Poor SeaTow hampton rds - SaltwaterCentral.Com
Adam B. Meyer, Esq. Maritime Insurance International 843.606.5270 Office &#\1; 910.202.4308 Direct adam@maritimeii.com &#\1; maritimeii.com

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transmaster
Posts: 34
Location: Richmond
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Mon May 09, 2022 8:20 pm
A charter boat was bottom fishing 80 miles from shore, pushing the weather window last week . Fighting fish on electric reel Capt drains his batteries and can’t start engine to beat the weather home .
calls coastguard they only have a helo nearby and want to evacuate boat . Capt refuses so coast guard sends a cutter from 200 miles away .
now in meantime 2 passengers have sea tow gold cards . Capt doesn’t belong to tow services .
so they call seatow who tells them membership doesn’t cover them being on a “charter” fishing boat . SeaTow quotes them $5000 to come out 80 miles and probably can’t do it for some time as members have priority .

so now the Capt has many social media posts going on how SeaTow lied to its members who have gold cards . As the gold card covers you if you “charter” a boat !
going to SeaTow membership categories, there’s gold , lakes ,commercial and professional .
further down you find Seatow’s definitions .
“charter” means renting a boat and being your own Capt . Like bareboat charters .
so now the Capt claims that’s fine print when seatow says “no fine print”

also gold will not cover you on someone else’s boat if the owner, or his family member is aboard . The owner of boat would be the responsible party . Which actually was the case as they were all friends of Capt sharing expenses for the day .

the boat got towed in by fellow commercial/charter capts so everyone was safe and sound .

but this Capt claiming seatow left them to peril at sea with storm approaching . Actually they tried to cheat the weather gods by going out knowing what was coming .has his lawyers ready to sue for abandoning them and publishing false info about the gold card ! And in meantime running his social media shaming

also if coastguard wanted to evacuate the boat due to impending danger , it becomes salvage ,not a simple membership tow


now how many people shopping for a tow policy for your personal boat would expect a free tow for a charter fishing boat your on that is supposedly under the control of a professional Capt ?
  
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Curmudgeon
Posts: 1450
Location: Faith/Southport
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Mon May 09, 2022 9:53 pm
Here’s another case of blaming SeaTow for failure to read the membership agreement. It’s stated very clearly what the rules for Gold Card use are. As for being left in peril, the Captain did not avail himself of any of well known assistance service providers, refused non-member services, and refused a Coast Guard evac. For sure there appears to be negligence here beyond draining batteries, but SeaTow seems to bare no culpability …  
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transmaster
Posts: 34
Location: Richmond
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Tue May 10, 2022 9:45 am
Wonder how towboatus defines “charter”
Cant find on their pages
  
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KatfishKayak
Posts: 567
Location: Duplin County, NC
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Tue May 10, 2022 12:46 pm
I don't know about all this, and honestly don't have a dog in the fight one way or another... but I would question why the Captain didn't have enough coverage to account for a situation like this. Sure, it costs a bit extra, but any captain knows this is a possibility when they run trips that far offshore. Regardless, I can't see faulting SeaTow for this.

That said, I'm gonna go doublecheck my coverage now.
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Capt Phillip Loughlin
Katfish Kayak and Fishing Adventures, LLC
Kayak Mothership and Offshore Fishing Charters
Canyon Wren - Parker 2320 SC - 300hp Yamaha
  
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transmaster
Posts: 34
Location: Richmond
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Tue May 10, 2022 4:52 pm
Wonder how towboatus defines “charter”
Cant find on their pages
  
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glacierbaze
Posts: 825
Location: Chapel Hill/Pine Knoll Shores, NC
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Tue May 10, 2022 11:31 pm
Who is this "professional charter captain", who runs his electric reels off of his starting batteries until they won't crank the engines?  
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Bilzo
Posts: 2553
Location: Pittsboro, NC
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Wed May 11, 2022 8:22 am
All kinds of weird with this one.

I think the take home message is to make sure that your coverage covers what you think it does ahead of time.

I can honestly see this a bit from both sides...as I'd considering 'chartering a boat' to mean 'paying for a charter'. The term that seatow should probably use that would take the confusion out here is "rent a boat".
If you ask a boater the difference between "renting a boat" and "chartering a boat", practically every single person would say 'chartering comes with a captain and maybe a crew, renting means just the boat".

I don't know that the smear campaign is necessary, but I haven't seen the post, and if the spirit of it is to tell people to understand their coverage, I see no issues.

(also gonna agree - using your crank engine to power electric reels to the point of exhaustion sound pretty dumb to me)
  
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Demus
Posts: 16
Location: Oak Island
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Wed May 11, 2022 7:15 pm
What depth and how many fish were reeled up to kill the batteries? Why was the boat turned off knowing you where using the cranking batteries? Just curious.
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Reel Dragon
Oak Island, NC
  
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Curmudgeon
Posts: 1450
Location: Faith/Southport
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Wed May 11, 2022 8:25 pm
From the Seatow Membership Agreement, this is the governing language from the SeaTow Membership that every member receives:

Charter/Rent/Lease/Borrow: Use of a chartered, rented, boat club or borrowed vessel by the member with the permission of the vessel’s registered owner, where the member is the master of the vessel (has care, custody and control) and neither the registered owner of the vessel, nor any family member 18 years or older, is on board. In other words, membership privileges do not apply if the member is only a guest on the vessel at the time it becomes disabled.

There is only one side here. I haven’t read other providers agreement, but I bet a pack of ballyhoo they have something similar. It’s a business supplying a specified service …
  
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Bilzo
Posts: 2553
Location: Pittsboro, NC
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Thu May 12, 2022 8:20 am
Is the bold wording your language or theirs?

I agree that's pretty cut and dry, although the verbiage of "no other member of the boat owners family 18 years or older is on board" is kind of an odd loophole.

That means if I'm a seatow member, take my buddies boat out with his college aged kid - I can't call seatow?
Just a nitpick there.

Once again - take home message - read your coverage.
  
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Curmudgeon
Posts: 1450
Location: Faith/Southport
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Thu May 12, 2022 10:39 pm
The entire paragraph is a direct quote (note the italics), the bold is mine to identify the most salient part. Yes, you are correct, you are not covered if an adult member of the owner’s family is aboard. While you’re at it, read up on what events are covered and what aren’t. The membership is NOT a blanket ‘come get your ass no matter what’ insurance policy (my caps), also explained in the Membership Agreement …  
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ScottK
Posts: 1346
Location: Central NC
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Thu May 26, 2022 10:34 am
glacierbaze wrote:
Who is this "professional charter captain", who runs his electric reels off of his starting batteries until they won't crank the engines?


EXACTLY what I was thinking, who doesn't isolate their start batteries? Best thing I did a few years back was a 100 watt solar cell on the t-top, add a second house bank that is isolated from my start batteries by charging relays. Solar keeps the batteries topped off as long as it's not night time!
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Adam B. Meyer, Esq. Maritime Insurance International 843.606.5270 Office &#\1; 910.202.4308 Direct adam@maritimeii.com &#\1; maritimeii.com

Poor SeaTow hampton rds - SaltwaterCentral.Com