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Old 19-07-2013, 13:29   #136
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

I'm guessing ...by the fact that no one is guessing what kind on money the pirates are making ....that the embarrassment would be too much. Plus the realization that overhead of all kinds is a killer...and that if it was such a moneymaker...how come there's only 2 major a few minor companies in the biz...etc....etc .....

So what's the problem with the cost of the tow?????
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Old 19-07-2013, 13:33   #137
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post
Wind was 15 - 18 knots, blowing strong and steady from the SW. I let the boat's drift set the hook, and after 5 hours in the same position believed we were secure. You might agree that 5 hours without dragging in those winds is a good indication of anchor stability. But, maybe you won't. If not, I'd appreciate to learn of your technique(s).

I believe my major error was too short of a scope, possibly/probably as low as 2:1. With that short scope and a rising tide, I got in trouble.

I do resent the perception from some people that I'm some yahoo that sailed in, threw out a chunk of steel off the bow and left to party. I believed we were secure, had evidence to indicate such, and was wrong.

My key question is do my actions and misjudgment justify a $675 penalty. The majority of posters seem to say yes, unfortunately.
Before getting to the scope, let's look at the initial conditions. Very important, if you didn't set the anchor then holding in 15-18 kts for 5 hours is not nearly enough information to conclude you are securely anchored. The anchor could have been hooked under a rock or on a clump of week and ready to trip at any second. The only way you will know if you are securely anchored is to set the anchor when you drop it. Lots of information on this so won't try to repeat it all here.

Then you think it was about 2-1 scope? Number two anchoring lesson is you need to know how much scope you have. This means having an accurate way to measure how much rode you have out, knowing the depth, the tide and the state of the tide when you first anchored.

Finally 2-1 scope?????? That is grossly insufficient. I am really surprised that you were able to stay put for five hours and leads me to think you really were just hooked under a rock.

I don't want or mean to be judgmental or critical but you need to seriously study up on correct anchoring techniques.

Once again, yes $675 is a lot of money but not anywhere close to extortion or highway robbery. If you had come in with an engine problem and negotiated with the tow boat in person could probably have gotten it for a lot less but still have to account for the mooring.

Let it go, mark it up as a lesson and move on. Whether justified or not you will not get it back without spending more time and money than it's worth. Even spending time and money 99% you won't get anything back.
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Old 19-07-2013, 13:33   #138
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

Scoob...you live in a town called Medusa? Wasn't there a "jinxed" boat by the name Medusa Challenger, a few years ago? It had all kind of issues...anchoring for a few hours in a grassy bottom cove, for a mere $675 fee was not one of them.

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Old 19-07-2013, 13:37   #139
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So let's just break down this number a bit.

Boat = $100K initial purchase price with a 10 year life, so $10K a year cost.

Maintenance = Let's say 10% of the value of the boat. This covers bottom paint, haul every other year, cleaning, care, engine maintenance, etc. Another $10K a year.

Slip = Their site says that are in Wickford, RI and from the address it looks like he is in the Brewers. Their summer rate is $140 per foot, so let's say the boat is 28 feet long. That's $3,920 and probably an under estimate because it doesn't include winter and they might go higher for commercial space, etc. but it gives a place to start.

Insurance = I would bet this is easily a minimum of $5K a year for one commercial tow boat.

Labor = Say he just send out the boat with a captain and he only staffs the boat 10 hours per day. I would guess pay would be anywhere from $25-35 and hour ($39K-72K per year). Add another 50% on to that for benefits. So we'll use $45/hour and only account for May through October (6 months). That's $81,900 a year.

Now we are at $110,820 a year just to run the boat. We haven't even included support staff to bill for jobs, answer phones, cost of rental space for an office, etc.

Now lets say he can bill for 5 of the 10 hours a day he is staffing this boat. Again, I bet this is a way over estimate. So 910 hours of billable time.

