Tow Boat USA

Discussion in 'General Maintenance/Repair Questions' started by Harmon, May 10, 2022.

  1. Harmon

    Harmon Member

    322
    Jun 28, 2011
    Jackson NJ/Beach Haven LBI
    Current: 2006 320DA as of 6/7/19
    Previous 1997 Sundancer 250
    1989 Basstracker 40HP
    Twin 350 Horizon with Vdrives

    Single 7.4 Ltr carbed
    Bravo 3 outdrive
    Here's a hypothetical question regarding a boat tow. Does Tow Boat USA consider you disabled and towable if just one of your engines goes bad?
    Also how far will they tow you with a basic membership.
     
  2. hughespat57

    hughespat57 Well-Known Member

    Sep 25, 2016
    Rock Hill, SC
    300 Sundancer 1994, trailered tri-axle LoadRite roller
    Mercruiser 5.7 260HP Alpha One Gen II, twin
    Can't speak to TowBoatUS "rules" and I have them too.

    But seriously why would you, thats the primary reason for twins, redundancy.
    Get out on the boat and practice before it happens, this is the basis for learning some good boat handling skills.

    Use the port engine only, go forward, you still have two rudders.
    The bow will want to go to starboard, add some extra rudder to port to counter act.
    It should be easy to maintain a steady heading.

    Try backing down, the bow will want to swing to port.
    Due too the way the props rotate the stern will want to walk to the port as well.
    Add some rudder to port and you should be able to back down fairly straight.

    Repeat with the starboard engine.

    This way you will know how the boat behaves with one engine.
    So a sudden loss of one won't be a panic situation, you will already be confident in your abilities.

    Why wait hours for a towboat, and then towed back at speed slower than you can probably go on one good engine.
    And any towboat that tries to tow you fast, trying to get you on plane is a fool.
    Even with a bridle on both bow cleats, those cleats are for mooring not towing with a 300-500 HP tow boat.
    You dont want the cleats ripped from the boat.
     
    MonacoMike, bmay1909, DWABoat and 4 others like this.
  3. markrsimon

    markrsimon Active Member

    382
    Sep 1, 2018
    Cleveland, OH
    92 Searay 400 Express
    7.4L Mercruiser Gen V
    Research (prior to) if you need to do anything special with props/transmission. Some inboards you need to tie off the non functional prop (shaft) to avoid having it spin (due to water flowing over the prop) which turns the trans, which doesn't have trans fluid circulating. If you have older single fed dripless seals, no water feeding it also creates challenges, thus newer ones are fed from both engines.

    Not an comprehensive list, and you most likely have stern drives - but just trying to point out that there may be some procedures you (or others) may need to do on a single engine, or even if you get towed (depending on distance).
     
    Harmon likes this.
  4. Southern Pirate

    Southern Pirate Member

    98
    Nov 17, 2019
    2005 sea ray 270 amberjack
    5.7 Mercruiser w/Bravo III Drive
    My membership with boatus just renewed, I have the unlimited and they sent me an email telling me that an offshore tow could cost me over $700 with just the basic, then got another email telling me to disregard the 1st email. I have had unlimited for years but never had to use them. I do know that with unlimited, they will tow you back to your landing or marina. They don't say if it is for being totally disabled but they do say they will bring you fuel if needed. (with today's fuel prices, I think I would just take the tow)
     
  5. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    From a practical sense, they don't know or care how many engines you have or whether they are both running. There is no need to volunteer any information other than; Here's where I am, here's where I need to go, and here's my account number.
     
    MonacoMike and brewster16 like this.
  6. Harmon

    Harmon Member

    322
    Jun 28, 2011
    Jackson NJ/Beach Haven LBI
    Current: 2006 320DA as of 6/7/19
    Previous 1997 Sundancer 250
    1989 Basstracker 40HP
    Twin 350 Horizon with Vdrives

    Single 7.4 Ltr carbed
    Bravo 3 outdrive
    Thank you.
     
  7. JHornsby3

    JHornsby3 Well-Known Member

    Nov 10, 2020
    Sheridan Oregon
    "Steele'y Tutz"
    1992 300 Sundancer
    Twin 4.3L W/Alpha One Gen II
    I also have BoatUS. And I have had unlimited for a while. I called and asked them, specifically. There is no tow boats for them in my area. With the basic, they will only cover some of the costs. Up to an amount. With the unlimited, they will pay for any other company to tow us to the trailer. I also have the trailer assist. They will pay for the trailer to be fixed or towed to our home if the pick up is disabled, up to 50 miles.
     
    hughespat57 likes this.
  8. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    I've seen TowBoat US get disabled boats into slips a couple times. Even as horrible as it is - I'll take my chances docking on one engine every time.
     
    hughespat57 likes this.
  9. FootballFan

    FootballFan Well-Known Member

    Jun 20, 2012
    Florida
    Marquis 59
    MTU Series 60
    Some marinas in Florida will not allow Towboats to dock a disabled boat in a transient. Not universal, but does occur.
     
