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Old 04-04-2003, 01:22 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

Ok let the games begin!! I am a true blue boat us member and as such a towboat user. My brother wants to use sea tow for his boat. We both live in new england (RI) and both pretty nuch only gow about 45 miles off shore max. Mostly we stay around 3 or 4 miles out.
Which one is a better/safer/more useful option. price, availability, etc. Also he is not a boat us member. although he is a captains club member. Go figure. oh and reasons why he should absolutly be a boat US member would be helpful too.

thanks
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:44 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

Boat us is far better because it does not cover your boat it covers you and your family. If your boat breaks down seatow and boat us will get you. If your buddies boat breaks down and you are on it, then boat us will still get you. If you son is on his buddies boat, they will boat us will still get you. Boat us IMO is a much better service, but it depends in your area. Sometimes the service of one company is so much that you will always go with on comany over the other.
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:47 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

A skipper membership from seatow covers you in whatever boat you are on but costs about 25$ more.

Thanks for the info - Does the boat US cover all boats you own AND all family members and boats they are on? That sounds too good to be true. Going to their web-site now.
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Old 04-04-2003, 01:52 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

Yep it does - Sea tow only covers one boat as far as I know. But according to the Boat US site
Worldwide Towing Service:
One Membership applies to all recreational boats you own, borrow or charter (anywhere in the world!)

Guess I'll switch to them this year!!!
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:02 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

SafeSea is yet another option to look into.
It's a matter of choice and whats good for you.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:35 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

Seatow's skipper policy will cover you on anyboat as long as the owner of that boat is not aboard. No freebies for your cousin.

Boat US has a 21 or a 25 mile limit, after that they will fork over an additional $1200. The rest is out of your pocket. A 45 mile tow could easily cost you 2 to 3 grand personally after boat US covers the rest.

SeaTow has no "printed" limit, but they could always tell you umm sorry mate thats out of our jurisdiction, and the full bill is yours to bear. It's this part I am wrestling with myself. I have held Boat US for years but if I can get a clear definition of just where SeaTow's real coverage limit is, I could decide which to go with this year.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:47 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

So far the information is great. there is a real possibility for either of us to go out further than stated I am going to have to look more closely at my boat us stuff.
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Old 04-04-2003, 02:57 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

If you really think you may need a tow I would look hard at the operators in your area not just the company. I have Boat US (basic with membership)but I have the seen the Tow BoatUS "boat" on water by me several time doing stupid things. If I was really concerned about the need for a tow service I would look hard at the indidual and their personal reputaions not the just the company name.
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Old 04-04-2003, 03:53 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

One thing that most people dont know is that if you have any problem in the Ocean that the USCG WILL tow you to the nearest inlet for free. So instead of having a 5 hour tow from seatow to home from 25 miles off, you will have a one hour tow from the inlet to your home. The uscg will try and put up ar MARB, but things in the ocean change too quickly to leave to that, so they will tow.
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:39 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

I have both Seatow and BoatUS right now, but switching to Seatow since it's coverage is unlimited in distance.
On the Seatow site, it is stated:
Sea Tow provides Unlimited Service Area Towing - No dollar, distance or time limits. The covered vessel will be towed back to its home port, or another dock of choice at no charge. Our members don't worry about having a towing coverage limit - because Sea Tow Provides Unlimited Free Service Area Towing.

http://www.4seatow.com/seatowben.asp

I figured since I was venturing out 40 or so miles last year, I better have the one that covers me out there.
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:46 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

In my mind, neither one cost's that much. If your going that far out, get both. Whats a tow going to cost? If I'm that far out and in trouble, I don't care who it is, just get me in.............
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:47 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

I have tow boat us and I have needed their assistance once 40+ miles out, they came brought needed parts, waited until we were under way again, and stayed with us in. Surpassed all expectations. No Charge. They get my vote and my money....D2
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:54 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

quote "The covered vessel will be towed back to its home port, or another dock of choice at no charge. Our members don't worry about having a towing coverage limit - because Sea Tow Provides Unlimited Free Service Area Towing."
if sea tow provides unlimited free service area towing" would the canyons 80 miles off block island be in their "AREA" if not is there now a charge? I dont know just asking I like tow boat but only because boat US backs them. I've never used them. I really am just trying to get to the bottom of whats best. With regards to get both, Why? if one overlaps the other their is no need for both. If one works well say off rhode island and the other better off boston then fine but ...
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Old 04-04-2003, 05:58 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

