On-the-water breakdowns are inevitable, and the Coast Guard no longer provides non-emergency towing. So shouldn’t every boat owner join a boat-towing service like Sea Tow? It seems like a no-brainer, but like most aspects of boat ownership there is a cost associated. It’s wise to do a little research before you sign a membership form.
We brought our questions about the benefits of a Sea Tow membership to Captain Ramsey Chason of Sea Tow and learned that membership definitely has its privileges.
I have boat insurance. Is it worth it to join Sea Tow?
Boat insurance is intended to protect your investments — your boat, electronics, and gear – in case of an unexpected accident or disaster. It also can protect you from legal costs and lawsuits after an accident. Sea Tow membership is not insurance, it’s assurance. We come to your aid when things go wrong, to provide a tow, deliver fuel, or jump-start your battery so you can bet back on your way. It’s our job to help ensure your safety and we take that seriously.
But my boat insurance has a towing rider – do I still need Sea Tow?
Insurance companies do not have boats – we do, and Sea Tow members receive priority service. Sea Tow provides unlimited towing. There is no limit on the number of tows in a year, the distance, or the time it takes. We guarantee that members get towed to their home port or facility of their choice. This is a big difference from what you get from an insurance towing rider. Plus, you don’t want a simple tow to increase your insurance rates.
Can’t I just wait until I need a tow before I become a Sea Tow member?
You should join Sea Tow before you need it because you can’t schedule a dead battery–or any other issue–and it’s not always easy to get tow service on the water. When you are on a disabled vessel, the last thing you want to do is wait for hours, especially if you have your family on board. Sea Tow members get prompt service and always get priority over non-members when it comes to towing.
If a tow is required, we take our members to their home port or the repair facility of their choice. Again, we understand that time is limited, so we’ll tow as fast as hull speed will allow, with the focus on getting back quickly and safely.
What does Sea Tow offer beyond towing?
First, we understand that if a boat owner is having an issue, towing should be the last resort. Every day on the water is valuable, especially in the Northeast. My crew and I always strive to fix the problem through a troubleshooting process that begins over the phone and continues, if necessary, in person, with the goal of solving your problem and getting you back to boating as soon as possible.
Also, my crew and I are available 24/7/365, on the water and off, as a resource to boaters. For example, we’ll provide a free escort through treacherous areas. We prefer to help our members avoid issues and keep them out of trouble. I’ve also helped Sea Tow members plan trips along the East Coast, using my knowledge from years of yacht deliveries to guide them and plan an itinerary.
What’s the biggest benefit of a Sea Tow membership?
For most recreational boaters, the biggest benefit of a Sea Tow membership is peace of mind. Being a Sea Tow member means having access to captains with tremendous experience and knowledge, and that provides a comfort level boaters cannot get with any other service. For example, I have a member who fishes offshore in the canyons, well beyond cell service. He bought a Garmin product that allows for communication via satellite text, and he uses my cell number as the contact. For him, membership is about knowing you have a direct link to someone who is always available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And, if something were to happen and he needed assistance, we have the assets – including a 41-foot ex-Coast Guard vessel – with the speed and range to get offshore and tow in larger sportfishing vessels.