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Old 27-07-2021, 09:48   #1
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Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

I'm looking for someone who can tow a Tartan 4100 with a dead engine from Hope Town, Abacos, Bahamas to Florida. The Specific location in FL is not all that important as long as there is a marina that can haul out the boat. I have gotten one quote which seems high.. so looking for others. The boat is US flagged, if that means anything.

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Old 27-07-2021, 09:51   #2
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

Is there any reason it can't be sailed to within TowBoatUS range?
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Old 27-07-2021, 11:32   #3
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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Is there any reason it can't be sailed to within TowBoatUS range?
The boat does not have sails or running rigging with it. It may be possible if I shipped sails and lines and went up the mast somehow without halyard to put in halyards, but for now I just want quotes to get it towed to FL.

I could possibly get a Bahamian tow to West End or closer to the US and then transfer to a US based tow service. It complicates the logistics, but if that's what needs to happen.... I don't know TowBoatUS range limit and I expect that outfit to be very costly.
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Old 27-07-2021, 11:36   #4
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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Is there any reason it can't be sailed to within TowBoatUS range?
My thought exactly. I do believe Tartans sail quite well. I had electrical system problem once on the way back from the USVI and managed to sail back.

Son in law had an engine failure on a power boat in the Berrys and if I recall TowBoatUS said they had a max service area of 100 nm. He managed to limp to Great Isaacs and they met him there.
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Old 27-07-2021, 11:44   #5
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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Originally Posted by zstine View Post
The boat does not have sails or running rigging with it. It may be possible if I shipped sails and lines and went up the mast somehow without halyard to put in halyards, but for now I just want quotes to get it towed to FL.

I could possibly get a Bahamian tow to West End or closer to the US and then transfer to a US based tow service. It complicates the logistics, but if that's what needs to happen.... I don't know TowBoatUS range limit and I expect that outfit to be very costly.
Well no sails does make it a bit more difficult.

In the situation with my son in law, I believe the bill would have been around $3000 if he had not had TowBoatUS unlimited towing insurance. Since he did it was free.

I think any way you try it will end up costing at least $2-3,000 if not more. If you can scare up a couple of cheap sails maybe offer a broke cruiser a thousand to do the job. It will still cost a few hundred for the tow into the port and to a yard when you get to the US coast.
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Old 27-07-2021, 11:57   #6
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

I've seen this done. You could rent a smallish fishing boat, say 20-24', you'd need to bring along several spare fuel jugs. You can refuel in West End, and elsewhere. You will have to cross the Gulf Stream, so be appropriately prepared for that.....ie, calm weather, all required emergency gear, navigational, etc...
Getting there is the easy part, you can do that in one day.
Getting back will require several days....and good weather.
Also some crew or mates.

Personally, if it was me, I'd opt for getting some sail on the boat.

The gas for the above operation will be pricey, whether you are someone else does it. Marine enthanol free gas is around $4.50 in the US and up, and those outboards will suck a lot of it.....even at slow trolling speed, figure about 6 gals/hour minimum...especially pulling a boat...it's easily a 200 mile trip....at say.....5 mph...40 hours.....x 6 gals/hr = 240 gals fuel min x $4.50 = $1,080 in gas alone...

Again, if it was me, I'd opt for getting sails on the boat, one way or another, I think is your best choice.
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Old 27-07-2021, 11:58   #7
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

that's 200 miles ..one way.....
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Old 27-07-2021, 12:04   #8
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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Well no sails does make it a bit more difficult.

In the situation with my son in law, I believe the bill would have been around $3000 if he had not had TowBoatUS unlimited towing insurance. Since he did it was free.

I think any way you try it will end up costing at least $2-3,000 if not more. If you can scare up a couple of cheap sails maybe offer a broke cruiser a thousand to do the job. It will still cost a few hundred for the tow into the port and to a yard when you get to the US coast.
$3,000 is quite a bit lower than my first quote. So if someone can do it for $3,000, then I'd probably throw my money down. Any Takers?

