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Old 08-04-2015, 06:40 PM   #61
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Damn if this ain't a lively little thread y'all have going. Attachment 42836
Wifey B: And we definitely don't want a sad...er...um.....kitty.
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Old 08-04-2015, 06:54 PM   #62
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well I might as well jump in and possibly piss a lot of folks off....


after thirteen years of towing thousands of vessels from unlimited masters to chuckleheads....and boats from 100+ foot yachts to jet skis....


I have heard every excuse in the book...these are singles and sails, twins and trips....top notch skippers and newbies....etc..etc...etc...


anyone here that thinks they are invincible...well have at it ( and for those that think they can handle almost anything....me too) I really hope you are...I have also towed boats where the wife was in shambles because the skipper fell over dead or was MEDEVACED off....pick your poison and you might be the one in a pretty small number of boaters that beat the financial and stress numbers to not need towing....


make the call and decide... but again...for around $170 bucks a year when many are spending that without a thought on boat show trinkets....you really have to wonder what most should really do with that money.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:04 PM   #63
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Just because you have tow insurance does not guarantees you a tow. The only way a member is going to trump a non member is if they are both stranded at the same time...then the tow company is likely to tow the member first.
That thought occurred to me, I rejected it. In case of 2 boats at different risk levels I`d expect any responsible tow operator prioritize the boat at most risk. If they were at equal risk I`d not be surprised if the member boat got priority, it should.
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Old 08-04-2015, 08:26 PM   #64
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That thought occurred to me, I rejected it. In case of 2 boats at different risk levels I`d expect any responsible tow operator prioritize the boat at most risk. If they were at equal risk I`d not be surprised if the member boat got priority, it should.
Believe me...a lot more thought goes into it than that...

everything from yes...more money to...pissed off member...but it also involves overlap of tow boat resources...time enroute...can the tow boat handle 2 at a time...etc...etc...

a lot more that the layman can't guess..but the savy can envision.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:14 PM   #65
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well I might as well jump in and possibly piss a lot of folks off....


after thirteen years of towing thousands of vessels from unlimited masters to chuckleheads....and boats from 100+ foot yachts to jet skis....


I have heard every excuse in the book...these are singles and sails, twins and trips....top notch skippers and newbies....etc..etc...etc...


anyone here that thinks they are invincible...well have at it ( and for those that think they can handle almost anything....me too) I really hope you are...I have also towed boats where the wife was in shambles because the skipper fell over dead or was MEDEVACED off....pick your poison and you might be the one in a pretty small number of boaters that beat the financial and stress numbers to not need towing....


make the call and decide... but again...for around $170 bucks a year when many are spending that without a thought on boat show trinkets....you really have to wonder what most should really do with that money.
Like psneeld, I provide towing services. My numbers are also way down. About 55%. I had to put a new motor in this year, now the trans is making noises. Lucky to break even. That said, I agree with his view. It is the cheapest service you will pay for as a boater. In the Great Lakes towing costs $73/yr. My non member day rate is $225/hr. Members are always happy, taking pictures and popping open a adult beverage. They always thank me, some even tip.

Non members seem tense, not happy, the wife told him so, etc. I towed a older woman three times in one season, she still isn't a member! Yes, a sailor. Her husband tried to slip me a tip, she caught him and snatched the money out of his hand. Very funny to see.

Another thing to remember is we carry equipment most boaters don't have, gas pumps, diving gear, pollution control. We keep salvage equipment close by. Do you know how to parbuckle a boat? Most of us are required to take continued education, risk management, CPR, first aid training and drug testing. No towing services are not for everyone, but a good value in my opinion.
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:47 PM   #66
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Great laker, your speedboat had proven shy, and was hiding, so I drug him out, Ok..?
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Old 08-04-2015, 11:57 PM   #67
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Like psneeld, I provide towing services. My numbers are also way down. About 55%.
Why do you think that is? Fewer boaters, more reliable boats, better boaters, cheaper boaters.... ?