  10. Harmon

    Harmon Member

    322
    Jun 28, 2011
    Jackson NJ/Beach Haven LBI
    Current: 2006 320DA as of 6/7/19
    Previous 1997 Sundancer 250
    1989 Basstracker 40HP
    Twin 350 Horizon with Vdrives

    Single 7.4 Ltr carbed
    Bravo 3 outdrive
    So I checked my account I have unlimited towing level. That does mean there is no limit on distance i assume
     
  11. bobeast

    bobeast Dance the Tide SILVER Sponsor

    Oct 22, 2017
    Isleton, CA
    2002 310DA
    350 MPI w/V-drives
    No. It's still a max distance of 25 nautical miles as far as I can tell.
     
  12. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    It's worth reading the terms and conditions. Also worth checking in on what happens in soft groundings and hard groundings as it relates to salvage rights. Very interesting stuff....
     
  13. spikedaddy99

    spikedaddy99 Well-Known Member GOLD Sponsor

    Jun 11, 2008
    Prentice, Wi
    2005 500 DB
    QSM-11
    I watched tow boat US but a boat on our dock a few years ago. 40ish foot Cruisers. The owner gets off his boat, and as soon as tied up, unplugs the boat of one of the slipholders and plugs his boat in. I thought there was going to be fists thrown. Dude was a douche. He's lucky his boat didn't mysteriously float away...

    I would be lucky if having to return on 1 engine, that I could tie up outside of my slip and not have to negotiate the marina.
     
  14. Harmon

    Harmon Member

    322
    Jun 28, 2011
    Jackson NJ/Beach Haven LBI
    Current: 2006 320DA as of 6/7/19
    Previous 1997 Sundancer 250
    1989 Basstracker 40HP
    Twin 350 Horizon with Vdrives

    Single 7.4 Ltr carbed
    Bravo 3 outdrive
    Yea the BoatUS rep did say there were ranges for operatotrs, they would do a hand off to another capt to finish the tow. This sounds time intensive
     
  15. MaSnaka

    MaSnaka Member

    30
    Jul 17, 2021
    Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA
    2001 310 Sundancer twin mercs and outdrive BravoIII
    5.7 EFI w/ BravoIII
    I learned the hard way that you need to be a member more than 30 days before your tow is covered. BoatUS was Very prompt and professional. Also learned the hard way that when you loose one engine its not like you have half the power. The working engine is really working hard to give about 25% power compared to two good engines.

    Good to have the coverage.
     
  16. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    Ummm...that is not true about the 30 days. If someone at TowBoat told you that, they were on crack at the time. Your coverage starts at midnight the day following full payment.

    upload_2022-5-13_7-41-46.png

    The only thing they restrict for the first 30 days is a "free tow" from your home dock or other safe place where the boat is moored.

    https://www.boatus.com/-/media/file...x?la=en&hash=A4E8441E796C906E214C7D9DF12DADE1
     
  17. Harmon

    Harmon Member

    322
    Jun 28, 2011
    Jackson NJ/Beach Haven LBI
    Current: 2006 320DA as of 6/7/19
    Previous 1997 Sundancer 250
    1989 Basstracker 40HP
    Twin 350 Horizon with Vdrives

    Single 7.4 Ltr carbed
    Bravo 3 outdrive
    No worries, I ran two hrs from storage marina to Beach Haven on Fri and things went well. A few fog banks and some showers. Only issue is the starboard raw water pump has a leak behind pulley and it is spraying a bit of saltwater around.
    Whats the technique to get to that sucker and pull it out?
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2022
  18. MaSnaka

    MaSnaka Member

    30
    Jul 17, 2021
    Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA
    2001 310 Sundancer twin mercs and outdrive BravoIII
    5.7 EFI w/ BravoIII
    Stee6054 If you read what I said again you will see that I was referring to having your tow covered (free) with the BoatUS membership. I had to pay $300 for a tow across my marina to get hauled out for repair. It was a kick to the gut because there was no reason I had to wait for the last minute to join. But you are correct that members get towed next day but not without cost.
     
  19. Stee6043

    Stee6043 Well-Known Member

    Jun 1, 2015
    West Michigan
    1997 Sundancer 400
    7.4L Gassers
    You made no mention in your post about being in your home slip when you were denied coverage. You said broadly "you need to be a member for 30 days before your tow is covered". You can breakdown at sea on day 1 and have full towing coverage from Tow Boat US, as I was sharing. That's a pretty important clarification for potential new members.

    I also confirmed exactly what you said but without knowing that's what you experienced (because you didn't mention it) when I included the part about free tows from home docks not being covered for 30 days :)
     
  20. MaSnaka

    MaSnaka Member

    30
    Jul 17, 2021
    Channel Islands Harbor, Oxnard, CA
    2001 310 Sundancer twin mercs and outdrive BravoIII
    5.7 EFI w/ BravoIII
    Stee6043,
    Fair enough. Nice looking boat you have!!

    John
     

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