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Tag: sea tow

SeaTow Urges July 4 Boating Safety


Southold, NY – – Over the long July 4th weekend, countless coastal and lakeside towns across the country mount fireworks displays, many of which will launch from the water. These exciting events draw hundreds of boaters, who anchor out or raft up in order to have “ring-side seats” for the show. Boating at night and in the smoke caused by the fireworks can prove challenging, however, the non-profit Sea Tow Foundation offers the following six safety tips for boaters watching a July 4th fireworks display from the water:

1. Wear you life jacket! Make sure everyone onboard the boat is wearing either a traditional life jacket that fits properly, or an inflatable PFD. Navigating at night in smoky conditions can be just as dangerous as boating in stormy weather or in fog.

2. Designate a Sober Skipper to stay at the helm all evening and be responsible for returning the boat and its passengers safely to shore after the fireworks display is over.

3. Watch your weight. Don’t overload the boat with passengers. The number of seats available on board is not always the best indicator of capacity. Look for the boat’s capacity plate on the transom or by the helm, or look up the passenger capacity in the boat’s manual.

4. Things look different at night. Remember that in the dark, visual navigation markers you rely on during the day may be invisible. Chart your route to your fireworks-viewing spot in advance, and use GPS-enabled electronics to help you find it, if necessary.

5. Listen Up! Follow the directions issued to boaters by U.S. Coast Guard and Coast Guard Auxiliary as to where you may safely anchor to view the fireworks away from sparks and ash.

Relax and enjoy the show. Don’t be in a rush to get home; let some of the boat traffic clear out before you raise anchor after the fireworks display is over.

About Sea Tow
Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider for boaters. Established in 1983 by Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow serves members inland to the coast throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit seatow.com. Sea Tow also offers free boating safety information including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit seatow.com and boatingsafety.com.

About the Sea Tow Foundation
In 2007, Sea Tow Founder and CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer created the Sea Tow Foundation – a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization – to promote safe boating practices. The Foundation’s goal is to reduce accidents, fatalities and property damage related to recreational boating. For more information, please visit boatingsafety.com. – See more at: http://www.thefishingwire.com/story/322574#sthash.57Pd6RrQ.dpuf

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Sea Tow Offers Hurricane Season Tips for Boaters


SOUTHOLD, N.Y., – The official forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the 2013 Atlantic Hurricane Season, issued on May 23, called for “an active or extremely active season” this year. For the six-month hurricane season, which begins on June 1, NOAA predicted 70 percent likelihood of 13-20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7-11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3-6 major Category 3-5 hurricanes (winds of 111 mph or higher). This is well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

Hurricane Sandy, which devastated areas of the Northeast last October, causing an estimated $650 million in damage to recreational boats, demonstrated that even boaters in regions that infrequently experience hurricanes should be prepared for hurricane season. The direction, size and severity of storms can change quickly. Last-minute preparations often are difficult to make and limited in their scope. So it pays to plan ahead. Now is the time for boaters to start taking steps to protect their vessels from what could be a very busy summer storm season along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Sea Tow Services International, Inc. (www.seatow.com), the nation’s leading marine assistance service provider, offers the following 15 tips from its experienced Coast Guard-licensed Captains for how boaters can prepare for the upcoming hurricane season.

Be sure your boat is insured. A boat that is damaged by a hurricane can wind up costing far more to fix than an insurance policy costs annually.

Review your marine insurance policy, especially its hurricane season provisions. Boat owners whose insurance requires them to relocate their vessels out of a hurricane zone should do so by the date specified in their policy.

Make a Storm Plan. Most insurance providers require a formal written plan detailing where and how your boat must be secured during a major storm. Designate a responsible person to execute the plan if you will be out of town.

Check with your marina, storage facility or the owner of the private dock where your boat is moored to be sure the vessel can remain there during a hurricane. If it can stay, know the procedure for securing not only your boat, but those docked around it as well. A boat that breaks loose in a hurricane can wreak havoc on neighboring vessels.

Pick a haul-out provider. Owners who must move their boats in the event of a storm should decide where to have it hauled before hurricane season begins. Don’t wait until a storm is imminent. Check with your local Sea Tow operator to see what pre-storm haul-out services are offered.

Monitor local and national weather services including NOAA Weather Radio and the National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center at www.nhc.noaa.gov.

Make an inventory, preferably by video, of all valuable fixed items such as marine electronics onboard your boat.

Store all the boat’s important documents, including your marine insurance policy, in a secure place off the vessel.

