Marine service helps stranded boaters
July 2, 2009 · 10:07 AM
When a car breaks down, the driver can hail the nearest tow truck, or invoke the terms of a pre-arranged service plan to get on location assistance. Or they can wait by the roadside and hope to flag someone down for help.
In some cases, such as running out of gas, it would be possible to walk or hitchhike to the nearest service station.
Boaters have fewer options, since being out on the water limits access to assistance. So boaters should be aware of a service designed for rescue and towing, should the need arise.
The Port Orchard Seatow franchise, located at the marina, is one of about 120 locations nationwide.
The six local franchises are all supervised by Capt. Izzy Adoram, who operates out of Port Orchard.
Seatow is similar to AAA, which provides a similar service for cars for a yearly membership fee or will tow or jump-start a car for a flat rate.
In this case, the minimum service call is $200 while an annual membership costs $149 (a current promotion gives new members 14 months for the price of 12).
Adoram said most non-members immediately join up after being rescued.
The membership also follows the person, rather than the boat. So if a member is piloting a boat that becomes disabled they will qualify for a rescue, regardless of the boat’s disposition.
Adoram, a New York native, came to the area for the Seatow job four years ago, and bought the business last year.
The boats used by the company gets about 15 or 20 calls each week, and its vessels have the ability to tow up to 200 gross tons — -although the safe limit is about half that.
“We can tow much larger boats,” he said, “in the same way that you often see a small tugboat pushing a large barge.”
The most common calls are similar to that for the auto club — needing a jump start or because they ran out of gas.
In several cases Seatow needs to pull a boat in for repair, and will even tow a boat from its home port to a repair station as part of the deal.
Adoram, 30, lives on a boat at the Port Orchard marina and is on call around the clock.
He doesn’t drink alcohol, so he is always ready to conduct a rescue.
The company avoids direct comparisons to AAA, and stresses that it is not an insurance service. Instead, it has adopted the “road service at sea” slogan as a trademark.
“What keeps me out there is a passion for being out there on the water and the ability to help people in need,” Adoram said. “This provides a good service for the community.”