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View Poll Results: Which towing company do you prefer (if any)?
Tow Boat U.S. 16 72.73%
Seatow 2 9.09%
other 1 4.55%
none 3 13.64%
Voters: 22. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 03-06-2008, 13:20   #16
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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
I wouldn’t call any incident, which I expected to occur at least once every 8-9 years “unlikely”. I’d call it nearly certain, but rare.
I meant to say "He said that if he had to pay for that tow all the way back to the mainland, it would have cost him 8 or 9 years of 'one' insurance preimum...that convinced me enough to get my own tow insurance.

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Originally Posted by GordMay View Post
Most industries require an investment “payback” in about three years or less. An 8 or 9 year payback doesn’t appear, to me, to be a very good investment.
I agree it's not a very good investment, because it's not an investment, it's insurance or a gamble against a possible catastrophe.

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Neither would I expect to require towing once every 8-9 years, or so. I try to be better prepared, than that would imply.
I don't think anyone can say with any amount of certainty, that they will not need any kind of assistance, that is why people insure. If I knew for a fact that I would not be one of the unfortunate ones, then I would not insure. I guess you're willing to take this gamble, but I'm not...different strokes for different folks.

It reminds me of the electronic navigation gamble that we've talked about before, where some believe they will take the gamble that their electronic navigation will not go down, so they don't need to know about sextants.
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Old 03-06-2008, 16:04   #17
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Sean,
I never had towing insurance for the first five years I was on the waterway. Then one trip, when traveling with three other boats, somebody went aground every day for three days running. I was fortunate and did not run aground but right after that trip I started getting towing insurance. First with Seatow and later with Towboat US. Knock on wood, I haven't been aground since then or at least aground so badly that I needed to call them. The insurance gives me peace of mind, it's the best hundred bucks you'll ever spend. I switched to Towboat US about seven years ago after hearing some bad reports about Seatow.
I respect your story and of course the helpful info you gave me for the ICW. But... why didn't these people just get out in their dinghies, set the real anchor (storm) and drag themselves off?

I still can't ever see an instance (especially in my new boat) where I'd ever need someone to tow my boat.

Lose an engine? Still got another in reserve.

Lose both? Still got sails?

Grounded? Just drag yourself off.

No need to pay.
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Old 03-06-2008, 16:54   #18
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I've had Boat US for years and used them twice. Both times in the narrow confines of the ICW where sailing home with engine problem was not an option. I've been very happy with there service, although I've heard good things about Sea Tow as well. if you wait until you need them, as opposed to insurance, they do take credit cards but the fee starts the minute they leave dock and gets expensive fast. i consider the annual insurance a very exceptable expense.
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Old 03-06-2008, 17:45   #19
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Old 03-06-2008, 18:41   #20
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I respect your story and of course the helpful info you gave me for the ICW. But... why didn't these people just get out in their dinghies, set the real anchor (storm) and drag themselves off?
Clearly a case of insufficient fortitude. They must be fools. Lord knows your stories don't exceed such expectations.
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Old 03-06-2008, 18:48   #21
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I respect your story and of course the helpful info you gave me for the ICW. But... why didn't these people just get out in their dinghies, set the real anchor (storm) and drag themselves off?
I've seen 500hp working for thirty minutes to get a Roberts 45(or so) off the mud at Carolina Beach. I don't think any amount of kedgeing would get you off. Prior to Towboat US coming three dinks with 15hp motors worked like hell and couldn't budge her. If you're caught on a falling tide you want to get off as soon as possible, especially when you get into SC and GA where you can get 8 foot tides. The towing insurance also covers breakdowns or if you run out of fuel so it can come in handy anytime. A friend of mine has his engine go in the Bahamas. Sailed the boat home to the St. John's River and Towboat US towed him from the jetties to Green Cove Springs, quite a long haul.
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Old 05-06-2008, 04:04   #22
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When JAX FL got overrun by the remnants of two hurricanes in 2004, many of the local marinas were destroyed by the exceptionally strong SE winds. Mooring fields were wiped clean and boats ended up in mangroves. Seatow and Towboat US were on hand the next day pulling these boats out of the trees (most boats were relatively undamaged, just way up in mangrove). The average cost was $1000 for a simple job. If you had the insurance (which cost @ 125.00 per year at that time) it was no cost to the boat owner. now it is about $150.00 a year. Small price to pay for this service.
Also in regards to kedging in the ICW, good luck with all the traffic going by. Don't expect most motor boat operators to respect your operation.
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Old 07-06-2008, 02:52   #23
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... Also in regards to kedging in the ICW, good luck with all the traffic going by. Don't expect most motor boat operators to respect your operation.
I’ve asked for (& received) ungrounding assistance from a powerboat operator, by way of his wake.
Me:“I could use a wake, to get off the bar, Captain”.
He: “No problem”, followed by a chuckle, and noticeable increase in speed.
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Old 07-06-2008, 05:25   #24
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Clearly a case of insufficient fortitude. They must be fools. Lord knows your stories don't exceed such expectations.
Paul, could you clarify the "punch line?" I don't understand the "lord knows your stories don't exceed such expectations" line. Thanks!

PS: Still unconvinced. I can't imagine paying for towing and have never come close to needing it in 20+ yrs of sailing. I've only grounded once in those 20 years, right in the middle of the ICW (took a "cut" route that was being dredged and hit a spot less than 3' deep in mid channel. I backed off, went around it to the extreme edge of the channel and felt my way through past this "pile" of dirt).

I suppose I just don't like the idea of feeling like there is a safety net. Keep the fuel full, the boat in working order, the windlass ready for kedging, the sails working and don't hit things. That's kind of how I go about it.

No need for towing if you have multiple backup plans.
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