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Old 13-01-2021, 18:11   #1
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emergency tow

What is a good company for towing a boat?
I want to a membership in tow just in case. At list when i start learning to sail and its a new boat for me.

Thank you.
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Old 13-01-2021, 18:19   #2
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Re: emergency tow

assuming you have insurance for the boat, just add an endorsement for towing. Much cheaper than membership with any one company and you wont be limited to using just them should you need help. You can call for any tow company and watch them race to your aide.
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Old 13-01-2021, 18:26   #3
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Re: emergency tow

We use Tow Boat US.
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Old 13-01-2021, 18:50   #4
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Re: emergency tow

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
assuming you have insurance for the boat, just add an endorsement for towing. Much cheaper than membership with any one company and you wont be limited to using just them should you need help. You can call for any tow company and watch them race to your aide.
There's a catch to that. Yes having it is part of your policy is cheaper, I have it. However the one time I needed it I was told by the tow boat operator that those who have membership get priority. As it happened it was late at night and it was no one else needing a tow. The operator told me if I had called a few hours earlier I would have been waiting a few hours.
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Old 13-01-2021, 19:48   #5
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Re: emergency tow

Every year I tow someone who has engine problems or is aground or whatever


It is my observation that 90% of all tows are the result of a lack of battery, charging system, or fuel system maintenance and are entirely preventable.


No doubt my number will come up eventually but I rely on the kindness of strangers rather than a towboatus membership.
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Old 13-01-2021, 19:57   #6
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Re: emergency tow

Hi..

I am in the Ventura, CA area and I use SeaTow. Some of these companies contract to each other (BoatUS) if they have no service in area. I think it is better to contract with these people than using your own insurance. What if the tow company want there money upfront and then you have to retrieve your money from the insurance company...or maybe you have a deductible.

Abe
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Old 13-01-2021, 20:20   #7
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Re: emergency tow

Long time ago when we had a power boat we had SeaTow used it once but sure was a life saver at the time. Just not sure who is the better company to use.
This time Im a new sailor with a new boat to me. I hope I never use it. For now till I get to know the boat better its a peace of mind.
Sailing abe41ds did you have any problems with SeaTow response?
I'm going to bring my little boat to Oxnard. Another reason for peace of mind for the 12-14 hour sail north from long beach.
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Old 13-01-2021, 23:20   #8
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Re: emergency tow

Hi fireant....about 15 years ago I had a Hunter 36 and while in the middle of the shipping lanes when I started my boat it was stuck in reverse. With no wind I called Seatow who I think called BoatUS and I was told it was going to take two hours to get to me. I understood there were more pressing issues and I was 7 miles away and since I was in no immediate danger I was not a priority. Meanwhile I had discovered that the shift cable had melted (too close to the exhaust) and so I disconnected it and manually shifted it into forward.
Ventura is a small area and I think it really does not matter which company you choose unless you are willing to pay out of your pocket with a private company in hopes that your insurance company reimburses you.
Thirty years of sailing and one call. Not a good investment, but if I cancel I knows that Murphy guy is always waiting around the corner.
Out in the Channel Islands where you can be 12 to 55 miles off shore you are more isolated than other areas so relying on the kindness of others is not an option.

Abe
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Old 14-01-2021, 07:56   #9
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Re: emergency tow

Ask boaters in your area which service has better coverage there, it really does vary a lot by region. Wouldn't make any sense to use Towboatus if SeaTow literally keeps a boat in the marina you plan to use and vice versa.

A TowboatUS unlimited plan for new members is like $99/year.
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Old 14-01-2021, 08:11   #10
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Re: emergency tow

SeaTow and BoatUS are the two major players in the US. Look at your cruising area and see who has more franchises, or the closest franchises.
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Old 14-01-2021, 08:23   #11
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Re: emergency tow

Quote:
Originally Posted by sagablu View Post
There's a catch to that. Yes having it is part of your policy is cheaper, I have it. However the one time I needed it I was told by the tow boat operator that those who have membership get priority. As it happened it was late at night and it was no one else needing a tow. The operator told me if I had called a few hours earlier I would have been waiting a few hours.
Of course they told you that.
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Old 14-01-2021, 08:27   #12
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Re: emergency tow

Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingabe41ds View Post
Hi..

I am in the Ventura, CA area and I use SeaTow. Some of these companies contract to each other (BoatUS) if they have no service in area. I think it is better to contract with these people than using your own insurance. What if the tow company want there money upfront and then you have to retrieve your money from the insurance company...or maybe you have a deductible.

Abe
There is no deductible. As to the other points-
Do you not have a credit card?
Nothing wrong with being reimbursed by the underwriter.
Why would anyone pay for an indeterminate service “up front” and how would they even know what to charge up front?

Your boat, your money. I was simply pointing out a cheaper, less limiting way to obtain tow insurance.
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Old 14-01-2021, 08:55   #13
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Re: emergency tow

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Of course they told you that.
As it turned out the guy worked also for the company who was installing my seawall, We had spoken before and he was a good guy. In my opinion he was telling me the truth and had no reason to lie to me. Whether I buy a membership or not makes no difference to him personally.
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Old 14-01-2021, 10:20   #14
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Re: emergency tow

members do get priority towing over non members. some insurance companies, Geico for one, offer discounted direct branded memberships.
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Old 14-01-2021, 16:39   #15
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Re: emergency tow

Quote:
Originally Posted by S/V Illusion View Post
There is no deductible. As to the other points-
Do you not have a credit card?
Nothing wrong with being reimbursed by the underwriter.
Why would anyone pay for an indeterminate service “up front” and how would they even know what to charge up front?

Your boat, your money. I was simply pointing out a cheaper, less limiting way to obtain tow insurance.
In California it is so rare for an insurance to reimburse 100% of the charges. The most likely scenario is that the underwriter will pay on a much smaller fraction of your claim and it will take you months and a lot of time and aggravation to get reimbursed for the rest. . That happens here all the time no matter what type of insurance you have health, auto, home.

I guess in all the other 49 states peoples experience with insurance companies are great and they pay for 100% of the charges promptly without hassle. All of you who do it via your boat insurance you do not know how lucky you are and how good you have it. I, on the other hand, am stuck with a unreliable boat tow company..... so sad.

I wonder how much it cost to tow a 41 sailboat from an desolate island that is 40 miles away?

I guess it is the difference between where people live, wisdom, age, and life experience.


Abe
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