Towing Insurance

Towing Insurance

Postby jglabrown » Thu Jan 09, 2014 10:11 pm

I'm debating picking up an additional towing insurance policy (our existing policy has a $700 limit) and part of the decision-making process involves the likelihood of obtaining a commercial tow in areas north of Desolation Sound. Have any of you needed that kind of assistance (or know of someone who has) in that area and what were the results? Is the additional insurance ($140+) worth it?

Thanks,
Larry
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Postby Tagish » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:26 am

Good question.

Having worked in the commercial assist towing and salvage business, you won't be able to get assistance in that neck of the woods for $140 unless they are right next to you.

You first have to understand how it all works. The billing starts when the assist vessel leaves their dock to come and get you. It continues to run while they tow you to your requested destination, and continues to run until their vessel returns to their dock (point of origin). Given the distances in that area it seems that $140 is a very low cost for peace of mind.

You may be able to negotiate other terms but most towing companies are pretty savvy about it and if you are in a moment of distress, most people are more concerned about saving their vessel than negotiating terms of assist towing or potential salvage operations.

I have towing insurance with my yacht policy. I also purchase additional insurance from BoatUS(unlimited) because it is cheap and will provide gap coverage in case it gets bad fast. I would rather pay a little extra up front and never use it than get caught in bad scenario.
Jon McGlone
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Postby Marin Faure » Sat Jan 11, 2014 3:27 am

Our towing insurance is the second engine under the floor. :-). That and the fact that help is a long run away in our more northern waters have caused us to conclude that towing insurance would be money better spent in other ways.

Based on the experiences of several boating acquaintances over the years, the strong currents here and the often narrow passes and channels makes a spare engine far more valuable than towing insurance in our opinions. We know people whose second engine kept them off the rocks when the other engine had to be shut down, and we know people whose one engine had to be shut down and their boat went on the rocks or the mud long before any sort of towing assistance could arrive on the scene.
Marin
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Towing Insurance

Postby jglabrown » Sat Jan 11, 2014 11:53 am

Hmmm...thank you both. I'm tending towards Jon's point of view; I've been pretty confident that a $700 policy would suffice in the San Juans and Gulf Islands, but I don't think it would cover much further north. I agree with Marin about the second engine, and I would add "lots of spare fuel filters".
Thanks, Larry
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Postby CrabGuy » Sun Jan 12, 2014 4:58 pm

VA, Vessle Assist is my best friend,
have 49 years of 2 engines,
paid into it for 5 years, used it once, I'm still ahead,
Pease of mind...Priceless!
my understanding they will cover another companys tow...with prior authourization.
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