The only thing about seatow is the fact they make nothing for towing you. You could wait hours for a tow or assistance because they get nothing for towing you. WIth Boat Us the sub contractor only gets hourly fee if they tow you. But seatow is a frantise that gives the tower 60 something dollars of your membership fee. So if a non customer is stuck, with seatow that non customer is getting service first because they actually lose money by towing you. It all really depends on who is best in your area, the best system is to also have your hull insurance cover tows because then the tower gets his price and will race to tow you first.
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:00 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

What is the cost for each, BTW???

CCGUY
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:02 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

captbone, I originally started with TowBoatUS. Had one quick tow with them from the inlet when a wave over the bow got my ignition wet and I couldn't start it.
I was very happy with them! But, as the season grew on me, my desire to go out further, found that TowBoatUS was limited to 25 miles as stated.
I contacted SeaTow and they stated that I was covered where I was going off Cape Lookout, NC. So, for the 40 or so miles out, I am covered, so when TowBoatUS expires, I will be left with Seatow.
Also, during the boatshow this year, I was able to talk to a saleman that works for Seatow on the side. He stated that they have no problem going out far to retreive someone. He told me the story of having to get a second boat sent to him for refueling while he was towing one out 65+ miles in rough seas. It was an all nighter for him, but was happy to do it.
I have no reason to dis-believe his story and what SeaTow has promised so far.

I have no bias, just need to be assured I am covered for where I go. No idea about the canyons. Suggest anyone make a call to ask before you buy....
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Old 04-04-2003, 06:25 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

I suggest you call each tow service that interests you. I have done that and found their brochures say one thing but their reality is something else. For example, all the printed data regards the BoatUS limits of 25 miles is bunk here in San Diego. Basically they, like SeaTow, are unlimited according to the local BoatUS captain in San Diego.

If you are already a member of BoatUS their annual fee is lower than SeaTow or Vessle Assist (the most expensive). Someone above mentioned the family coverage with BoatUs that may not be part of the other companies coverage.

"Snow Goose", John Jensen
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Old 04-04-2003, 07:27 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

Sea Tow left me stranded not once, but twice! Once 46 mithey didn't have an operator out of Freeport and passed it to a contractor (they would pay the first $1000. of the bill).He never showed up. After spending the night as was the plan I managed to get within 26 miles before I broke down again. The Coast Guard towed me in from there. Another time I needed a tow in Galveston Bay. No one answered the phone or returned my call. Luckily my friend who was on board was a member of TowBoats US. He called and they were there within 45 minutes. I'm sure each area is different. But SeaTow in Galvethey didn't have an operator out of Freeport and passed it to a contractor (they would pay the first $1000. of the bill).He never showed up. After spending the night as was the plan I managed to get within 26 miles before I broke down again. The Coast Guard towed me in from there. Another time I needed a tow in Galveston Bay. No one answered the phone or returned my call. Luckly my friend who was on board was a member of TowBoats US. He called and they were there within 45 miutes. I'm sure each area is different. But SeaTow in Galveston hads a bad reputation for poor service.

Parker 21SE, 200 Evinrude
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:10 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

Since we do most of our boating on the Hudson River, Lower NY Bay, and the Sandy Hook Area we belong to both Sea Tow and Boat US. We want to be sure we are covered in case something happens! ---Just my opinion. ---Greg
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Old 04-04-2003, 08:34 PM
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Default tow boat vs sea tow

It's quite the dilemma.

On the one hand we need a towing service we can trust. As we typically have those with us that we must protect.

On the other hand we want to venture further and further from shore. Leaving us with a towing service that may or may not show up because it's just not in their area.

I think after all of the posts so far, Boat US still stands as the most trustworthy.

Considering they will throw $1200 into a tow past the limit of 21 miles, that pretty much covers nearly 50 miles out in total (based on the charges of my 21 mile tow-in last year).

So I think I will continue with Boat US, and bank an extra grand to cover a real long tow if it ever arises.
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