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Author Topic:   Towing Service SW Fla; dock lines?
blavid posted 03-26-2002 06:10 PM ET (US)   Profile for blavid   Send Email to blavid  
Hey all...just thinking about some on the water towing protection/emergency services for the Florida Gulf Coast...any preferences on SeaTow vs BoatUS Towing? Anybody have any concerns over them? I like the peace of mind that they can offer if you ever have a problem on the water.

Also, I am looking to wet slip the Whaler for the upcoming spring/summer season. (I had to suffer through the pros and cons of bottom painting the hull and dry vs. wet storage, but I ended up with a great covered wet slip with lots of protection from the elements. It'll be more work being in the water all the time, but I am willing to keep up with it and the added expense.) What kind of knots/lines do I use to moor to the pilings? I think I have two pilings up front and I will tie the stern lines to a couple of deck cleats in back, and also use a after-spring line to keep the boat from hitting the dock to the rear. Do I just throw a bowline knot around the pilings up front? Any detailed response is welcomed!

Swellmonster posted 03-26-2002 07:57 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
I think you live in the Tampa area, where do you boat?
Swellmonster posted 03-26-2002 08:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Pardon my dumb response......
Check this out! "Tax deductible"
Echard Colledge has a S&R that works off donations.
Does your boat insurance cover for towing???
blavid posted 03-26-2002 08:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for blavid  Send Email to blavid     
Will be out of Dunedin....

What do mean Eckerd S&R? My insurance only covers the first $50 (maybe it's $500, gotta check)

Swellmonster posted 03-26-2002 09:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
Echards S&R (search & rescue)
Call them and see where there boundaries are..
Swellmonster posted 03-26-2002 09:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
About your mooring lines, check our local coast guard aux on the web with wonderful safe boating coarses. How did you end up with a whaler?
Whalerdan posted 03-27-2002 11:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
I have SeaTow, never used them tough.

They claim they have umlimited, unrestriced service area towing, with $2,500 per incident limit outside of service area, no annual limit.

BoatUS is limited to a 25 mile radius of an TowBoat US port and limited to $1000 outside of their area. On the other hand they offer some cheaper packages that might be good for you.

Checkout the web pages:

David Ratusnik posted 03-27-2002 07:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
blavid- I happen to use SeaTow in the Port Canaveral/KSC area. I don't really believe that the company SeaTow versus others is the issue. The owner/operator is key. In our case over here the owner/operator has two boats (a large Dusky for off shore towing) and a 22'Gaurdian Whaler for ICW work. He's available for those who have needed him (Ed Roberts). Great guy, great job. Talk to the boaters at serveral marinas in your local area -- that should clarify the issue. Good luck David
blavid posted 03-27-2002 08:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for blavid  Send Email to blavid     
I will talk to the local boaters in the area...I almost invariably see more SeaTow boats present in all the local marinas and waterways than any other towing company...that probably speaks for itself.

Can't wait to go grouper fishing!

jimh posted 03-29-2002 12:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For your mooring lines at your dock, I recommend this approach:

Buy a set of lines for your dock and another set for the boat. When you are at your dock, use lines that are tied to the dock and have loops in the ends that go to the boat.

When you come into your dock, you just grab your lines and put them on the cleats. When making the lines fast to the cleats, pass the eye of the line though the eye of the cleat, then open the eye of the line and loop over the cleat horns. This is more secure than just looping over the cleat.

Carefully adjust and set the lines at your dock so the boat does not rub on pilings, so that lines do not chaf, and that the boat is properly moored in all tide ranges.

It will probably take several times to get this just right. That is why I recommend leaving those lines at the dock when you go out.

Have a second set of lines on the boat, and use them when you come to a foreign dock. Ofen times if you come to a fuel dock or restaurant dock, they already have lines on their cleats and you won't even need your lines.

If you do use the lines from your boat's locker when making fast to a pier, remember to take them with you when you leave--hey I am not kidding, everybody has done this with a line or a fender; you see it all the time.

