Thanks for all the responses. Having done quite a bit of reading on both Block Island anchoring as well as towing/salvage charges, I'd like to point out some things that I've learned, as well as my point of view on the situation:
1. I don't have towing insurance
, but even if I did, the charge was a SALVAGE
charge. Towing insurance would have been meaningless.
2. Anchoring with a 7:1 or even 5:1 scope that week would have been impossible without endangering other boats. From seeing their anchor rode
, none had that scope. Boats were evenly spaced in 25 - 45 ft. of water
, distributed 100 ft. apart. The best anchor would have been a couple of engine
blocks, chained together.
3. The reward for "saving a boat in peril" - salvage
rights - belongs to the one that tied up my 27 ft. Ericson
. Once he did that, the boat was no longer in peril and any subsequent work was regular towing. I offered the towing company $100 for their 25 minutes of towing and mooring
, but they declined. They insisted that it was a salvage operation.
4. The idea that the $675 to relocate my boat, from the stern of the savior's boat to the emergency mooring
is worth it because of the damage that my boat might have caused doesn't make sense to me.
First, the tow boat did nothing to prevent any damage or save my boat from peril. That's what the savior boat did
.. The tow boat driver did make it possible for the savior boat to depart, but at 8PM that was unlikely for at least 12 hours.
Secondly, there was negligible risk to either the savior boat or the tow boat, so why the $675? Because of the value of my vessel? If I see an upturned charcoal barbeque on a porch of a $250,000 house, run over and put out the coals with a water hose, am I owed $20,000 because of the value of the house?
I'm not saying that having my boat's anchor drag is OK. Nor am I saying that both the tow boat driver and the savior vessel are not due some reasonable compensation. I do believe that $675 is unreasonable (and I believe unlawful and, I hope, unenforceable).
Thanks for the feedback.