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Old 04-11-2011, 03:23 PM   #1
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Cymru's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Posts: 247
Default TowBoatUS worth every penny!

Hi All,

Decided to take Wales Tales out on Sunday. It was a beautiful day and my father-in-law was visiting. We headed out of the marina and were cruising at about 3800rpm for 15 minutes before I felt a little power loss. I looked down at the instruments, water temp was normal, oil pressure normal and then all power just quit. I immediately turned the key to off. Then, I tried to put the boat into neutral but I could not get it to go back. The stick would move forward but not back so at that point, I was dead in the water.

I called the 800 number for TowBoatUS, they dispatched a towboat and I followed up with him on VHF to get an eta. At the time I lost power I was in the center of a narrow portion of the lake in 120 ft +. Within 20 minutes I was 30 ft away from the rocks and finally in anchor depth so I let the anchor go and we dragged a little bit until I was about 20 ft away then she held nicely. Thankfully.

Tow boat turned up, tied on the tow rope, I started winding the anchor up and the damn chain got caught up again and blew all of my DC. I had to have a little laugh to myself at this point given the same thing happened with the windlass last week.

Then we had a leisurely 1 hour and 30 minutes in tow where the rope broke 4 times. :-) I guess the tow boat was having a bad day too but he got me back to the marina and into my slip and all I had to do was sign the BoatUS paperwork and we were done. He said that insurance just saved me $300 so it could have always been worse and it may soon be once the mechanic has time to look at it.

I'm hoping since the temp and oil pressure were normal that it is fuel related. I filled up in November before she took a winter nap and I did not use any stabilizer so perhaps that. I was also thinking that it could have something to do with the throttle linkage since I'm unable to get it back into neutral. We'll see.

There is another note of caution here though. If I had of been in the ocean it could have become really tricky. Out of cell range and no DC. I am amazed to be honest that a major safety device such as the VHF radio was not wired directly to the battery with a separate, easy to access in line fuse. You guys smarter than me will have to explain that logic.

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Old 04-13-2011, 09:02 PM   #2
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 139

Cymru, glad it turned out relatively easy (so far). In the 7 or so years we had SeaTow and never used them, last year when we went to T inboards and got grounded driving her home, the one ungrounding would have been nearly $800 ; that paid for 5 years worth of coverage right there. BoatUS/SeaTow is cheap insurance, well worth it.

Interesting fact that we found out parked next to the County Police Marine boat (tidal NE, Freeport, NY); they will tow for free. Also found out it is legal to drink and drive a boat, just not intoxicatingly so above .08 (and not flaunting it, asking for trouble).
Prior boat: 1999 Maxum 2400SCR (I loved that boat but the wife made me get bigger). Current: '96 Carver 325 aft cabin.
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