That means he has to make $121.78 per hour before he even turns a profit. And again, I bet this is way under estimating costs and over estimating the billability. For instance, we had all of the pay at straight time. In Massachusetts, he would likely have time and half for weekends and holidays plus over 40 hours in a week. Let's throw some advertising on top of that, attending boat shows, etc.

And we haven't even mentioned probably one of the biggest costs: TAXES. He has to pay on the business, for the employees, probably on the value of the boat.

Oh, and I just realized I forgot fuel. Don't even know how to really estimate that one. Say the boat runs for 8 hours per day with engines that probably use 5-10 gallons an hour. So a minimum of 7,280 gallons a year at $3.50-4.25 per gallon. Another $25,480 or $28 an hour in costs.

It always aggravates me when people think someone is ripping them off with out really thinking about the actual dollars and expenses that go into things. Most business operate on a 10-15% profit goal and seldom make it. So if he charged $675 for this tow, his "wind fall" profits were probably $67.50. Wow, yeah we should keep saying this guy is a crook.
+++1

The same folks who complain about costs would moan that there was no tow boat around for miles if they didn't charge enough to be available on standby....
You're paying for them to be available on standby. Don't like the costs, don't call them or give them a reason to help you. If I were the other boat I also would have called the tow company. No way I'd hang onto someone else's boat like that for a while in poor holding....
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Old 19-07-2013, 13:39   #140
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post
I believe my major error was too short of a scope, possibly/probably as low as 2:1. With that short scope and a rising tide, I got in trouble. Are you saying that you don't know and that being on that scope for 5 hours was enough for you to go to shore with it? Not many people would go ashore if on a 2:1 scope, PERIOD!

I do resent the perception from some people that I'm some yahoo that sailed in, threw out a chunk of steel off the bow and left to party. Well that does pretty much go along with the above. Doesn't matter how lng you waited on that scope.

My key question is do my actions and misjudgment justify a $675 penalty. The majority of posters seem to say yes, unfortunately.
I hadn't been beating you about your anchoring, because everyone drags at times, but come on!

I think that you got off REAL cheap considering.
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Old 19-07-2013, 13:42   #141
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

BTW - $675 would have gone a long way to getting a good anchoring setup.
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Old 19-07-2013, 13:43   #142
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by Don L View Post
BTW - $675 would have gone a long way to getting a good anchoring setup.

+++10,000^27,000
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Old 19-07-2013, 13:48   #143
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
Tanks,

Letting the "drift" of the boat, in a 15 knot breeze would not be adequate on our boat to really set the hook. We use all chain rode, and never less than 3:1 scope if we plan to leave the boat unattended. Sometimes we use more scope. Our 46 footer which has fairly high free board probably weighs in the neighborhood of 12-13 tons. When I set the hook, I back down on it for at least 1 minute at quite high rpms after we have stopped moving aft.

From how you described the anchoring technique you used, you really didn't give the boat the opportunity to stay hooked, and I think your first post openly owned up to that fact.

The way the law is in the US, as I understand it, is that you HAVE TO pay the bill because the work was performed, regardless of whether it is named "tow" or "salvage" on the bill. It is illegal to withhold payment, I believe. Afterwards, you may be able to challenge it; but honestly, I think that given the area, the normal fees charged, and it being a holiday weekend, you're lucky they didn't charge you triple time!

Just my two cents.

Ann
You are correct at least in the state of NJ...only a couple times in the past 11 years have I had to call or have my boss call the Marine Police...but they understand and are usually right on the spot to assist.

The last officer wrote some kind of court appearance ticket and by the time the father of the not so together college kids figured out what court costs and lawyer was gonna be plus loss of work time...he paid the bill.

