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Old 19-07-2013, 10:17   #106
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
BTW I leave my cell phone on the companionway in case some one needs to contact me.
If your cell phone is on the companionway, how do they contact you?

Just kidding; I assume you mean your cell phone number, which is a VERY good idea! Hope it never rings.
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Old 19-07-2013, 10:22   #107
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post
I've thought about that "crybaby" response, and had expected more from this forum than resorting to name-calling. But, my expectations, of both myself and others, are often unrealistic.
I don't think you've really thought this through. A huge number of experienced cruisers comprise this forum, people who spend a considerable amount of time at anchor. Most of us have the equipment and skill to anchor safety, but that safety is often compromised by irresponsible/uneducated/under-equipped boaters who basically behave just as you did when you dropped the hook in poor holding ground with inadequate scope AND THEN LEFT THE BOAT to drag into someone else's boat.

In essence, you're the guy we complain about in hundreds of threads, the weekend boater who anchors once a summer on a four-day weekend and who always seems to drag.

And you expected sympathy? On this forum?

Pay up, dude. It's the only way at this point to take responsibility for negligent anchoring. Towboats make a living off people like you precisely because people like you are the ones who need towboats.
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Old 19-07-2013, 10:26   #108
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Hard to say what's a fair rate... not more than $200/hr for that operation and I can't see how this took even 2 hrs start to finish to drive from the dock to the boat.. tie along side and tow it back in (close to their own dock) on a town mooring.
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.
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Old 19-07-2013, 10:36   #109
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post
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.
I don't care to bother with your numbers... number can be made to tell any story you want. You're just making up the number and they each could be considerably off erring on the high side.

You hear the same thing from boat yards...

You are not going to convince me that this was a reasonable outcome. Sorry.
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Old 19-07-2013, 10:39   #110
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

A little humor, as this thread is giving me a headache...too much rehashing, with the same outcome...also known as madness...

My Job
Itís not my job to drive the train,
The whistle I canít blow.
Itís not my job to say how far
The trainís allowed to go.
Itís not my job to blow the horn,
Nor even clang the bell.
But let the damn thing jump the track
And see who catches hell. <unknown author>

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Old 19-07-2013, 11:02   #111
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by Bash View Post
I don't think you've really thought this through. A huge number of experienced cruisers comprise this forum, people who spend a considerable amount of time at anchor. Most of us have the equipment and skill to anchor safety, but that safety is often compromised by irresponsible/uneducated/under-equipped boaters who basically behave just as you did when you dropped the hook in poor holding ground with inadequate scope AND THEN LEFT THE BOAT to drag into someone else's boat.

In essence, you're the guy we complain about in hundreds of threads, the weekend boater who anchors once a summer on a four-day weekend and who always seems to drag.

And you expected sympathy? On this forum?

Pay up, dude. It's the only way at this point to take responsibility for negligent anchoring. Towboats make a living off people like you precisely because people like you are the ones who need towboats.
Bash:

I appreciate your remarks. I didn't come looking for sympathy, I came looking for feedback from more-experienced cruisers, as well as advice on how to proceed. That I got, in spades. Not easy to take, but I'll take honesty over platitudes any day of the week.

Yes, I left the boat, but so do many others visiting Block Island. I left it after it was stable and after 5 hours seemed safely anchored. One responder mentioned "anchor watch". Does that imply nobody leaves the anchored boat ever?

I can see where I'd be perceived as one of those a$$holes who messes up someone's perfectly fine boat/weekend with my incompetence. I can't and won't totally agree with that evaluation, but I will change my anchoring practices and pay the bill. If I had any suspicion that the anchor wasn't secure, I would have never left the boat.

To disparage the introduction of this topic and discussion I believe is totally wrong. If all the people who know everything got together all the time, there would be nobody learning anything. I learned quite a bit, and hopefully others did as well.
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:04   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by defjef View Post

I don't care to bother with your numbers... number can be made to tell any story you want. You're just making up the number and they each could be considerably off erring on the high side.

You hear the same thing from boat yards...

