.


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Old 01-01-2010, 19:38   #26
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Would you feel comfortable WITHOUT towing coverage with a 4'6" draft cruising the entire ICW and never exploring outside the "ditch" channel?
Yes, I would, but my reason would be because of having no time committment. A couple of years ago I did have a transmission problem and found the time to anchor; remove my transmission; lower it into my dinghy; take it ashore; have it repaired; pick it up a few days later and reinstall it. Also 4'6" is only 3" more than my draft and the last six transits I've made from Norfolk to Florida I've never seen less than five feet on my depthsounder. I know where the trouble spots are; some places to favor one side of the chanel or when to take extra care. Most groundings in the ICW do not occur in places where there is not some deeper water to port or starboard of the grounded boat. All that said, and despite my good fortune as posted above; I am a BoatUS member and I do plan to begin paying that minimal fee for the towing insurance. 'take care and joy, Aytha crew
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Old 02-01-2010, 15:56   #27
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This is all great advice and I truely appreciate everyones help.

Thank you.
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Old 03-01-2010, 19:50   #28
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Do either of these have any coverage outside the US?
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Old 03-01-2010, 23:25   #29
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Would you feel comfortable with a 1,000 mile voyage on the ICW without towing coverage?

Opinions?
NO!!!
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Old 04-01-2010, 06:57   #30
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Wrong!!!

SEA//TOW is now an international organization.......with many operators in other countries....I think they are in the Bahamas, Purto Rico, Jamaica, Mexico, and many locations in Europe, and Australia....Check with the main office.......1-800-4-SEATOW.
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