I have come upon similar instances here on the east coast ICW. With a twin powered boat, I feel comfortable in relatively calm conditions to use a hip tow. With lots of fenders, tie the boat being towed alongside as though your were the dock, paying good attention the forward spring line (leading from aft of the disabled boat towards the bow of the towing boat) as this will carry the load. Since he had some power, he could contribute to the propulsion and steering, if necessary.
In 1988, my Mom (70 years old at the time) and I were taking our new 50' Florida Bay Coaster north for the Baltimore Boat Show. It was the 4th of July weekend when we heard a vessel calling that they had lost steering - we figured they were a mile or two in front of us, so we asked them to wait until we arrived. When we came alongside, my Mom recognized the boat and owners - so we offered them a lift up the waterway to Jacksonville Beach. About 10 minutes later we had a hip tow in place and were "steaming" up the ICW at about 7 knots.
Rather than waste the time underway, the owner and I decided to try to repair the steering while my Mom and his wife navigated from the raised bridge. Turned out the key on the rudder shaft was broken - so we found a replacement and about an hour later, we had his steering fixed.
Nice thing about a hip tow is you are in communications with the boat being towed and actually can go from one to the other (carefully). And since we were on a schedule we couldn't take the time to stop to make the repair - the hip tow proved ideal.
It was something seeing my 70 yo mother at the helm of the 120,000# Coaster with the 35 footer alongside - total beam over 30' - as if she were motoring up I-95.
For pulling someone off a sand bar or other short tows, a good towline always seems to work (later that same trip we pulled a couple of hung over fisherman off the salt marsh, a good 6' in from the water's edge). But for controlled towing, nothing beats a hip tow.
"Sunshine" - Island Pilot DSe 12m