The last thing many boaters want to do is add expenses such as towing services for mechanical breakdowns on the water. Boaters know that much like a car, boats are susceptible to some form of failure, which can leave you stranded. Other fellow boaters will likely be gracious enough to lend a helping hand if someone is nearby. The question remains, are tow boat companies worth it? You can rely on other boats nearby, pay a tow company out of pocket per tow, or insure the vessel with a service. 

It is worth comparing the cost of insurance versus how much it would be if a breakdown occurred when you’re out on the water. Lets take a look at whether or not tow boat companies are worth it. 

What is the cost to tow a boat if you are not covered under insurance:

The average rate to tow a boat is $250 per hour. By the time the service company responds, prepares the tow, and returns the broken down vessel to the dock, you can easily exceed $600 in one tow. 

What are the rates for towing insurance:

Depending on where the boat is located, towing insurance rates can vary. Lakes come at a lower cost to insure than coastal areas with water levels that are influenced by tides. 

The cost range for major towing companies ranges between $85 and $119 per year for lake boaters. 

In the coastal regions, the yearly fee is most commonly between $159 and $179. 

What are the two major boat towing companies:

The two major towing companies are called Sea Tow and Tow Boat US or known to many as Boat Tow US.

If you pay for towing insurance, how for offshore will they tow you back in from:

Generally speaking, tow companies will offer towing services for up to fifty miles offshore and even beyond. Keep in mind, conditions, fuel capacity of the towboat, and other factors can impact the decision to complete the task at that particular time of a breakdown. 

While breakdowns are covered, another unfortunate occurrence is accidental groundings:

If the boat was to become grounded, Sea Tow and Tow Boat US would pull the vessel from the area that it ran aground if it is considered a “soft grounding.” Soft groundings are groundings that the boat can become free if the waves or tide can free you. If you ran up on rocks and significant damage was incurred, that would not be considered a soft grounding.

What else may be included when you subscribe for a year of towing services:

  1. Offer towing services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
  2. Jumpstarts for dead boat batteries.
  3. Delivery of fuel if you were to run out.
  4. If the towing service you pay insurance for is not in the area, the company will reimburse you for a certain amount of expenses.
  5. The towing insurance card often provides great discounts on fuel and marine supplies.

Other add on benefits are also available such as trailer coverage. If you’re a boat owner who keeps a boat on the trailer, it may be beneficial to consider including trailer coverage as a safety net. Typically, the tow vehicle is also included. Should the trailer or truck have mechanical issues, 24/7 roadside assistance is available. 

In the end, the decision is evident. This risk of going without towing coverage can be costly if you require assistance. All it takes is one incident per annual contract to save yourself the pain of diving deep into the wallet. Additionally, towing coverage provides peace of mind should you run into trouble. The unexpected can happen at any time, even if you meticulously maintain your vessel. We have found it to come in handy but the choice is yours.