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Old 04-13-2013, 08:18 PM   #1
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Seatow vs. BoatUS

I am planning a trip down the east coast from NJ to Fl. Which is the better tow company to use-Seatow or BoatUS? Pros and cons? Thanks.
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:20 PM   #2
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I've been very happy with TowBoat US
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Old 04-13-2013, 08:46 PM   #3
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Six of one, half a dozen of the other. That said, I personally prefer BoatUS.

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Old 04-13-2013, 09:05 PM   #4
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I have boat US but have never had to use them.
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Old 04-13-2013, 10:51 PM   #5
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Tow boat US is probably more available for many boaters but to check go to each of their websites and pull up their service locations on your planned cruise area.

I have used Towboat one time in FL after hitting a submerged piling mid channel of the ICW in another boat and their level of service was exceptional. I wouldn't leave shore without a membership in case "Murphy" showed his ugle head.
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Old 04-13-2013, 11:11 PM   #6
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Is Vessel Assist on the east coast? It is the only (I think) towing service in Puget Sound.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Boat/US would be my choice - unlimited policy. I've never needed them but have been on a buddy's boat that used them twice. One time they came 60 miles to get us...towed us back and put us in the slip.
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Old 04-14-2013, 01:15 PM   #8
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Sea Tow Membership Agreement | Sea Tow

Universal Towing Coverage: In areas where Sea Tow is not yet operating, Sea Tow will assist in arranging, and will reimburse for, assistance towing up to $225 per hour, not to exceed $5000 PER INCIDENT, to the dock or facility that will best facilitate the boat's repair or transportation, with no annual aggregate limit. You must use a USCG licensed professional tower, pay the bill and submit a copy of the invoice to Sea Tow Services International for reimbursement at Post Office Box 1178 Southold, New York 11971. Reimbursement requests must be postmarked within 60 days of service received. Tows and hourly rates in excess of $225 per hour will not be paid without prior authorization.

BoatUS: Towing Services


For non emergency assistance when a BoatU.S. Licensed Towing Company is not available, Member must contact 24 Hour Dispatch via VHF relay or 800-391-4869 prior to accepting assistance from another towing company. Upon authorization, Member is eligible for Paid Services up to $125 per hour from breakdown location to the nearest repair facility and soft ungrounding up to $10 per foot of boat length, up to Member’s Service Level ($2,500 for UNLIMITED and $3,000 for UNLIMITED GOLD). If towing service is not available, BoatU.S. will contact a government agency. To receive reimbursement consideration, invoice must be submitted within 90 days.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:38 PM   #9
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Good point about BoatUS having poorer out of network coverage, then again I've never heard of anyone experiencing BoatUS services being unavailable anywhere on the ICW.
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Old 04-14-2013, 04:53 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffnick View Post
Good point about BoatUS having poorer out of network coverage, then again I've never heard of anyone experiencing BoatUS services being unavailable anywhere on the ICW.
We were somewhere on the East Coast ICW one time, far from anywhere, and ran aground. Couldn't kedge off, because the tide was falling, but I did have cell phone coverage and called the BoatUS 800 number. They got some local guy to come out and pull me off. Not sure just how that works, but apparently they do have an arrangement to cover areas where the red hulls do not operate.

By the way, just in passing, any cruiser who does not spend the extra few bucks for the "unlimited" option on the towing insurance is not really thinking it through. :-)

John
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:47 PM   #11
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Is Vessel Assist on the east coast? It is the only (I think) towing service in Puget Sound.
Vessel Assist is the west coast version of TowBoatUS. Same company and membership is interchangeable.
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Old 04-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by eggowner View Post
I am planning a trip down the east coast from NJ to Fl. Which is the better tow company to use-Seatow or BoatUS? Pros and cons? Thanks.
I'm surprised (shocked) that you don't already have a membership in one or the other. It's one of the cheapest things you can buy for your boat and turns a $800.00 tow into nothing.