And when you say your numbers are down, is this the number of members or the total number of tows?
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:13 AM   #68
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Numbers have been down as the economy went down. I cover 4 harbors with about 6500 slips. Right now they are about 60% full that is up from the bottom of about 50% full. One 1600 slip marina has 425 boats in it this year. The rust belt was hit hard and boating is a nice to have sport. Salvage is also down, way down. That is because, in my opinion among other factors, the boaters left are the hard core give up the wife and kids first type. They know how to take care of a boat. The newbies have not come back in good numbers yet. The operators on the coasts report activity returning already, but the Midwest lags behind.
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Old 08-05-2015, 12:14 PM   #69
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Thanks much for the explanation.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:00 AM   #70
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Numbers have been down as the economy went down. I cover 4 harbors with about 6500 slips. Right now they are about 60% full that is up from the bottom of about 50% full. One 1600 slip marina has 425 boats in it this year. The rust belt was hit hard and boating is a nice to have sport. Salvage is also down, way down. That is because, in my opinion among other factors, the boaters left are the hard core give up the wife and kids first type. They know how to take care of a boat. The newbies have not come back in good numbers yet. The operators on the coasts report activity returning already, but the Midwest lags behind.
This has happened here in Aus also, and probably explains why I have had so few takers for my boat as well.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:20 AM   #71
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This has happened here in Aus also, and probably explains why I have had so few takers for my boat as well.
Some areas have picked back up. South Florida has regained some. Texas, especially Dallas, Houston, and Austin, is booming right now.
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Old 08-06-2015, 12:37 AM   #72
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I just had the pleasure of towing in a friend in his Nordic Tug 32 with my little Willard with it's 50 hp Yanmar 4JH2E. I usually cruise at 2650 and make 7 knots when I am actually going somewhere, towing him I set the throttle to 2650 and we made 5.5 knots at one gallon per hour.

I rigged the tow harness using systems I learned in rescue classes with the Fire Department, self equalizing using the two cleats on the back of my boat and a rescue pulley with 1/2" nylon laid line for a little extra stretch to absorb surges from the swells.

He was quoted $275 an hour for towing services. Friends don't let friends spend $275 an hour when they can help out. I used about 18 gallons of fuel going out and back, saving him over $1500. I hear the CG telling disabled vessels all the time there is no tow service available where I travel. It went impressively well, but I would hate to try that if there was a sea running...

His issue was air getting into the fuel line somewhere in the system. I have new appreciation for how little power it actually takes to make your boat move. We were lucky, I was operating at my peak efficiency at 70% of my throttle, and everything was happy.
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Old 08-06-2015, 10:58 AM   #73
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In my experience the $200.00 +/- for Towing insurance is paid back with transient dockage discounts. Plus extra discounts at a boat store. I have been a members for years and it was years since last assistance. But last year I made two calls. 1, fowled my anchor and needed bolt cutters, 2nd short tow after losing starter on the waterski boat.
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Old 08-06-2015, 01:34 PM   #74
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There are no towing services in Whittier, and only one that I am aware of in Seward. If they are busy or don't like the location of the tow, they will decline to provide service. The Coast Guard will only respond if you are in distress, not simply broken down. Therefore I carry my dive gear for underwater services (anchor retrieval, hull inspection, line in prop shaft, etc) and am set up to be able to provide at least minimal towing when required. A tow to a safe anchorage might be all that I would provide.

It comes down to where you are, and what services are available. All of our towing services are private, no Boat US Vessel Assist or anything like that. Our boating season is short, and the volume of business is too small to sustain the cost of operation, so the businesses don't exist.

If I lived in an area with the service, I would subscribe. I do that for my Harley when I am on the road, and it's well worth the cost.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:14 PM   #75
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I self-insure, in part because the available coverage is not truly "unlimited". Money ahead.
I'm not sure that's true. Where do you live, and what kind of coverage did you ask about? If you buy the premium towing cov er age with Vessel Assist/tow boat US, your towing is unlimited. Unlimited.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:20 PM   #76
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Define unlimited....San Fran back to San Diego? Maine to North Carolina?




...unlimited doesn't mean what some think it means.....the fine print in all the different companies give them outs.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:34 PM   #77
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Define unlimited....San Fran back to San Diego? Maine to North Carolina?




...unlimited doesn't mean what some think it means.....the fine print in all the different companies give them outs.
To be clear, Vessel Assist might, under some circumstances, cover a long tow like that. I know of one case where a large trawler was towed from Noyo River to San Rafael, inside the SF Bay. I know another case where a boat broke down four separate times on the way from San Diego to SF and had a total of something like 60 hours of service covered. This is not typical.of the service we offer or claim to offer.