You are not going to convince me that this was a reasonable outcome. Sorry.
Out of curiosity what is your business background that allows you to dismiss costs to provide you a service without a second thought? Can you give me an example of a cost I have estimated that is so egregiously high? What do you do for a living?
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:13   #113
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Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post

Bash:

I appreciate your remarks. I didn't come looking for sympathy, I came looking for feedback from more-experienced cruisers, as well as advice on how to proceed. That I got, in spades. Not easy to take, but I'll take honesty over platitudes any day of the week.

Yes, I left the boat, but so do many others visiting Block Island. I left it after it was stable and after 5 hours seemed safely anchored. One responder mentioned "anchor watch". Does that imply nobody leaves the anchored boat ever?

I can see where I'd be perceived as one of those a$$holes who messes up someone's perfectly fine boat/weekend with my incompetence. I can't and won't totally agree with that evaluation, but I will change my anchoring practices and pay the bill. If I had any suspicion that the anchor wasn't secure, I would have never left the boat.

To disparage the introduction of this topic and discussion I believe is totally wrong. If all the people who know everything got together all the time, there would be nobody learning anything. I learned quite a bit, and hopefully others did as well.
If you left the boat for 5 hours and returned at 8 pm that means you anchored on a dropping or low tide and left the boat on an incoming tide with no thought to extra scope. Stop making excuses.

I wonder if the guy who had to stop enjoying his boat because you were either drifting past or into his boat felt you were one of the a$$holes that disturbed his weekend? I would have.
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:14   #114
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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I don't care to bother with your numbers... number can be made to tell any story you want. You're just making up the number and they each could be considerably off erring on the high side.

You hear the same thing from boat yards...

You are not going to convince me that this was a reasonable outcome. Sorry.
His numbers are off for at least the towing operation I know...but HE MADE an attempt to be reasonable.

If the whole job did only take an hour or less and the tow company didn't have to pay the $100 mooring fee...then yes that sounds unreasonable but we have no idea of the actual times and circumstances other than one side of the story and an incomplete one at that.

Because you know NO facts maybe other than the $675 for the bill...you are being UNREASONABLE to be so negative to the towing company or the outcome.

Convince you?...nope... knew that the first time you used the word pirate...you have an undisclosed axe to grind and personally I don't care...but I won't let you get away with defaming a lot of hard working, honest towers with your uneducated and unreasonable posts.
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:39   #115
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by defjef View Post
I don't care to bother with your numbers... number can be made to tell any story you want. You're just making up the number and they each could be considerably off erring on the high side.

You hear the same thing from boat yards...

You are not going to convince me that this was a reasonable outcome. Sorry.
I did read the numbers and spent several months cruising and mooring in New England. With one exception I can say that these estimates are pretty damn close. The only the place I could find fault is the largest expense and that is for the captain. I would guess the tow company is not paying a boat driver a full time salary but rather pay a much smaller wage for him/her to be on call and pay full salary when actually under way.

From a few previous threads I have read over the last few years where tow boat operators chimed in I doubt any of these guys are getting rich.

All that being said, $675 does seem like a lot of money for a short tow but then New England is an expensive place to do business. I know I moved my boat out of there as quickly as possible. Stayed on a mooring in Bristol for a summer for what it would cost for a year for a slip in north FL. You do have to figure that all the marinas, tow boats, etc have to pay their overhead all 12 months of the year but only earn income for the 6 month (or less) boating season.
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:42   #116
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by JK n Smitty View Post

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.

doubtful. most have a very very good rate worked out with the dock.
sometimes $1. there are benefits to having towboatus on your dock finger.
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:57   #117
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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doubtful. most have a very very good rate worked out with the dock.
sometimes $1. there are benefits to having towboatus on your dock finger.
What benefits? If the towboat is docked next door for free at the tow boat owners house...the marina still sells fuel to him, still gets tows there for maintenance, etc..etc.... there are no "givens" just because the towboat is operated from that marina.

Sure there's always deals in business...but they are not across the board for every operation.

Anyway ...without factual numbers arguing one side or the other is ridiculous...the point is, for the work performed, was $675 reasonable ?and UNTIL we hear how much time was logged by the towboat and if all the time was needed...then all the speculation iis just that...

