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How much would you do for a stranded boater?

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How much would you do for a stranded boater?

Old 06-08-2019, 05:50 AM
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Default How much would you do for a stranded boater?

So...you have planned and prepared for a day of fishing. On your way out you see someone stranded. In the older days, it seemed that no one would leave someone stranded and would offer a tow. What about today with the larger amount of boaters on the water and the private tow insurance programs? What's your limit? Ensure safety and continue your day or blow off your day and tow in no matter the circumstances? But suppose they are unprepared and don't have a SeaTow policy? Suppose they appear to be completely unprepared and have no business being out.....like they simply ran out of gas?
I would have a hard time driving away from a stranded boater 40 miles offshore but I guess if I know SeaTow is on the way and they have plenty of water?
Just curious what the etiquette is now?
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Last edited by homeby51; 06-08-2019 at 06:23 AM.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:52 AM
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I’d say never leave any one on the ocean. I’d take them to dry land.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:54 AM
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I would make sure they were safe and call for help if need be but no way would I tow.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:55 AM
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Off load their women and beer? Seriously, safety comes first, if there is no immediate danger to them, totally up to you whether you sacrifice your day . However, if you are their only hope, that changes things.
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:59 AM
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these threads have come up many times before, dont know why we need the same threads over and over again

all i would do is make sure no immediate / life threatening danger (i.e. medical or sinking boat), call into USCG / local LEO, and perhaps offer them advice of deploying anchor. no way in hell would i tow too much liability.

i actually saw a flare go off once, i called it in, located boat, informed local LEO. boat engine died, boat drifting towards rocks, they had no way to communicate (idiots), told them to deploy anchor and local LEO would help them. they looked sketch in a run down boat. local LEO used to be very nice and tow pretty much anyone but recently started saying they can wait or call a tow service if no immediate danger (recent call i relayed for a boat aground).
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Old 06-08-2019, 05:59 AM
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Big difference between "stranded" and "distress."

I've been towing for 20 years (professionally and helping out boaters) and I will no longer tow in anyone I do not know. I come from a time before Sea Tow and Boat US existed and like many others here, you never left anyone out there in addition to towing them in. Now? Absolutely not. You have to be out of your mind to tow anyone in these days. Sorry, but we do not live in a world anymore where you can help a fellow boater out. Everyone is lawsuit happy. The second you attach a line to a strangers boat you are 100% liable, whether you accept payment or not. If you put them on your boat you are liable. Something happens and youll be dropped by your insurance company immediately. And not to offend anyone here, but most boaters have no idea how to tow. I'm not saying its hard, but different situations call for different actions and most people don't have the line, fenders or bridles on board.

Another big misconception and argument is "well I was helping a boater in distress!!" No, you were not. Broken, not starting, out of fuel, one engine out (on a boat with twins), storm approaching, or dead battery is NOT being in distress. Someone sinking or with a medical emergency is in distress.

Heres a list of what I've seen happen from less than experienced boaters towing:

One or two towed right into a submerged reef
Front cleats ripped out (weekly occurrence)
Both boats (while towing alongside) go sideways in the current, (very common) took out every bow pulpit and skeg on the dock)
Guy on the boat being towed assault the guy towing for not bringing him to his marina
Collisions (cant even count how many)

Will I ignore a broken down boat waving for help? Absolutely not. I pull up, tell the guy to anchor and tell him I will call Sea Tow, Boat US or any other commercial towing service that he wants AND I will wait with him till they show up. No I will not tow you in, no you cannot come aboard. Commercial towing insurance is $169 a year, its not like it was 25 years ago when there was no one out there but the CG and other boaters.

I broke my own rule once about 7 years ago. A guy on my dock broke down, asked me for help because a summer squall was about to blow thru. I dropped my kids off at the marina, went back out to tow him in, and put him on the fuel dock. Three weeks later I get a letter from his lawyer saying he was bringing a lawsuit against me for "leaving him in an unsafe situation" as the boat broke loose and sustained damage. The guy had clothesline for ropes. It obviously didn't go anywhere, but it was a hassle.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:04 AM
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If dead boat can't call in coordinates by phone or radio I would tow if I was capable. If not, I take coordinates and offer ride or possibly even run into range or back to shore for help. The second to last thing I want to do is inconvenience someone trying to enjoy the day. The last thing I want is to be left dead on the water with no help. I'd help at almost any cost.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:06 AM
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I was that guy last weekend. 28 miles out had a really hard time reaching sea tow. Could talk to the coast Guard just fine. I talked to several boats and asked them to call sea tow when they got in and confirm that they were coming for me. I had one guy come by and check on us. Anyway I called coast Guard again after about two hours waiting and did confirm that sea tow was in route. So the guy that checked on me before came back and offered to tow us. His boat was small and I decided to politely decline. It would have taken forever for him to tow me and put a heck of a strain on his boat. Sea tow showed up about a hour latter. Anyway with all that being said I would not try to tow someone but would offer to make calls or give someone a ride in. And yes I would end my trip if he was in situation like I was.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
these threads have come up many times before, dont know why we need the same threads over and over again

all i would do is make sure no immediate / life threatening danger (i.e. medical or sinking boat), call into USCG / local LEO, and perhaps offer them advice of deploying anchor. no way in hell would i tow too much liability.

