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Old 01-31-2018, 04:23 PM   #20
Tom.B's Avatar
City: Cary, NC
Country: USA
Vessel Name: Skinny Dippin'
Vessel Model: Navigator 4200 Classic
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 5,708
While I am not following it, I have heard about it and agree that some form of oversight needs to be imposed as it seems that relying on private interpretations of maritime law has enough loopholes in it to have many of us see or hear of abuses in definitions of terminology. If the tow companies and "membership companies", at the least, provide a menu and pricing and definitions of what constitutes what service, it would help a lot. Yes, I know there are 100's of situations and you can never cover them all, but the comfort that TowBoatUS and SeaTow sell, is sometimes far different than what they will provide. Moreover, the expectation that even the most experienced captain MUST make monumental decisions while lives and property are (or sometimes even when they aren't) in jeopardy isn't always fair. It is so different than car insurance. You can't just get out of a minor fender-bender and stand on the side of the road and think about what to do next.

I wonder if tow club memberships should just go away and let's do this more like auto coverage. I have tow and salvage in my policy, but it doesn't cover everything. I would pay more for hull insurance if I didn't have to worry about a tow company trying to take advantage of me when I was in peril. I would feel better if I knew insurance would cover it completely and if the tow company has an issue, they take it up with my insurance provider.

Finally, I would also like to see the antiquated maritime law that allows them to basically steal your boat and hold it hostage for money done away with. Put a lean on it? Yea maybe... but there is NO REASON for them to look at the value of the vessel and determine a salvage price on that. Per foot would make much more sense.

Anyway, some of this may be BS and isn't based 100% on experience, but I, like many others I would gather, are extremely confused by what tow companies sell and cover, what insurance will and won't cover, and what maritime law allows everyone to do about it (and where). I assume we will all get an earful about it in this thread sooner or later :-)
2000 Navigator 4200 Classic
(NOT a trawler)
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