But name calling one side of the story's participants is just low class.
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Old 19-07-2013, 11:58   #118
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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Originally Posted by tanksalot View Post
Bash:

I appreciate your remarks. I didn't come looking for sympathy, I came looking for feedback from more-experienced cruisers, as well as advice on how to proceed. That I got, in spades. Not easy to take, but I'll take honesty over platitudes any day of the week.

Yes, I left the boat, but so do many others visiting Block Island. I left it after it was stable and after 5 hours seemed safely anchored. One responder mentioned "anchor watch". Does that imply nobody leaves the anchored boat ever?

I can see where I'd be perceived as one of those a$$holes who messes up someone's perfectly fine boat/weekend with my incompetence. I can't and won't totally agree with that evaluation, but I will change my anchoring practices and pay the bill. If I had any suspicion that the anchor wasn't secure, I would have never left the boat.

To disparage the introduction of this topic and discussion I believe is totally wrong. If all the people who know everything got together all the time, there would be nobody learning anything. I learned quite a bit, and hopefully others did as well.
Hi Tanks,

To address your last point first, certainly everyone has to learn sometime. Very few of use were born and raised on a boat and grew up knowing all about boating from childhood. At some point, 99% of the members on this forum started out as inexperienced newbies and I'm sure all of us have made our mistakes (all except me ). Most of the time a little luck has kept a small mistake from becoming an expensive lesson. That certainly happened for you.

One of the big lessons for all of us is anchoring. Do a little searching on the forum for anchors (which anchor is one of the hottest topics on the forum and always good for a brouhaha), anchoring etiquette, anchoring techniques, anchor rodes (chain vs rope, which chain, chain snubbers .....). Based on how often this comes up you might guess that anchoring is a bit of a skill. Looks like you got a lesson, one that superficially looks a bit expensive but as many have pointed out, could have been much more costly.

On a practical basis, regardless of whether the charge was too high or not, it's a fight you will not win. The tow company has law and precedence on their side and the odds of getting anything back are in the old slim to none range. Plus it would cost you way more in money, time and aggravation to fight it than any possible return.

Yes I think a number of comments about your situation were harsh, even rude, but generally correct in the facts. You say you felt like you were well anchored but I have not seen you reply to Maine Sail's questions about how you determined that. It would be very interesting to see your answers. How did you determine how much scope you had out? Did you set the anchor and how did you do so or did you just drop it, drift back and tie off the line?

If you have to stop and think about any of these questions I think it indicates a little study on anchoring techniques could be beneficial.

Sorry you got dinged for the money but consider it tuition for anchor school. Probably a lot cheaper than an ASA class.
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Old 19-07-2013, 12:09   #119
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

For everyone that thinks it's a ripoff...let's have a little fun...

I'm on call 24/7 from April 15th to December 15th. No Fri-Sun off (no exceptions including funerals/weddings/etc) from Memorial Day to Labor Day. I can ask for time off in the summer during the week and it's denied about 50% of the time if it's a full day or more. I have to be 15 minutes away from the boat at all times. I have to be ready to man that boat legally at all times. No such things as 8 hr days or 5 day weeks.... Most of the time it's fun but it includes diving as a salvor, walking hundreds of feet through muddy marsh at night, swimming lines in the surf at times, doing minor maintenance on the boat as needed, keeping up with and paying for your USCG license, physicals and TWIC card.

Granted I can do whatever I want when not on a tow as long as I can make the commitments.

Lets assume the average...the company gives you no benefits except for a weeks paid vacation.

Let's see who even comes close.

So how much would you charge your boss to work that schedule?
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Old 19-07-2013, 12:10   #120
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Re: Block Island Anchor Drag/Tow $$$

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If you left the boat for 5 hours and returned at 8 pm that means you anchored on a dropping or low tide and left the boat on an incoming tide with no thought to extra scope. Stop making excuses.
Wrong. I left the boat AFTER sitting on it for 5 hours, and all during that time it appeared securely anchored. I anchored on the cusp of a rising tide, and maximum high tide was +3 ft.

We were gone approximately 2 1/2 hours.
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