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Boat US/Towing/Worth it?


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New boat to me. Medium/big sailboat. Seems all good with the survey and first trip (quite a few miles on the ocean). Getting ready for SF Bay and San Joaquin Delta, so I am thinking about BOAT US towboat service (AAA on the water?). Pros and cons? Looks like ~$160 for the first year?

Thoughts?

Oh yeah. Asking for a friend.

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So besides the towing and fuel, make sure to have a good grasp of your salvage coverage in your insurance. Because as soon as they hand you a pump, it went from covered help to a buttload of money. Somehow people don't realize this. Don't be one of them.

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Yes, worth it. I was out on a friend's (power)boat when the batteries went dead. Without a membership, the tow was north of $500. $160 is still a comparative bargain. 

Just check the terms and conditions, especially with respect to your towing coverage in the first few weeks/year. They won't cover towing to or from  your home berth, for example, in the first few weeks, iirc (allegedly looking to prevent people from signing up to have derelict boats towed or something). 

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2 hours ago, TPG said:

So besides the towing and fuel, make sure to have a good grasp of your salvage coverage in your insurance. Because as soon as they hand you a pump, it went from covered help to a buttload of money. Somehow people don't realize this. Don't be one of them.

Yes, a simple tow can become a salvage job and this can get really expensive... the bottom line is, don't accept help you don't need.

The problem here is that a lot of local franchisees want to bump up their income, and will try to get you on the hook. They also want to get you in off the water and off their hands quickly in case they get another call; they also (#2) have to deal with a lot of incompetent or drunk boaters and have no way of guessing where you fall on the curve when they pull up to your gun'l. The answer here is to calmly and politely state what you want them to do, based on the minimum help you need.

We buy Boat US insurance and the tow coverage is a small upcharge, well worth it. We're over an hour away from a franchise though, without the insurance package it probably would not be worth it for us.

FB- Doug

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I have the boatUS tow.  I think it is worth it.   I needed them once in I don't know how many years, but for that one time it was worth it as it could have cost me much more for the one time than it would have cost me in all the years I've had the policy.

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I had two experiences with them. One bad, one good. Both times were engine trouble (as in engine quit running). First time Boat US said they couldn't find anyone to tow me in so they recommended that I sail the boat into the dock. I was single-handing a 27' boat in 20 mph winds. Had no choice. Managed to get the boat to the docks, in a marina I had never been to before, without damaging anything but it was white knuckle. Second time was on a 33' boat. Had great service from a local tow boat. In hind sight I "could" have sailed that one in without a tow if I absolutely had to because it was my home marina so I knew the layout and it was behind excellent break walls (calm water) with plenty of room to either drop sails and glide to a dock and/or drop anchor near a dock and call a friend. I'm debating whether or not to continue with Boat US.

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An average tow is around $800, so $160 ( or less with discounts thru West Marine or a boat show) isn't a bad deal. Minimum coverage that is worth having is Unlimited. If you keep your boat somewhere there's no repair facility you might want to upgrade to Unlimited Gold, which is $20/year more. You have to be a member a minimum of 30 days for the dock to dock feature to be active though. If you have Geico hull insurance adding Towboatus unlimited or gold is pretty inexpensive

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The first purchase should be the highest level of towing insurance from boatus or seatow.  It will pay for itself, no doubt. Towing can cost thousands. I have had two tows that were easily over 5K apiece.

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7 hours ago, BlondeWithFreeBoat said:

Yes, worth it. I was out on a friend's (power)boat when the batteries went dead. Without a membership, the tow was north of $500. $160 is still a comparative bargain. 

And you're in the back of the line behind paid members needing tows that day.

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21 minutes ago, Monkey said:

I still have no idea how we get so lucky around my port. If your boat breaks down, the Coast Guard tows you home free of charge. I like that arrangement!

I don't think the CG is in the towing business....

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24 minutes ago, Monkey said:

You wouldn’t think so, but they’ve done exactly that for the 35+ years I’ve been sailing here. 

Yes - just ask Rimas.  

All you have to do is tell the CG the magic phrase "3 days no food or water" although no water is the more critical part of it - in a thick almost unintelligible foreign accent.  Seems to have worked for him.  Almost forgot: much like the holy hand grenade of Antioch - 3 is the number.  No less.