And just so the "name callers" can't say we are all pirates...my boss often reduces the bill if there is any doubt to the validity of the work or other fairness reason.
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Old 19-07-2013, 14:17   #144
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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BTW - $675 would have gone a long way to getting a good anchoring setup.
Ouch, now that was just kicking a guy when he's down. But yeah, that would have been a 35 pound Manson Supreme (rated for boats up to 40 feet and 2 sizes bigger than recommended for the OPs boat), 60 feet of chain and 200 feet of 3 braid.
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Old 19-07-2013, 14:35   #145
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Smitty,
I have been an architect since 1970... I've owned an operated a custom wood shop for 15 yrs... and have consulted to the stone industry. I've also done several offshore deliveries.
I am not dismissing the costs.. I said you can make up the numbers out of whole clothe to show whatever you want... the power of excel!
Funny that you would think $200/hour is a fair rate for a tow boat. Architect's around here charge between $100-300 per hour and have far less overhead then you would running a tow boat.

I guess essentially what I was asking was what was your basis for thinking $200/hour on a holiday weekend was a fair rate. Yes, you can skew numbers in many directions. I tried to give an honest accounting of the expenses I believe are related to the charge. Sure, some of my numbers are going to be off. But by how much? The biggest number that can be picked on is the labor. Maybe tow boat captains make less than $40K per year and have worse bennies than your typical workers. Sucks for them if that is the case.

Honestly, as a business owner your response really surprises me. But I would guess you are coming at it more from a gut, emotional reactions than an analytical one. Do you really think that at $200-300/hour for a tow boat they are gauging their customers? What kind of profit margin equals a gauging in your mind?
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Old 19-07-2013, 15:12   #146
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

You guys are all chasing red herrings and not getting to what is crucially important information. The only information that matters- WHAT KIND OF ANCHOR???!?

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Old 19-07-2013, 15:15   #147
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Funny that you would think $200/hour is a fair rate for a tow boat. Architect's around here charge between $100-300 per hour and have far less overhead then you would running a tow boat.

I guess essentially what I was asking was what was your basis for thinking $200/hour on a holiday weekend was a fair rate. Yes, you can skew numbers in many directions. I tried to give an honest accounting of the expenses I believe are related to the charge. Sure, some of my numbers are going to be off. But by how much? The biggest number that can be picked on is the labor. Maybe tow boat captains make less than $40K per year and have worse bennies than your typical workers. Sucks for them if that is the case.

Honestly, as a business owner your response really surprises me. But I would guess you are coming at it more from a gut, emotional reactions than an analytical one. Do you really think that at $200-300/hour for a tow boat they are gauging their customers? What kind of profit margin equals a gauging in your mind?
Like I posted...an axe to grind is usually the typical "they are all pirates" type posts.

I think you missed it which is understandable and certainly the guys that aren't thinking at all through this is the fact there was a "franchise purchase" AND annual franchise fees that would rock your socks if you knew what they were.

But like most franchises...we go to them because they are predictable. The big assistance towing companies pretty well meet their commitments to the customers.

If "Bob" starts towing in his neck of the woods...sure he can do it for half price...but if you break down on Bob's kid's wedding or his Mom's funeral, is Bob gonna leave and come tow you in?

You can work the numbers a bunch of different ways just like any business...but the bottom line is...if it's so easy...and supply vs demand rules...where are all the cheaper towing companies? Why isn't everyone quitting their job for an easy one like assistance towing where you get out on the water every day?

Again.... axe grinders and people who think others should work for less than they pay their own kids to mow the grass....I just hope when you really need that assistance tower out on the water....he doesn't have an axe to grind back.
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Old 19-07-2013, 15:15   #148
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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You guys are all chasing red herrings and not getting to what is crucially important information. The only information that matters- WHAT KIND OF ANCHOR???!?

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Old 19-07-2013, 15:20   #149
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Danforth
Let me guess. 25 lbs with 15-20' of chain.
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Old 19-07-2013, 15:22   #150
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Let me guess. 25 lbs with 15-20' of chain.
lol doubtful. i have held on a 15# stern anchor in 3kts of current, with less chain, less scope
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