If traveling to and from Hopw Town, plus the Covid crap added, wasn't such a PITA, I'd be more likely to get sails working on the boat... But as the situation is, I think it's just going to be a long tow.
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Old 27-07-2021, 12:08   #9
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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$3,000 is quite a bit lower than my first quote. So if someone can do it for $3,000, then I'd probably throw my money down. Any Takers?

If traveling to and from Hopw Town, plus the Covid crap added, wasn't such a PITA, I'd be more likely to get sails working on the boat... But as the situation is, I think it's just going to be a long tow.
That was $3,000 from the west side of the banks, way less than 100 miles. You're twice the distance and beyond where TowBoatUS can operate.
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Old 27-07-2021, 13:31   #10
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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That was $3,000 from the west side of the banks, way less than 100 miles. You're twice the distance and beyond where TowBoatUS can operate.
With the exception of going around Whale Cay, It looks like the tow from Hope Town to West End, Grand Bahama is all in protected water (~150miles) It is about 65mi From West End to Lake Worth inlet across the gulf stream.
Perhaps finding a Bahamian tow to West End or all the way to offshore of Lake Worth is best?
Are there any Bahamian tow services in Abaco/Grand Bahama that someone can point me to?
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Old 27-07-2021, 13:36   #11
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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With the exception of going around Whale Cay, It looks like the tow from Hope Town to West End, Grand Bahama is all in protected water (~150miles) It is about 65mi From West End to Lake Worth inlet across the gulf stream.
Perhaps finding a Bahamian tow to West End or all the way to offshore of Lake Worth is best?
Are there any Bahamian tow services in Abaco/Grand Bahama that someone can point me to?
Not sure if I would call that protected water. You're on the banks and for some of the trip in the lee of islands depending on the wind direction but it can get very choppy and nasty on the banks in strong winds.

I wouldn't attempt towing a boat across the banks in anything but very light winds.
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Old 27-07-2021, 13:46   #12
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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Not sure if I would call that protected water. You're on the banks and for some of the trip in the lee of islands depending on the wind direction but it can get very choppy and nasty on the banks in strong winds.

I wouldn't attempt towing a boat across the banks in anything but very light winds.
Agreed, but it's not open ocean either and in good weather a fairly small boat could move it. I have time but not a ton of money. With the price I was quoted to tow, I could buy a cheap old $10-15k power boat and sit in Hope Town waiting for weather and move it myself... Then sell the power boat. Though I don't have experience towing, so it would be an adventure for sure.
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Old 27-07-2021, 14:05   #13
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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Agreed, but it's not open ocean either and in good weather a fairly small boat could move it. I have time but not a ton of money. With the price I was quoted to tow, I could buy a cheap old $10-15k power boat and sit in Hope Town waiting for weather and move it myself... Then sell the power boat. Though I don't have experience towing, so it would be an adventure for sure.
If I was in this situation I would first try to find a couple of sails and some rope and sail home. Certainly you could buy a couple of used sails for less than the cost of a tow.

Second plan, find a cruiser that needs some money and pay him or her a couple thou to tow you.

Commercial towing sounds like it's beyond what you want or can afford to pay.
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Old 28-07-2021, 03:44   #14
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

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The Specific location in FL is not all that important as long as there is a marina that can haul out the boat.
Respectfully, you are being short-sighted considering the current marina situation in Florida. You need to specifically think of a haulout marina you want to get the boat to, where, I'm supposing, you'll want to do the work on your boat yourself...?

As reported on this Forum, there are not many DIY yards left in Florida, so if you don't target your destination, you could end up with the boat in Florida, yes, but in a full-service yard and marina with dock and service fees that will soon bankrupt you, if you're on a limited budget - with a 40-foot boat, no less.

Can't the engine be fixed? And no sails or running rigging on a sailboat? How did that happen? (Sorry, that's just idle curiosity.) First and foremost, sailboats are just that: sailboats. I think I would fall in the camp of getting some sails on her and sail her. Lengthy tows can be tricky...
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Old 28-07-2021, 04:17   #15
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Re: Towing Service Wanted, Abacos to Florida

Temporary stern bracket and an outboard motor? Just musing.
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