For the uninitiated - Rimas' adventures begins here: 

 

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If you only get the $50 Towboatus coverage that comes with a West Marine Gold Advantage membership then you only have $50 worth of towing. If you buy Towboatus unlimited gold membership at West Marine when they're having discount days you get Unlimited Gold towing. 2 completely different gold memberships. And yeah, it kinda sucks they have the same package name. 

Around here the CG don't normally offer tows, but will take people off the boat if they're in danger .

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If you have an Agreed Value insurance policy (expensive), it's possible you already have Emergency Towing & Assistance coverage.  If you have an Actual Cash Value policy you may be able to purchase ET&A coverage inexpensively.  The virtue of being covered through your insurance policy is any commercial tow company can respond; you're not locked in to just one outfit.

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On 8/11/2021 at 1:19 PM, DougH said:

I wonder what advice Lin and Larry Pardey would have given. ;)

 For the record - The engineless Pardeys did get towed to port often to make schedules, etc. They also used yacht club inflatables and lender pushers as tugs to cover some distances in canals or narrow passages.   They slipped in my marina for several months (+-) in Newport Beach, CA and I clearly remember they arrived with a good samaritan inflatable alongside.  I know Lynn has publicly stated they were only towed "a few times" for various reasons so so I guess it depends on what the definition of "few" is over 200,000 miles and decades.  I don't fault them in that Taleisin looked to be a handful in restricted waters, although they could row it calm conditions. 

 taleisin-4.jpg.f7525136526b9745ce04fa6ad28aa77a.jpg

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5 hours ago, axolotl said:

If you have an Agreed Value insurance policy (expensive), it's possible you already have Emergency Towing & Assistance coverage.  If you have an Actual Cash Value policy you may be able to purchase ET&A coverage inexpensively.  The virtue of being covered through your insurance policy is any commercial tow company can respond; you're not locked in to just one outfit.

That's not always true, insurance companies frequently use a particular tow outfit in specific areas, and it may not be one that's available immediately. most tow companies have rules that their captains have to prioritize towing members over non member cash or insurance jobs. Another downside is you typically have to pay for the tow and be reimbursed by your insurance company. Best bet is to ask around and find out who has the best service in your area. 

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On 8/10/2021 at 10:58 PM, Borax Johnson said:

New boat to me. Medium/big sailboat. Seems all good with the survey and first trip (quite a few miles on the ocean). Getting ready for SF Bay and San Joaquin Delta, so I am thinking about BOAT US towboat service (AAA on the water?). Pros and cons? Looks like ~$160 for the first year?

Thoughts?

Oh yeah. Asking for a friend.

YES! BUY IT! All you need is ONE tow without insurance to learn why this is one of the best deals in boating. You can very easily spend $500-$1000 or more on a tow, especially if the tow boat is a long way from you when you call. DO IT

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On 8/14/2021 at 10:51 AM, ROADKILL666 said:

One tow will pay for itself.

One tow in N years will.  I think N is around 10.

I’ll probably get it when I start cruising more with my kids. So far I’ve had engine issues multiple times in my decade+ of boat ownership and haven’t had a tow, we’ve sailed back into the slip when having issues. 

The $1500 that I’ve saved is minor in boat bucks, but still non-zero. 

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2 hours ago, Alex W said:

One tow in N years will.  I think N is around 10.

I’ll probably get it when I start cruising more with my kids. So far I’ve had engine issues multiple times in my decade+ of boat ownership and haven’t had a tow, we’ve sailed back into the slip when having issues. 

The $1500 that I’ve saved is minor in boat bucks, but still non-zero. 

I had to get towed in on my flats boat.Without it the 5km tow would have been 600.00 bucks.

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1 hour ago, ROADKILL666 said:

I had to get towed in on my flats boat.Without it the 5km tow would have been 600.00 bucks.

This is sailing anarchy so I’m assuming that we primarily talk about boats with masts and sails. 

600 bucks is 4 years of tow insurance. What is the time interval between tows for you?

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1 hour ago, Alex W said:

This is sailing anarchy so I’m assuming that we primarily talk about boats with masts and sails. 

600 bucks is 4 years of tow insurance. What is the time interval between tows for you?

Well people who sail also fish.Anyway I don’t get towed anymore since I got a Yamaha,with the merc it was quite often.

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Well... no.  I paid ca. $1000 for a tow once because I was not equipped to self-rescue.  Then I started paying for the unlimited tow package.  They continue to automatically charge my card every year, but I've learned that the last towing company within 500 (sea) miles went out of business some time ago. So it really is utterly worthless.

