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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 01-06-2008, 13:40   #1
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towing companies

Any preferences for companies? Experiences?

mm
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Old 01-06-2008, 16:31   #2
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Just bought a Cal 39 in January, got insurance with Boat US and was involved in a "hard Grounding" in April. Boat TowUS responded and they were great. Stayed with me for nine hours until we could get off the ground. Great service, great response.
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Old 01-06-2008, 16:57   #3
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I have the most coomplete towing package I could get. I hope I never use it, but if I need it I'll be glad I have it.!
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Old 01-06-2008, 17:11   #4
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None...

I honestly don't see when I'd ever need a towing company. I have sails and a motor usually. Since I bough the new boat, I have sails and 2 motors!

I can't foresee any time when I would be unable to move the boat back, save a catastrophic loss of rudders.
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Old 01-06-2008, 18:30   #5
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I voted for Tow Boat US because they are the one I use and I am happy with them but others are probably equal. I used Vessel Assist on the US West Coast but they are now part of or associated with Tow Boat US.

Choose the one with the best coverage in the areas you intend to cruise.

A fact not widely known is that if your company is not active in a given area, the other may honor your membership. This is a hit and miss situation but it does happen.

George
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Old 01-06-2008, 20:16   #6
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I've worked for both, definitely recommend boat us
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Old 02-06-2008, 02:11   #7
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Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
None...

I honestly don't see when I'd ever need a towing company. I have sails and a motor usually. Since I bough the new boat, I have sails and 2 motors!

I can't foresee any time when I would be unable to move the boat back, save a catastrophic loss of rudders.
I can't see having to be towed either, but other things might happen that I'm not expecting either...like a bad grounding. I got it more for peace of mind for my wife, she likes thinking she's secure and safe...I'll take certain chances sometimes.
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Old 02-06-2008, 03:15   #8
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It’s precisely those catastrophes which we couldn’t envision, and hence for which we were unprepared, that bite the hardest.

Fortunately, towing is an unlikely* event for which an operating VHF radio, and a valid credit card or cash should be adequate preparation.

* Losing a prop' might also be considered an unlikely occurrence.
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Old 02-06-2008, 11:33   #9
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It’s precisely those catastrophes which we couldn’t envision, and hence for which we were unprepared, that bite the hardest.

Fortunately, towing is an unlikely* event for which an operating VHF radio, and a valid credit card or cash should be adequate preparation.

* Losing a prop' might also be considered an unlikely occurrence.
I can agree that we most likely will not need towing, but you never know. I do know of a man that took his power boat to Catalina Island (about 23 miles offshore), and one of his engines conked out before returning. He had just had quite a bit of engine work done to both his engines before the trip, and was sure he would have no problems. He had tow insurance, and told me it was money well spent. 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 two insurance preimums...that convinced me enough to get my own tow insurance.
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Old 02-06-2008, 18:05   #10
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In the USA...between TowboatUS and Seatow is often just a matter of geography...who is closest to where you normally sail with their base. Of course individual franchise holders may make one service more amenable if you have a choice as well.
Personally I've had great service from TowBoatUS.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:06   #11
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I can agree that we most likely will not need towing, but you never know. I do know of a man that took his power boat to Catalina Island (about 23 miles offshore), and one of his engines conked out before returning. He had just had quite a bit of engine work done to both his engines before the trip, and was sure he would have no problems. He had tow insurance, and told me it was money well spent. 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 two insurance preimums...that convinced me enough to get my own tow insurance.
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.

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.

Neither would I expect to require towing once every 8-9 years, or so. I try to be better prepared, than that would imply.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:11   #12
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I've had Sea Tow for over a decade. Used them on my dive boat several times and last year on my Sail [ran out of diesel!] They responded quickly every time and were professional in any service. The other company has an 'in' with West Marine, and my marina gives a discount for fuel with thier card, but I got Sea Tow for the 'road service on the water' and it works great. No gimmicks.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:15   #13
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TowBoatUS is owned by BoatUS, which is owned by West Marine.
BoatUS Towing Services: Homepage

Sea Tow is a franchise operation:
Sea Tow : Home Page
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
None...

I honestly don't see when I'd ever need a towing company. I have sails and a motor usually. Since I bough the new boat, I have sails and 2 motors!

I can't foresee any time when I would be unable to move the boat back, save a catastrophic loss of rudders.
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.
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Old 03-06-2008, 06:32   #15
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Towing services that you just call on the radio and don't if you don't already have a contract charge about $250 / hr and that includes getting there and returning to base. If you got towed once every 10 years you probably would come out ahead to have paid the premiums. It is after all only insurance. I've used Seatow for the past 5 years and they have been great. I think both the major compaines are able to do good work. Seatow is closer to our home port so I have kept them. You can check out service locations on the web sites to find the company most able to get to where you might be. If you are hoping to get something for worldwide coverage it is not going to happen.

If you are buying a new used boat I found I used it both times just after the initial purchase when I didn't know the boat very well. Things that slid under the surveyor radar tend to work that way. Of course sailing is always an alternative but getting into port may require motoring. Towing a boat is something best left only to pros that really do it all the time. We have a story or two here on the forum from members attempting to tow people that didn't end 100% positive on both ends of the rope.
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