I have been a member of TowBoatUS since I started boating. They have done well by me, once on the water and once with a trailer.

Others will swear by Seatow. Based on my experience, I recommend TowBoatUS, but either one will come out and get you.
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:15 PM   #13
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Old 04-14-2013, 07:46 PM   #14
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:16 PM   #15
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Yesterday while eating lunch on the berthed Coot with the VHF radio on, a 30-foot sailboat called the USCG on channel 16 saying it had gone aground on the Napa River not far from the Napa Marina. The tide was low. After several conversations in which the CG wanted to know the number on board, more information on the boat's location, as well as the boater's cell phone number, I heard no more. Seemed like the CG was being too helpful (a young voice). Doubt the aground folks had towing insurance. ... Still, I would expect the CG to tell them via the cell phone to wait for the rising tide or to contact a commercial towing service.

During my sailing, non-VHF, pre-cell-phone days (60s and 80s), I always relied on a rising tide (and once with an anchor to keep from being pushed higher toward shore) to fix my groundings.
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Old 04-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Anode View Post
+1
BoatUS +2

I have used Towboat US a couple of times, and frankly....on both occasions....I was very happy with the service, and I am certain that what the two tows would have cost me out of pocket....and all I had to do was sign....I got back every penny I put out for the service prior to that.

Now that I have a trawler.... I carry the:

Why Choose $157 Unlimited Gold Towing? – For those who want 100% of their towing bill paid for, no matter if the tow starts from drifting offshore, a soft ungrounding, from restricted use docks OR from your homedock to a repair facility, Unlimited Gold is the level to go with.

In comparison to some of the expenses that go with boat ownership....its hardly worth debating the need....

Now, I don't want to start an argument...but from what I have been told by people who have had Sea Tow....they weren't all that happy, and I'll let it go at that.

This link shows the service area for BoatUS:
BoatUS: Towing Services : Unlimited Towing

To each his own though.....
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Old 04-14-2013, 10:19 PM   #17
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FYI Australian east coast Seatow subscribers. I had an inkling of problems previously, did a search, discovered Seatow Sydney advised it was closing 28 February 2013,and the previous operators were starting BoatAssist to cover Sydney and Port Hacking, phone (02)9181377.
Although a member I did not receive notification, so others may not have.
A March post by "Redbook. com.au says "Franchisers (sic) elsewhere have been forced to close". I believe there was a long established franchise operator in the greater Broken Bay area north of Sydney.
I have no direct knowledge, just posting here what I found online, it may or may not be accurate, to assist any other subscribers.
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Old 04-15-2013, 12:33 AM   #18
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For 16years I have bought BoatUS. I figure if I buy the package I will not need it,the year I don't is the year I wish had.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:53 AM   #19
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For those that use Boat US: What is the difference between the Unlimited and the Unlimited Gold? From the website is seems the only difference is that they will cover 100% rather than 50% towing from your dock to a repair facility. Am I missing something. Seems like a steep premium upgrade for just that.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:05 AM   #20
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BoatUS: Towing Services : Unlimited Towing

Why Choose $157 Unlimited Gold Towing? – For those who want 100% of their towing bill paid for, no matter if the tow starts from drifting offshore, a soft ungrounding, from restricted use docks OR from your homedock to a repair facility, Unlimited Gold is the level to go with.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Q: Do I have to join BoatUS to get towing?
  • A: Yes. BoatUS is a membership organization. In addition to towing services you will be part of the world’s largest association of over half a million recreational boaters which has provided savings, services and representation on Capitol Hill for over 40 years.

$157 Gold + $24 BOATUS membership = $181


Membership Types | Sea Tow

Gold Card
The choice of 95% of all Sea Tow members. The most comprehensive on-water assistance on the market.
Membership privileges include:
  • Nationwide coverage - all salt and fresh water
  • Service for every boat you own, regardless of who is operating them
  • Service for the member on any boat they charter, rent, lease or borrow
  • No distance or dollar limits in your home area
Only $169 per year
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