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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone have experience paying for towing service if they did not pay insurance upfront? Let's say for example I'm stuck on a sandbar at POC and it takes them 1 hr to find me 30 min to get me off and another hr to get me back to POC. How much would I expect to pay?

If I went fishing every week or even every month I suspect that the best thing is to buy the insurance. If you go to the coast 3 times a year and have reliable equipment then maybe the answer is different.

I didn't find googling very useful for this question as google has been paid to route all these kinds of searches to the boat insurance towing agencies.
 

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Not sure to be honest, I use BoatUS for my insurance because I initially financed my boat, but kept it after I paid my boat off.

I DID have this experience on Lake Austin one time:
PleasureBoaterX breaks down mid lake but is about 1 mile from their dock. Asks me if I can tow them in. Being the all around awesome dude I am, I say sure!
I tow them to their dock and they offered to pay me A LOT of money ... like more than $100. It was so unusually high, that I laughed at first but insistently declined because the amount made me uncomfortable for the loss of 10-15min. When I asked him why so much, he said that to get his boat towed before, it had cost him several hundred dollars. He didn't give me exact figures, but implied that $150 was about half of what it would have cost him.
(And this is the reason I kept insurance + towing for about $150/yr .. seems like it pays for itself with one tow)

So I think it can be expensive ... because Lake Austin is not that big. And it couldn't be hard to find anyone on it. I would think that price scale with distance and time (and gasoline).

I'd be interested to hear what you find out.
 

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Here is the thing about having to get a tow. You are 100% at their mercy if you need one and they can charge whatever they feel like charging when they show up. It isn't like a tow truck where you have 50 companies less than 10 mins away. I've heard a few horror stories on the coast where someone was stuck and they wanted 1k or something ridiculous to pull them out.
 

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This might not be pertinent to your question but one time we broke down on my buddies 32 blackfin about 46 miles from the delaware coast. he had unlimited towing from boat us, which cost like $150.00 for year. when the tow boat guy put us in the dock he had to sign a paper for the captain to send to boast us and it had like $3200.00 or something like that on it as the actual cost but because he had unlimited towing he paid zero. i'm not sure you have tow boat us or seatow for your lakes but if you have something similar it is worth the piece of mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Having on-water towing service, whether through your boat insurance or SeaTow or LakeTow is a 100% no-brainer.
I think that you are correct, especially if you are at the coast. I did a bit more binging and have concluded that if you got stuck on a sandbar near the J hook and need help you are probably going to have to pay >$2000. The reason is as mentioned by others is that there is no competition and the tow operators that are there have contractual obligations with their insurance companies that force them to charge a substantial fee even if they wanted to charge less.

I have about concluded that if you are going to the coast 2-3x a year you really should just hire a guide. If you figure out total cost its not worth it to diy not to mention finding the fish. Now if you go with buddies and have 2 boats that can change the equation.

If you are on Lake Austin some kind soul will probably give you a tow. If you tow someone don't accept payment because if you do then you become liable for any possible damage/injuries.
 

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I had an electrical issue and got stranded about 10 miles from the ramp at Seadrift once. I had a nice fella tow me most of the way. Once we got into the same bay as the ramp. I limped the rest of the way with the TM. I keep a long, durable rope on board to repay the favor to someone else someday
 

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I've towed folks in to POC from J-Hook/Sunday beach twice. Banking some boat karma is always good. I also have the BoatUS plus trailer option. I've not needed the boat towing yet, but it's great peace of mind, particularly at the coast.

I have used the trailer service when a truck engine blew. They towed my truck 20 miles to shop in Round Rock, then brought my boat/trailer home for, I think, zero cost to me except I tipped the driver. Awesome service.
 

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I got stuck on Travis in between Bee Creek and Calcasieu Point with no gas, and 5 miles or more from the Briarcliff Marina.

So I called Sea Tow and the guy said it was $200 plus gas to deliver the fuel to me. It took him an hour to get there but he apologized for the wait so he gave me the gas gratis... and he did have a very hot girlfriend in the boat with him. I paid the $200 with no complaint, since he had to come from the Mansfield Dam area and besides, it was almost 5pm and I didn't want to spend the night with my ass stuck in the middle of Lake Travis. I was happy to get off that cheaply.
 

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If you tow someone don't accept payment because if you do then you become liable for any possible damage/injuries.
That's probably some of the best advice I've read on this board! I did NOT know that!
 

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I think that you are correct, especially if you are at the coast. I did a bit more binging and have concluded that if you got stuck on a sandbar near the J hook and need help you are probably going to have to pay >$2000. The reason is as mentioned by others is that there is no competition and the tow operators that are there have contractual obligations with their insurance companies that force them to charge a substantial fee even if they wanted to charge less.

I have about concluded that if you are going to the coast 2-3x a year you really should just hire a guide. If you figure out total cost its not worth it to diy not to mention finding the fish. Now if you go with buddies and have 2 boats that can change the equation.

If you are on Lake Austin some kind soul will probably give you a tow. If you tow someone don't accept payment because if you do then you become liable for any possible damage/injuries.
You might be liable even if you don't accept payment, have good insurance, always.
 
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