I have spent all of my 52 years on the water, and I have never needed a tow. I still buy VvA coverage because I believe its a goos investment. Maybe not dollar for dollar each time, but to save me having to write a 2000 dollar check to get home one day. Without that coverage, you will be waiting for your situation to deteriorate to the point that the USCG will come for you. I prefer to take care of myself instead of asking uncle Sam to save my ass.

Our company offers Assistance towing to vessels in distress. that's what we are talking about here. Not a free taxi to wherever you want to go. What you are referring to is called Crewed Charter. Start another thread.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:48 PM   #78
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To be clear, Vessel Assist might, under some circumstances, cover a long tow like that. I know of one case where a large trawler was towed from Noyo River to San Rafael, inside the SF Bay. I know another case where a boat broke down four separate times on the way from San Diego to SF and had a total of something like 60 hours of service covered. This is not typical.of the service we offer or claim to offer.

I have spent all of my 52 years on the water, and I have never needed a tow. I still buy VvA coverage because I believe its a goos investment. Maybe not dollar for dollar each time, but to save me having to write a 2000 dollar check to get home one day. Without that coverage, you will be waiting for your situation to deteriorate to the point that the USCG will come for you. I prefer to take care of myself instead of asking uncle Sam to save my ass.

Our company offers Assistance towing to vessels in distress. that's what we are talking about here. Not a free taxi to wherever you want to go. What you are referring to is called Crewed Charter. Start another thread.
I am finishing my 13th season with an assistance towing company and before that I babysat the early years of assistance towing as a senior USCG official in south Jersey.

Not sure why my opinion and my request that you clearly explain unlimited towing suggests that I start another thread...seems this one will do just fine as it is about assistance towing.

so...you explained unlimited in some cases...I think MYtraveler fishes far away from San Diego...maybe hundreds of miles...and that may have been his concern or he comfirmed the local franchise would not go that far.

I know In my neck of the woods...both Sea Tow and BoatUS might go that far to start a tow, but would not bypass many marinas along the way to get the boat all the way home. Sea Tow has the next franchise over rule...They will tow to your home port from the next franchise over...farther than that and you pay till you get to the next franchise over.

So unlimited towing has a few twists in it at least around the East Coast.
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Old 08-06-2015, 03:58 PM   #79
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I'm not sure that's true. Where do you live, and what kind of coverage did you ask about? If you buy the premium towing cov er age with Vessel Assist/tow boat US, your towing is unlimited. Unlimited.
My boat spends most of its time out of the country, but even in US waters (southern California), "unlimited" isn't really unlimited. IMO VA's advertising and website is deceptive by using the term "unlimited" without qualification, but if you press they will explain that they will tow up to 40 miles or 100 miles, from their port, (if you have the best class of membership) an unlimited number of times.

A few months ago I was heading north into US water, and heard the progression of calls from a boat south of me and probably 150nm from San Diego. It seems that even though they had gold card membership, VA was going to take more than 24 hours to get to them and charge them even to tow to the closest port (Ensenada) and more to tow to San Diego.

I just reviewed their website -- nowhere do they say what unlimited means, nor do they say how far they will tow for free. Really a scam, IMO.
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Old 08-06-2015, 04:11 PM   #80
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Not sure why my opinion and my request that you clearly explain unlimited towing suggests that I start another thread...seems this one will do just fine as it is about assistance towing.
FWIW, I agree, your input to this thread is pertinent and useful.

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so...you explained unlimited in some cases...
The explanation given was "To be clear, Vessel Assist might, under some circumstances, cover a long tow like that." That really just explains that there might be an exception to VA's general policy -- it doesn't really help to explain what "unlimited" really means.

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I think MYtraveler fishes far away from San Diego...maybe hundreds of miles...and that may have been his concern or he confirmed the local franchise would not go that far.
Correct. Guadalupe Island, for example, is about 165nm out of Point Loma. VA Point Loma will not tow me back to Point Loma for free, let alone to my home port further north. Frankly, if VA's use of the word "unlimited" did mean that they would tow, for free, from Guadalupe to Point Loma (which is usually their closest franchise to Point Loma, although they occasionally have a boat operating out of Ensenada, which is not where I would want to go if my boat needed work), I would be fine with that.

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So unlimited towing has a few twists in it at least around the East Coast.
Here on the west coast, it may be worse.
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