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18 hours ago, Alex W said:

This is sailing anarchy so I’m assuming that we primarily talk about boats with masts and sails. 

600 bucks is 4 years of tow insurance. What is the time interval between tows for you?

My slip is not doable under sail 95% of the time. The last engine issue I had I managed to get 99% of the way home and got towed the last little bit. The insurance covers ME,not just my boat, so all the times I am running errands in power boats or doing whatever I am covered as well. It also covers towing on the road, so if I am towing my Whaler somewhere and a tire falls off the trailer, I am covered for that too.

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More than worth it.   I mistakenly didn't have it my first year I owned my boat and ended up with a $4,000 tow bill when my engine shit the bed.  It was a LONG tow too.  I have used them two other times since, and never paid a dime except for dues. 

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I sail on an inland lake, and have electric power. I recently looked into towing coverage. BoatUS does not have a service on the lake, but SeaTow does. They both have inland lake plans that run $90 for BoatUS and $120 for SeaTow IIRC. My understanding is that if you have BoatUS with no BoatUS service in the area, you have to pay for your tow, and then request reimbursement from BoatUS.

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get it if you sail the bay and delta. the channels are narrow, water is thinner than you think and the mud is stickier than you imagine.  often times recreational powerboats or sailboats for that matter that pass by can not pull a keel boat off and into the channel.

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I used to work for a small towing company (since absorbed by Boat US) and the membership is one of the best deals out there.  One rescue tow after running aground or bad diesel, etc. is the cost of several years membership fees.  Buy the membership!

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Huh! That's interesting: I thought all policies included towing coverage of some type or another; mine covers up to $1,500. But some don't? What's the commonality amongst those policies that don't cover towing?

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I also say yes. Even if you don't use them it will provide peace of mind. 

That being said, be aware that in the Delta the closest tow vessel might be very far away. I believe there is one stationed in Antioch. So if you are in some slough on the way to Sacramento and there are a bunch of cowboys with broken down stinkpots, it might take a couple of hours before help arrives. 

On 8/11/2021 at 5:12 AM, Borax Johnson said:

Thats a pretty good tow. Do you know if they would give a few gallons of diesel if you had a need?

Probably, but that scenario seems fairly easy to avoid...

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Don't yachts give free tows to each other in the US ?

Here you give and ask for tows when you have minor mishaps (read engine failure), these can even be organised freely by the MRCC who will radio for assistance and when it is serious you (or the MRCC) call the lifeboat. Lifeboat will save your life for free (but will ask politely for a donation) and will save the boat for a fee that will be paid for by your insurance. If you get towed by a commercial vessel (such as a fisherman) they ask for a fee to cover for their time/expenses.

You can buy assistance but I think (never had one) that it is to get a diesel mechanic/rigger on your boat when you are stuck due to a mechanical failure.

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49 minutes ago, Panoramix said:

Don't yachts give free tows to each other in the US ?

Here you give and ask for tows when you have minor mishaps (read engine failure), these can even be organised freely by the MRCC who will radio for assistance and when it is serious you (or the MRCC) call the lifeboat. Lifeboat will save your life for free (but will ask politely for a donation) and will save the boat for a fee that will be paid for by your insurance. If you get towed by a commercial vessel (such as a fisherman) they ask for a fee to cover for their time/expenses.

You can buy assistance but I think (never had one) that it is to get a diesel mechanic/rigger on your boat when you are stuck due to a mechanical failure.

There is no organized system exactly like that, but I have towed people and been towed by people before. It used to be the USCG Auxiliary would tow people, but that ended decades ago. Towing insurance is so common now that random people towing each other is much reduced. Also it is one thing to ask to get pulled off a sandbar and quite another to ask to get towed 40 miles home.

If you call the USCG for a tow instead of a towing service, they will put out a Marine Assistance Request and usually a towing service will respond. I suppose any random person could answer, but I haven't head that happen, it TowBoatUS that usually comes up.

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As someone sailing in both Europe and the US, I have experienced more of a culture of assisting fellow sailors in Europe in comparison to the US. Maybe it is liability that is a major concern, but moreover I think many people on boats in the US are completely useless (if not dangerous) in assisting another boat during a tow. I know that in the Netherlands certain individuals are ready to "help" in areas where inexperienced sailors often run aground. They will present the "rescued individual" with a huge salvage bill. I may be mistaken but I believe they can claim a salvaged boat as their property once you accept their assistance. 