We used to use this approach with a club of sailboats. It kept the boats from getting tied up wrong in the slips all the time and getting a lot of scars on their gelcoat.

jimh posted 03-29-2002 12:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Changed topic: Was "SeaTow vs BoatUS for my new Whaler?"--jimh.]
phatwhaler posted 03-30-2002 02:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for phatwhaler  Send Email to phatwhaler     

If your gonna do your boating out of Dunedin, then I think Sea Tow is probably your best choice. Dunedin is basically in the middle of Sea Tow's area. They operate from Largo to north of the Cotee River.(New Port Richey) Dunedin is basically the northern portion of Boat US's area. If you go north of Dunedin you'll quickly be out of Boat US's coverage area.

phatwhaler out.

blavid posted 03-30-2002 08:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for blavid  Send Email to blavid     
Thanks a bunch! SeaTow it is...

By the way, when I flush my 2002 Optimax using the quickconnect adapter, I had my engine tilted all the way up. With the water flowing and the engine at idle and tilted up, the SmartGauges beeped a few times and I saw a blinking oil and water symbol on the gauges. I immediately shut the engine off and continued to flush the engine with it off. What am I doing wrong? Should the engine be tilted down? Do I even have to run the engine? If I tilt the engine down, the lower unit/prop/water intake will be in the salt water..(remember I am in a wet slip for now). Thanks!

Bigshot posted 04-01-2002 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Blavid and all.....will you be attending our Shell Key rendezvous off St pete on 4/13? Check the section for dettails, looks like about 15 boats so far if everyone shows.
hauptjm posted 04-01-2002 02:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
Check your manual for flushing. Personally, my Johnson flushes in the down position, with the engine off. I'm referring to my outboard, of course.
jimh posted 04-01-2002 06:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
My guess on the warning sounds when tipped: your oil resevoirs are tilted and the oil sensor detects lower levels.
triblet posted 04-01-2002 10:59 PM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
One comment on dock lines: Don't go bananas.
Use the diameter the book recommends. I
helped a 19 Guardian (real gummint boat)
dock Sunday, and his dock lines were at least
1/2", maybe 5/8". The book says 3/8" to 27'
They were a pain to get around the cleat
(which was sized for trailer boats since
it was the finger pier on the breakwater


blavid posted 04-02-2002 07:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for blavid  Send Email to blavid     
Yeah...I got some 3/8" lines for the 21 foot Whaler, and I was able to tie up to the pilings nice and clean with all of your advice! I do not know if I will be able to make the Tampa Bay Rendezvous this month because I already had something else on land planned; if it changes I will try to make it if I can learn how to navigate there!
Bigshot posted 04-02-2002 11:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I have maps!
Swellmonster posted 04-03-2002 01:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
What type of motor flush unit does the optimax have? Does it have the square 1/2 head?
blavid posted 04-03-2002 08:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for blavid  Send Email to blavid     
The motor has a small fixture at the rear of the has a small round threaded plug with a square head that you use to remove it, then you thread on a male quick connect adapter where the plug was. You then thread on a separate female connector to the end of your water hose and snap this onto the adpater that you screwed onto the back of the engine and continue to flush the motor.
Swellmonster posted 04-05-2002 04:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
I just confirmed it with MarineMax, you should not be running your motor with the garden hose hooked up to the top flushing unit. Just let it flush w/out running it. It does not provide enough water and you can burn your waterpump out.
blavid posted 04-05-2002 08:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for blavid  Send Email to blavid     
Thanks for checking with MarineMax, Swellmonster; I continue to flush with the engine OFF.

By the way, what service is recommended at 20 hours? My dealer said that it probably would be a good idea for them to check it out. Are they right?

Swellmonster posted 04-11-2002 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Swellmonster  Send Email to Swellmonster     
I have ordered a shop manual from marine max for my motor. Do the same for yours.
Not to take away from this site, but look at Look under their forums, there is a specialist for all of our/your areas. OMC, Merc, Jap, whatever. Check it out, very informative site. Fastfish is our moderator....for merc

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