i actually saw a flare go off once, i called it in, located boat, informed local LEO. boat engine died, boat drifting towards rocks, they had no way to communicate (idiots), told them to deploy anchor and local LEO would help them. they looked sketch in a run down boat. local LEO used to be very nice and tow pretty much anyone but recently started saying they can wait or call a tow service if no immediate danger (recent call i relayed for a boat aground).
Ha Ha Ha Ha.....you again! I've been on this site for quite a while and almost every day but never saw this post before. Sometimes they get lost fast with the number of posts that happens every day so we don't all see all of them. As I said before, don't click on any that you've seen before.....problem solved for you
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:09 AM
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Originally Posted by homeby51 View Post
What's your limit? Ensure safety and continue your day? Blow off your day and tow in no matter the circumstances? Just curious what the etiquette is now?
dont break down in Venice la, the bulk of those boats will just pass you by.
Me personally? I towed a Lafitte skiff miles and miles down river to port eads. I didn’t have enough hp to tow that big a boat upcurrent safely and all the yahoos with big boats avoided this poor soul like the plague. That is no place to be stranded without power.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Me Tarzan View Post
If dead boat can't call in coordinates by phone or radio I would tow if I was capable. If not, I take coordinates and offer ride or possibly even run into range or back to shore for help. The second to last thing I want to do is inconvenience someone trying to enjoy the day. The last thing I want is to be left dead on the water with no help. I'd help at almost any cost.
You should rethink this whole thing and read the other posts on this thread to save yourself a lot of trouble.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
these posts have come up many times before, dont know why I need the same posts over and over again
Better?
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:15 AM
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Originally Posted by SWF Pontoon Angler View Post
You should rethink this whole thing and read the other posts on this thread to save yourself a lot of trouble.
Thanks for trying to help, and I have read the stories, but I am just one of those guys that has to learn the hard way.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:18 AM
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Ensure the towing vessel is en route and that's it. Came upon a 40' sailboat anchored in front of the bridge a few months ago. Current was ripping. I asked the captain if he and his passengers are alright he said yes and just had this what the fk do I do next face on. Stayed within 100 yards until the police and tow boat arrived then was waved off.
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:21 AM
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Sad state of affairs but people that know me have told me "I WILL let you burn to the waterline"
because of your comments about us !

They have also said NOT to approach them in public if I see them ...

They are supposed people of faith ... They have "More Money Than God" and act like spoiled brats ...

If I can SAFELY aid a fellow boater i WILL I don't care what brand boat you run ! Chop strand or Aluminum
we are all brothers ....
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Old 06-08-2019, 06:35 AM
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Originally Posted by SWF Pontoon Angler View Post
Ha Ha Ha Ha.....you again! I've been on this site for quite a while and almost every day but never saw this post before. Sometimes they get lost fast with the number of posts that happens every day so we don't all see all of them. As I said before, don't click on any that you've seen before.....problem solved for you
that is why search exists

https://www.thehulltruth.com/search.php
or go to Google "site:thehulltruth.com SEARCH TERM HERE"

i am going to guess that every other thread at this point is a repost or duplicate topic. sad state of affairs. heck we had over a dozen threads started in a single day about the FL charter captain holding his guests hostage. search or simply looking at the the threads on the front page would've prevented.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
that is why search exists

https://www.thehulltruth.com/search.php
or go to Google "site:thehulltruth.com SEARCH TERM HERE"

i am going to guess that every other thread at this point is a repost or duplicate topic. sad state of affairs. heck we had over a dozen threads started in a single day about the FL charter captain holding his guests hostage. search or simply looking at the the threads on the front page would've prevented.
They should just shut off new posts and just read the old ones
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Tommysmicroskiff View Post
Sad state of affairs but people that know me have told me "I WILL let you burn to the waterline"
because of your comments about us !

They have also said NOT to approach them in public if I see them ...

They are supposed people of faith ... They have "More Money Than God" and act like spoiled brats ...

If I can SAFELY aid a fellow boater i WILL I don't care what brand boat you run ! Chop strand or Aluminum
we are all brothers ....
Wow....This is why I won't tow other boats, might run into some crazy person
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by ranmar850 View Post
Off load their women and beer?
Depends upon the women and brand of beer.

Well, maybe not for the women.
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Old 06-08-2019, 07:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mystery View Post
these threads have come up many times before, dont know why we need the same threads over and over again
Here on THT there is no present or future.
There is only the past.
Being repeated over and over again.
Now.

By the way, this is a repeat of a repeat.
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