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Decades ago I was towed by a USCG Auxiliary boat against my will

We were sailing my Blue Jay on Lake Sacajawea on the Snake River.  A beautiful summer day with brisk 25kn winds and 2' wind waves.  Upwind was a struggle but we worked the lighter winds beneath the cliffs and after 7 miles (3 hours) turned downwind, popped the 'chute and were enjoying a fairly dry raging ride back center channel to the boat ramp when a USCG-A private cuddy cabin powerboat showed up and demanded we drop our sails, we were operating in a manifestly dangerous manner and would be towed to safety.  We reluctantly dropped the 'chute, hoisted the jib and hove to to engage in conversation.  Hove to the cockpit drains no longer worked so we had to spend time bailing.  I yelled leave us alone, we're fine, wearing life jackets, have all the required CG gear and you're putting us in danger by forcing us to stop in open water and have no authority to demand we be towed.  After some more chit-chat I lost my cool and told them to fuck off, shadow us if you're so concerned or go away. They said no, either accept the tow or abandon ship for rescue and if we skedaddled to the boat ramp we'd be met by LEO, cited, boat impounded, etc.

So we reluctantly lowered sails and tied their tow line to our mast.  Then followed the most ridiculous Mr. Toad's Wild Ride I've ever experienced in a sailboat.  They towed us at 8-10kn directly to the boat ramp instead of sidling to the shore cliffs where things were calmer.  We'd slew about when hit by waves and were taking on a lot of water which the cockpit scuppers were barely able to keep up with.  I thought we'd lose our forestay as the tow line hit it, break our mast or rudder or bury the stern and sink.  I frantically signalled "slow down", pointed to "head nearer shore" and got high fives and thumbs up hand signals back.  Turns out these guys were fucking idiots.

Well, we made to the boat ramp dock without incident.  I was still hot and questioned their skills concerning towing small sailboats, their situational awareness and their motives.  They got sheepish and admitted their bread and butter was groundings, towing disabled ski boats, delivering fuel, pumps, battery jumps and pulling windsurfers, swimmers out of the drink, etc.  They'd never "rescued" a sailboat before because there's nearly none in their waters.  The killer was the boss said if they didn't do a major tow every few months it'd decrease their their Federal fuel allotment payments and it'd been slim pickings recently and I was a prime target.  I said fuck you very much and thanks for ruining a fine day of sailing.
 

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On 8/19/2021 at 10:01 AM, Bull City said:

I sail on an inland lake, and have electric power. I recently looked into towing coverage. BoatUS does not have a service on the lake, but SeaTow does. They both have inland lake plans that run $90 for BoatUS and $120 for SeaTow IIRC. My understanding is that if you have BoatUS with no BoatUS service in the area, you have to pay for your tow, and then request reimbursement from BoatUS.

You may want to read the fine print.  I have been told they will not cover a tow for a vessel that leaves port without a working engine, and they may not consider electric propulsion to be a working engine.

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On 8/23/2021 at 5:57 AM, kent_island_sailor said:

There is no organized system exactly like that, but I have towed people and been towed by people before. It used to be the USCG Auxiliary would tow people, but that ended decades ago. Towing insurance is so common now that random people towing each other is much reduced. Also it is one thing to ask to get pulled off a sandbar and quite another to ask to get towed 40 miles home.

If you call the USCG for a tow instead of a towing service, they will put out a Marine Assistance Request and usually a towing service will respond. I suppose any random person could answer, but I haven't head that happen, it TowBoatUS that usually comes up.

I tow someone else's boat home, on the average, once a year.  That said the mutual aid culture has declined considerably due to the prevalence of cell phones and the availability of services like Sea Tow.

While I realize my turn will come someday, it hasn't yet.  Last month we were in a rental pontoon on the Canadian border that clogged a fuel filter and ended up towing it back with a dinghy I'd also brought.  That's the closest I've come.

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12 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

I tow someone else's boat home, on the average, once a year.  That said the mutual aid culture has declined considerably due to the prevalence of cell phones and the availability of services like Sea Tow.

While I realize my turn will come someday, it hasn't yet.  Last month we were in a rental pontoon on the Canadian border that clogged a fuel filter and ended up towing it back with a dinghy I'd also brought.  That's the closest I've come.

