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Boat US Membership and Towing

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 5:05 pm
by bobbymo
Financing and Insurance are frequent and priority topics here, but I would like to add an "also" here and that would be a Boat US GOld membership.
I recently cruised to Jacksonville for an US Power Squadron event held at Metropolitan Park Marina in Jacksonville, FL. This marina is adjacent to Everbank Field, close to The Landing and downtown. "Metro Park" is a nice small marina for such events, expecially the Jaguars games. It is known for tricky entrance and exit because of the strong St Johns RIver currents.

Long story short...........all the boats were leaving Sunday morning when I experienced a no-start situation on my starboard engine. All of my tests and diagnostics suggested that the actual starter had failed. I never thought I would be able to get any help on a Sunday, but, since I always opt for the "gold card" towing plan, I called the Boat US number. The contractor base in Daytona was very friendly and helpful and I instantly had a Jacksonville number to contact. The towboat Captain was also friendly and helpful and as soon as he verified my membership status, he told me he would arrive in about 1.5 hours, coming from Jacksonville Beach. My friends from the Jacksonville Power Squadron remained to help if needed, a gesture which I appreciated very much.

He was there in that time frame, and secured his boat next to mine. We met, talked, planned and established a handheld radio contact and other signals; in other words........a plan of action and "what ifs" I was pleased and confident. The tow to Lamb's Yacht Center on the Ortega RIver. I think the whole tow took less than 2 hours and I was soon docked at Lambs Yacht Center, who had been notified and were waiting with my friends.
And yes, the tow was free, as listed in the membership.

I hear, or read many people complain about the tow service by Boat US but I give them a "Well Done" and I recommend this membership to anyone venturing into the world of boating and cruising.

Repairs completed, I plan to cruise for home Monday morning....... Safety First.

Re: Boat US Membership and Towing

Posted: Sat Nov 21, 2015 8:35 pm
by CaptForce
Bobbymo, 'good to hear that your planning ahead gave you a good outcome. I agree with your positive response to BoatUS. I've had two Boat US tows at zero cost beyond my membership. Both of mine were in conditions where sailing was not an option. Once when my oil cooler seawater side broke open and once when I lost my engine due to an air leak at my Racor. The engine stop with the air leak could have been an easy fix, but I was anchored quickly next to some jetties with a thunderstorm coming. I'm glad you had success with your problem.

Hey, If you see Capt Charlie, tell him that I drank all the beer that I had allotted for him while sitting in Lillian's tonight watching football!

Re: Boat US Membership and Towing

Posted: Sun Nov 22, 2015 12:39 am
by Robin
I have never personally use our membership but it is good to hear it works when needed. I think the guys that hauled us for a bottom job in the marina next door used them to move us there, but the boss man used his own personal membership rather than mine. They could have asked me to move the boat there but decided to go ahead themselves as we were away and they had the haul out booked as well as a crane to lift the mast off and the bottom guy had a tight schedule. As motor boat folk too they were probably nervous about driving a single engined sailboat in a confined area, weird :o After the work was done we did drive the boat back to the slip and showed them ho easy it is, but even so they had arranged a bunch of folk on the dock to meet and take the lines, never had so many willing hands 8-) .

Re: Boat US Membership and Towing

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 3:57 pm
by scallywag
I have been a member for a long time. I guess I joined in 2002. My wife named me "Captain Run Amuck". When a turtle passes me in the ICW you know I am in trouble. I really enjoy talking to the operator. Meet some interesting folks.

Re: Boat US Membership and Towing

Posted: Tue Nov 24, 2015 9:47 pm
by ka8uet
Over the years of being a BOAT US member, I've only had to be towed twice. Both times were on a power boat I owned with friends. They came immediately, towed us off, made sure we were safe and the engine worked as it should. No charge. I also had to call them once for salvage, when my small sailboat capsized in a storm which put a LOT of other boats on the rocks around our local islands. Again, they were very good, and while salvage isn't free, they were very nice and the charge wasn't outrageous. I've been very pleased, and always get the gold membership. It's not that much more expensive, and it sure helps when it counts!