Originally Posted by Sun and Moon
I had the same experience last year, and the story is worse than you think. I went and got a survey, which I think cost about $250. It's not based on the value of your boat, it's based on whatever you and the surveyor
negotiate. The surveyor
found some things that I was glad he noticed and I fixed. He also found some things I thought were irrelevant, like no carbon monoxide detector, that BoatUS insisted I fix. Am I really going to fall asleep below in a 29 ft boat and leave the engine
running by mistake? But it wasn't worth arguing about.
Then I drifted onto a mud flat. My bad, I wasn't paying enough attention to where I was and what the tide was doing. So I called TowBoat US. The cowboy who "came to my assistance" didn't bring any charts
with him, and despite having his home dock
less than 1/2 mile from where I was, had no idea where the water
was. He towed me over 9 different shoals, one of which was only 19 inches deep. I draw 4.5 feet. When it got dark he just untied his line and took off, saying "I'll be back tomorrow". The next day he did in fact come back, and amazingly brought a chart with him. Towed me off, no problem. Unfortunately, in the first 9 attempts he managed to rip the rudder
off the boat. Whose problem do you think that is? Apparently mine! No liability on the part of the tow boat or BoatUS. I'll be using SeaTow from now on.
BTW, the towboat who wrecked my rudder
was TowBoatUS in Ft. Pierce, FL.
I've used Sea Tow for the last 10 years, only needed them once, for fuel
(fuel gauge "stuck" at 1/2 full, or empty depending on how you look at it) on a windless night returning from a long distance race
, they were spot on and helpful. Previously I used one of those other major tow services for 20 years and only called once when stuck in the mud due to my own stupidity, the local rep from that national franchise attempted to get me to agree to a salvage because he didn't feel like heading out at 7pm on a Sunday, for a simple tug out of some mud. Pissed me right off.
I've been with Sea Tow ever since. For $140.00 a year it's well worth it.
The Coast Guard limit the insurance company refers to is the maximum they can charge you with in the case of a sinking or accident
resulting in a fuel/oil spill, it's $854,000.00 or something like that.
Be careful buying
insurance, some policies have all kinds of exceptions, so you end up paying for something that basically covers nothing. Educating yourself on what the actual laws are and what the different insurance terms and stipulations are, you can definitely get into some hot water
if you don't know. Also if you define the terms and needs the insurance rep will tend to pay attention a little more, especially if they think you're insurance literate. Of course you may get a bit of push back if they think you have a junker, they do tend to try to cover their own buts, after all, it's a business.
Do a search on this sight for insurance, there are a couple good threads on it with lots of info. I was on one about a year ago when I was fresh off insuring a recently purchased boat and the memory was fresh in my mind.
Practical sailor had some really good articles in their archives
that spelled out the different insurance terms and needs in plain language.
By the way, ask the marina what their insurance is, I'd be interested in seeing what the carry. Most just cover their own assets, as in docks, buildings, equipment
, etc and liability for personal injuries on their property, which is why they want the boat owners to carry their own insurance to cover boat owner loss in the case of damage or fire.
Once a fire starts in a marina it's pretty hard to put out, between fiberglass
it goes up pretty fast and is hard to control, which explains why most marinas
tend to want to see proof of insurance, in their eyes, if your not willing to have insurance your probably not too proficient about boat maintenance
either. I'm not saying that's the case here but the marina has a huge investment, usually the end product of many years of hard work
and don't want to see it all go up in smoke. Just think of the environmental fines from an incident like that, it boggles the mind.