Sea Tow membership gives boaters Peace of Mind on the Water™ knowing that our captains are standing by 24/7. While we do love our members, we understand that you would rather NOT have to call us and would prefer to enjoy a full, uninterrupted day on the water. We determined the five most common reasons why boaters call Sea Tow for assistance and put together tips on how you can avoid the same situations.

1. Engine or equipment breakdown.

“The biggest reason why we tow people is because of mechanical failure,” says Capt. Mike DeGenaro of Sea Tow Charlotte Harbor. “It all comes down to proper maintenance. That means having the boat looked over by a professional mechanic on a regular basis… and don’t forget to change your water impeller.”

2. Fuel-related issues.

“We always suggest a pre-season, spring inspection, and regular maintenance on the fuel system. This means changing all fuel filters and inspecting the fuel lines and fuel bulbs,” says Capt. Chris Ward of Sea Tow South Mississippi. “We also recommend that you put 100 percent ethanol-free gasoline in your gas-powered boat’s tank. If you must use ethanol fuel, we suggest using a fuel additive, and using all ethanol-resistant fuel components.”

3. Out of gas.

“Don’t trust your boat’s fuel gauge. They’re all different. Know your average fuel burn per hour and track the hours of use in-between fill-ups. Be sure to also take the weather into account,” says Capt. Mike. He’s made fuel drops to scores of boaters who thought they had more fuel in the tank than they did. “Go by the “Rule of Thirds” – one-third of the tank going out, one-third to get back, and one-third in reserve.”

4. Dead battery.

“Battery issues are our second largest call in the springtime, even on newer boats,” said Capt. Chris. “I suggest having a marine trickle charger plugged in during winter months and installing a new battery every three to five years. Most of the newer four-stroke engines require much more amperage for cranking and for the electronics. We also suggest that checking all connections on batteries are clean and tight. Remove the wing nuts that come on some marine batteries and replace them with lock nuts to ensure there’s a solid connection.”

5. Ran aground.

“Boaters unfamiliar with the area will call Sea Tow and ask for help with local navigation,” said Capt. Mike. “It’s great and we’re happy to help. It’s also our advice to skip shortcuts and unmarked passages until you’re familiar with local waters. By staying in a marked channel, you generally don’t have to worry about shoaling or shifting sandbars.”



As the premier leader in on-water boating assistance, Sea Tow members receive the most comprehensive benefits available. Membership includes a full suite of on-water assistance services for every boat you own or rent. Learn more about our membership options today. To find the Sea Tow closest to you, use our service locator or call our Customer Care Team at 800-4-SEATOW.

Sea Tow Team

Sea Tow has been the premier leader in on-water boating assistance since 1983. We want to share news, press, tips and all things boating.

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