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Old 18-01-2021, 21:15   #1
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Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

So, for those of you who pay for memberships in the Seatow or Towboatus programs...


When you encounter a disabled vessel where there is no imminent threat of loss of life or vessel, do you stop and help?


Or do you just figure they should ante up like you did?
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Old 18-01-2021, 21:42   #2
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

Well, you will if youíre an ass. But I believe you are also failing to stop and render aid. And guilty of bad manners. And forgetting you too could be (or have been) in a similar predicament. Iíve been helped so many times in similar situations- no seatow, no vessel assist, no TowboatUs within 100 miles- that if nothing else karma never forgets.
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Old 18-01-2021, 21:47   #3
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

I agree wholeheartedly with Mickeyrouse. I've rendered aid on several occasions. It's just what boaters do.
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Old 18-01-2021, 21:53   #4
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

I really don't care if I or they are paying for towing, if someone needs help - I'll offer my assistance.
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Old 18-01-2021, 22:05   #5
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

Just how do you determine that there is no threat to people or the boat? Even if things are OK at the moment, weather can turn fast. Or it can get dark.

It just would never occur to me to go on by without asking if someone needed help.

Hopefully I'm still the norm not the exception
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Old 18-01-2021, 22:14   #6
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

If they make what appears to be a reasonable request I help. Pull off a mud bank...couple gallons fuel...a tow down the ICW for a few miles...make a phone call. None of it hurts me. So what if they were careless or inattentive? Itís what neighbors do.
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Old 18-01-2021, 22:23   #7
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

I am not so sure I like the assumption the op is making about those who pay for tow services. I do not see what difference it makes..." for those of you who pay for membership...." as if would react differently than those who do not pay?
If you are an a...hole you are going to be one member or not. That frame of mind implied in that assumption is foreign to my way of thinking and I don't think people go around think....I payed for membership so f them.
If someone needs help...you help.

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Old 19-01-2021, 06:37   #8
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

I've towed, but whether I'm willing to tow or not depends on the situation. Same with determining what other assistance I can reasonably offer. I'll always be willing to at least keep an eye on the situation until someone better equipped to deal with it arrives. If someone is out of fuel, for example, I don't have a way to do anything about that. So they only thing I could do is either tow them or wait for someone to show up with fuel.

The last time I towed a boat in, it was later in the season, 6 PM on a Sunday (so not a lot of daylight left and not a ton of boats still out) and it was only a short back-track on our way home to pick up the disabled boat. Their home marina was a 1/4 mile from mine, so no big deal there. I didn't hear a response from TowboatUS (only local towing service) to the VHF call, so they probably weren't out on the boat. Which means they'd have to call, wait for the guy to get to the tow boat, then get out there. By which point it would probably be dark. 2 of us offered to tow (I was the second offer), but I was closer, so I decided to take him, figuring it was better if it was all taken care of before dark. In the end, I tied up in my slip just as the sun was setting.

In this case, it was a 25 foot express cruiser, so I bridled them behind me with a couple of long dock lines, made a gentle 5 kt tow for the 2 miles back to the river (to keep within the small boat's hull speed), then brought him alongside once in the river. They had a slip and a trailer, so I put them on the face dock for the ramp so they could take it home for repairs (and I'm not sure I could have gotten them into a slip readily anyway).
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Old 19-01-2021, 07:14   #9
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pirate Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

Have towed folk a couple of times in the Med and once been grateful of a tow the last couple of miles into Baiona after having paddled around 15nm on my Corribee 21 on a windless day with a dead outboard..
The 50ftr was happy about it as well.. gave him a chance to try out the bridle he had had made..
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Old 19-01-2021, 07:46   #10
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

I've had Tow Boat US since 2010 and I've towed a lot of folks who I ran into who had trouble.

I also got towed by a few people in the years before I had Towboat US.
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Old 19-01-2021, 09:14   #11
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

We have helped fellow boaters in the off season when no help was likely to come. I have towing insurance and have never used it but several boats have given me a friendly wake to get us off the shallows. A sailboat makes a lousy tow boat. I once towed a boat in an when I released him he ran into the dock!

I suggest responsible boaters should have insurance so if they do get in serious trouble they do not put other boaters at risk. Especially power boaters will try and pull a displacement sailboat faster than her hull speed and then bad things will happen. If you can use a professional.
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Old 19-01-2021, 09:44   #12
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

Whether or not someone has towing insurance never crossed my mind in determining whether to help someone or not. I have TowBoatUS and have great experiences with them; I would not want to deny them a towing opportunity, but if someone needs help, it's what boaters do.

I was in a situation where I needed help fast and TowBoatUS was still some ways out. I got help out of the situation, and then TowBoatUS took me the rest of the way. I would do the same to someone in need in a heartbeat.

I don't look at things in that "Well I paid for this, so that guy should". I look at it in "I get value for my membership"; that's as far as I think about it.
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Old 19-01-2021, 10:07   #13
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

If someone needs help and you can render assistance, you do so as long as it doesn't endanger your boat and crew. This has been an unwritten rule of boating for ages. You do what you can to help because it is the responsible thing to do and you will probably need assistance yourself at some point.
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Old 19-01-2021, 10:59   #14
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

We do use TowBoat through Boat U.S. But it would never occur to me to not render assistance to anyone in need. Rendering assistance goes with territory. I always have, always will.
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Old 19-01-2021, 11:29   #15
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Re: Question for Seatow and Towboatus patrons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArlyB View Post
If someone needs help and you can render assistance, you do so as long as it doesn't endanger your boat and crew. This has been an unwritten rule of boating for ages. You do what you can to help because it is the responsible thing to do....
Exactly that.
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