I once got a crab trap so completely wrapped around my prop there was no way to get it off with the tools I had. My ski boat had used every bit of horsepower it had to wrap all the wire into a huge ball on the prop :o

A kindly person in a cabin cruiser towed me about 15 miles home, which was at towing speed 3 hours out of their way. I can't imagine doing that today, I would expect to get a "pay for a two you cheap bastard" :rolleyes:

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2 hours ago, 2airishuman said:

You may want to read the fine print.  I have been told they will not cover a tow for a vessel that leaves port without a working engine, and they may not consider electric propulsion to be a working engine.

If that happened, I would call Rudy Giuliani... immediately.

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On 8/23/2021 at 3:59 PM, axolotl said:

Decades ago I was towed by a USCG Auxiliary boat against my will

We were sailing my Blue Jay on Lake Sacajawea on the Snake River.  A beautiful summer day with brisk 25kn winds and 2' wind waves.  Upwind was a struggle but we worked the lighter winds beneath the cliffs and after 7 miles (3 hours) turned downwind, popped the 'chute and were enjoying a fairly dry raging ride back center channel to the boat ramp when a USCG-A private cuddy cabin powerboat showed up and demanded we drop our sails, we were operating in a manifestly dangerous manner and would be towed to safety.  We reluctantly dropped the 'chute, hoisted the jib and hove to to engage in conversation.  Hove to the cockpit drains no longer worked so we had to spend time bailing.  I yelled leave us alone, we're fine, wearing life jackets, have all the required CG gear and you're putting us in danger by forcing us to stop in open water and have no authority to demand we be towed.  After some more chit-chat I lost my cool and told them to fuck off, shadow us if you're so concerned or go away. They said no, either accept the tow or abandon ship for rescue and if we skedaddled to the boat ramp we'd be met by LEO, cited, boat impounded, etc.

So we reluctantly lowered sails and tied their tow line to our mast.  Then followed the most ridiculous Mr. Toad's Wild Ride I've ever experienced in a sailboat.  They towed us at 8-10kn directly to the boat ramp instead of sidling to the shore cliffs where things were calmer.  We'd slew about when hit by waves and were taking on a lot of water which the cockpit scuppers were barely able to keep up with.  I thought we'd lose our forestay as the tow line hit it, break our mast or rudder or bury the stern and sink.  I frantically signalled "slow down", pointed to "head nearer shore" and got high fives and thumbs up hand signals back.  Turns out these guys were fucking idiots.

Well, we made to the boat ramp dock without incident.  I was still hot and questioned their skills concerning towing small sailboats, their situational awareness and their motives.  They got sheepish and admitted their bread and butter was groundings, towing disabled ski boats, delivering fuel, pumps, battery jumps and pulling windsurfers, swimmers out of the drink, etc.  They'd never "rescued" a sailboat before because there's nearly none in their waters.  The killer was the boss said if they didn't do a major tow every few months it'd decrease their their Federal fuel allotment payments and it'd been slim pickings recently and I was a prime target.  I said fuck you very much and thanks for ruining a fine day of sailing.
 

Un believable. Fucking piracy. I would have given them a swift kick in the nuts, and called Rudy Giuliani.

 

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On 8/23/2021 at 3:59 PM, axolotl said:

Decades ago I was towed by a USCG Auxiliary boat against my will

We were sailing my Blue Jay on Lake Sacajawea on the Snake River.  A beautiful summer day with brisk 25kn winds and 2' wind waves.  Upwind was a struggle but we worked the lighter winds beneath the cliffs and after 7 miles (3 hours) turned downwind, popped the 'chute and were enjoying a fairly dry raging ride back center channel to the boat ramp when a USCG-A private cuddy cabin powerboat showed up and demanded we drop our sails, we were operating in a manifestly dangerous manner and would be towed to safety.  We reluctantly dropped the 'chute, hoisted the jib and hove to to engage in conversation.  Hove to the cockpit drains no longer worked so we had to spend time bailing.  I yelled leave us alone, we're fine, wearing life jackets, have all the required CG gear and you're putting us in danger by forcing us to stop in open water and have no authority to demand we be towed.  After some more chit-chat I lost my cool and told them to fuck off, shadow us if you're so concerned or go away. They said no, either accept the tow or abandon ship for rescue and if we skedaddled to the boat ramp we'd be met by LEO, cited, boat impounded, etc.

So we reluctantly lowered sails and tied their tow line to our mast.  Then followed the most ridiculous Mr. Toad's Wild Ride I've ever experienced in a sailboat.  They towed us at 8-10kn directly to the boat ramp instead of sidling to the shore cliffs where things were calmer.  We'd slew about when hit by waves and were taking on a lot of water which the cockpit scuppers were barely able to keep up with.  I thought we'd lose our forestay as the tow line hit it, break our mast or rudder or bury the stern and sink.  I frantically signalled "slow down", pointed to "head nearer shore" and got high fives and thumbs up hand signals back.  Turns out these guys were fucking idiots.

Well, we made to the boat ramp dock without incident.  I was still hot and questioned their skills concerning towing small sailboats, their situational awareness and their motives.  They got sheepish and admitted their bread and butter was groundings, towing disabled ski boats, delivering fuel, pumps, battery jumps and pulling windsurfers, swimmers out of the drink, etc.  They'd never "rescued" a sailboat before because there's nearly none in their waters.  The killer was the boss said if they didn't do a major tow every few months it'd decrease their their Federal fuel allotment payments and it'd been slim pickings recently and I was a prime target.  I said fuck you very much and thanks for ruining a fine day of sailing.
 

I've had that requested but never complied. Fuck 'em. If they write you a ticket, take it to the judge... just don't be a hot head in court. Instead ask about their towing training / credentials.

Once, and only once, I said: "Where do you intend to tow me, I'll sail there and we can talk about it." That turned out that they had taken it upon themselves to interpret "small craft warning" as being "small craft prohibited" by the weather forecast. It was a bit windy but otherwise a hoot.

The NC Wildlife Service officers have pretty good small boat training. Some LEOs do, many don't... they're just town clowns in a boat. And if they damage your boat thru improper towing, you're S-O-L

FB-  Doug

 

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19 minutes ago, Steam Flyer said:

I've had that requested but never complied. Fuck 'em. If they write you a ticket, take it to the judge... just don't be a hot head in court. Instead ask about their towing training / credentials.

Once, and only once, I said: "Where do you intend to tow me, I'll sail there and we can talk about it." That turned out that they had taken it upon themselves to interpret "small craft warning" as being "small craft prohibited" by the weather forecast. It was a bit windy but otherwise a hoot.

The NC Wildlife Service officers have pretty good small boat training. Some LEOs do, many don't... they're just town clowns in a boat. And if they damage your boat thru improper towing, you're S-O-L

FB-  Doug

 

The tyranny of the ignorant - coming to a theatre near you!

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I have used boat insurance only once.  Have never used real estate insurance.  I have used business liability insurance.  You mileage may vary depending what you want you are planning to do, and please be sure to be honest with your underwriter.  Meanwhile - thanks for reminding me of an old/trivial story that others had amuzing commentary with :) and sorry for any x-posting rule violations.  

 

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>> when a USCG-A private cuddy cabin powerboat showed up and demanded we drop our sails, we were operating in a manifestly dangerous manner and would be towed to safety.  We reluctantly dropped the 'chute, hoisted the jib and hove to to engage in conversation.  Hove to the cockpit drains no longer worked so we had to spend time bailing.  I yelled leave us alone, we're fine, wearing life jackets, have all the required CG gear and you're putting us in danger by forcing us to stop in open water and have no authority to demand we be towed.  After some more chit-chat I lost my cool and told them to fuck off, shadow us if you're so concerned or go away. They said no, either accept the tow or abandon ship for rescue and if we skedaddled to the boat ramp we'd be met by LEO, cited, boat impounded, etc.

 

Not sure what you mean by a 'USCG-A' as opposed to just 'USCG'.  Here near the Canadian border I was well trained to always expect to be boarded, especially when I was I was younger and maybe my boat and historical age (young men are always problematic, right).

I am sorry if the officer that requested you to slow down or do anything else to adjust your course other than for a simple raft up caused problems.  Definitely have been out on smallish sailboats in other than shapely whether (pun intended) and have never had a problem.  I would recommend, if you took the time, to write a letter and file a complaint with the specific personnel that caused you grief.  Nobody needs that on the water.  Possibly if you had an attitude issue you might have made things worse on your own account.

With all due respect.

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5 hours ago, Bull City said:

If that happened, I would call Rudy Giuliani... immediately.

I didn't realize you had him on speed dial.  If you can afford his rates you don't need Towboatus.

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1 hour ago, DriftingWithoutGrifting said:

Not sure what you mean by a 'USCG-A' as opposed to just 'USCG'.

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  They aren't federal agents and don't have any actual enforcement authority.

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5 minutes ago, 2airishuman said:

U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.  They aren't federal agents and don't have any actual enforcement authority.

Correct.

The proper course of action would have been to maintain course and say 'thanks for checking in, we appreciate your concern.'  See you back on the dock.

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worth every penny. so is AAA Premium. 

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3 hours ago, DriftingWithoutGrifting said:

Possibly if you had an attitude issue you might have made things worse on your own account.

I really hate that sort of response. Blaming the victim is a nasty stunt.

The coasties were abusing their authority for selfish gain, and endangering the safety of the OP and his boat.  It was pure bullying, and @axolotl was absolutely entitled to be angered by it.  The coasties should have been jailed for abuse of power and malicious threats of arrest.

Watching from a country where we don't water cops (and hence no marine bullies trying to justify their existence), I am struck yet again how eager some Americans are to demand that their fellow citizens grovel and slither before anyone in uniform who demands submission.  "Land of the free", eh?  @DriftingWithoutGrifting is demanding feudal subservience :( 

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Hey @TwoLeggedPart of the conversation was the subtle point that the 'abcd'-'A' team were not, and are not, legitimate authorities to be harassing anybody in the first place.  From there - we all should understand our rights, and with that also comes responsibilities.

From a practical perspective, if I was out on the water and saw a vessel that looked like maybe they were in a bit over their head, and I was in a different kind of vessel that might be able to help if needed - I would probably do a hail on the VHF or scoot by and wave or look for a 'thumbs up' as a modest safety check.  Just because safety at sea and good maritime respect.  At worse - plot them on the GPS as an incidental and carry on with my boat.

I think as has been pointed out in this thread already, and some of the older 'male Karens' as it were, that have way too much time on their hands and think it is their business to monitor everything everywhere and perhaps intimidate people.  Yeah, I have never really cared for a bunch of bored 'busy bodies' telling me how to live my life either.  Meanwhile we are still social animals at a primitive level and often older folks have things to teach us even when we do not want to learn.

Courtesy and common respect and reasonable care for one another are important for all of us - especially on the water.  Busy bodies that want to tell other people how to live their lives?  I am not a fan of that no matter which branch of political 'popularity' it comes from.

I think we both feel the same at a philosophical level - possibly you missed some updates on the thread here?

 

'

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10 hours ago, DriftingWithoutGrifting said:

Correct.

The proper course of action would have been to maintain course and say 'thanks for checking in, we appreciate your concern.'  See you back on the dock.

We ran into this problem every hurricane season on Cape Cod with all of us out windsurfing the best conditions you ever get to see on the cape, with a gale blowing.  The local police department would show up trying to get everyone off the water, and sometimes send out a skiff and we were blasting around going 20kts + and they had a hard time stopping us.  It was kind of amusing.   Sometimes they would hang out on the beach waiting for us to return.  We just stayed out in the surf for hours and eventually they left.  I'm guessing some old lady with a beach front home called them in to save us. Crazy times.

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7 hours ago, kent_island_sailor said:

The USCG Auxiliary has as much power to force someone to do something as any random person - i.e none at all. This would be like your neighborhood security patrol trying to arrest someone.

I would have told them to get the FUCK out of my way.

although well intentioned, most of them have nary a clue what they're doing out there when it starts gettin sporty. 

I was outside west river one lovely  afternoon blasting back and forth across the bay on the 35 with a reef in the main and #3 up. 

It was probably blowing 25+- all friggin day. I was just having myself a good ol' time. and one of those aux boats pulls alongside about 20 yards away. 

They get on a PA and start spouting off god knows what. Couldn't hear a word they said, and wouldn't have complied with anything anyway. 

heard them  call CG on my handheld and tell them they thought I was in distress... the only distress was them keeping me from tacking when I wanted to. 

I got on the handheld and hailed CG to call off their citizen soldiers. The one guy on the boat I got a good look at was completely green around the gills,

I dont think he lasted much longer out there before he blew chunks. 

I think the boat belongs to one of my sort of neighbors 

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3 hours ago, Scrambler said:

I’ve only encountered USCGA once at the dock.  He offered to do a safety equipment inventory and gave me a sticker when I passed.   It was nice.   

Me too. It's the young ones in the powerboats you gotta watch out for. 

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