When a major storm is forecast for your area:

Remove all detachable items from your boat, such as canvas, sails, cushions, fishing rigging, radios, electronics and antennas. Lash down everything that you cannot remove, including booms, tillers, wheels, etc.

Deflate your dinghy and store it and its outboard motor off the boat. If it’s a fiberglass dinghy, have it stored in an indoor facility.

Lash your boat down securely if it is on a trailer. Use tie-downs to anchor the trailer to the ground, let the air out of its tires, and weigh down the frame.

Disconnect your boat’s battery. If it is in a facility with shore power, be sure all power is turned off and all shore power cords are stowed securely.

Center your boat in its slip if it is docked in a marina or in a private berth. Double-up all dock lines and make sure they are of sufficient length to compensate for excessive high water.

Anchored boats should put out enough scope. Inspect all anchor rodes and chain and use only good or new gear. Set extra anchors as necessary.

Do not stay with your boat or try to ride out a storm on board. No matter how valuable your vessel is to you-both financially and sentimentally-it’s not worth your life.

About Sea Tow
Now celebrating its 30th anniversary year, Sea Tow Services International Inc. is the nation’s leading on-water assistance provider. Established in 1983 by Founder & CEO Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, Sea Tow now serves members in more than 100 locations throughout the United States, Europe, U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. For a full list of membership benefits, how to become a Sea Tow member, or to inquire about becoming a Sea Tow franchise owner, please visit seatow.com.

In addition to providing peace of mind on the water 24/7 to Sea Tow members and other boaters, Sea Tow also offers innovative, free boating safety and information services to the public, including the Sea Tow App for smartphones, Sea Tow’s Automated Radio Check Service, and the nonprofit Sea Tow Foundation’s Life Jacket Loaner Station program. For more information, visit www.seatow.com and www.boatingsafety.com.

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Free Sea Tow App Available For iPhone and Android


Get the Sea Tow App For Your iPhone or Android–It’s Free!

Go to the AppStore or GooglePlay


On-Water Services

Know The Tides

Get tide forecasts, moon phases, & next tide countdown in both analogue and graph format. In up to eight locations. And up to seven days in advance. Activate the “Follow Me” feature in your tides settings pane to continuously find the nearest tide station.

Commercial Services

Check the forecast

Detailed weather report available including wind/gust speed & direction. Plus water temp, wave height, visibility, barometric pressure trend and sunrise/sunset times. With forecasts of up to seven days. In up to seven different locations. And weather alerts in your area.

Spill and Environmental Clean-up

Get your bearings

Direction and location are no longer an issue. With the compass and speedometer, get your heading, lat/long, speed over ground and course over ground. Pinpoint your precise location on a map, take a photo, then share it with a friend. Designed for inland and near coastal use, it also works offshore with many GPS-enabled phones.

Catastrophe Response

Help is on the way.

Have peace of mind knowing you can contact Sea Tow through this App in addition to your VHF Radio. No matter what screen you’re on, you can contact Sea Tow’s 24 Hour Dispatch Center. Captains are standing by, ready to help. We know your exact location, even when you don’t.

Catastrophe Response

Keep your night vision sharp.

The Sea Tow App is the first of its kind to provide different graphic displays for night and day so it won’t disrupt your night vision. Adjust your Sea Tow App from Day to Night mode in just one swipe.

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Week Four, Steinhatchee Scallop Season, 2012

by on Jul.22, 2012, under Steinhatchee

Week Four of the 2012 bay scallop harvest got off to a slow start with lots of thunderstorms and rain.  Luckily, the worst days were Monday through Thursday, and by Friday (July 20), skies were clearing and chances of storms had diminished.  That’s not to say that folks weren’t watching the weather closely, as “your 30-percent chance of rain” can always sneak up in the form of a violent storm, with lots of wind, rain, lightning and even hail!  And with the bulk of the scallops being taken in the Pepperfish Keys area, riding home the ten or so miles can be arduous is it’s storming.

There's great scalloping just north of the Pepperfish Keys channel, south of Steinhatchee

It seems that the continuing runoff from Tropical Storm Debby still has the waters to the north of the Steinhatchee River muddied up or stained, making scalloping difficult.  I’d bet that there are plenty of scallops in the deeper waters near Nine Mile Bank, but they may be hard to see, and deep.  At Pepperfish, it’s waist-deep on low tide, making the exercise easy and fun.  In general, the scallops are still coming to the cleaning table at the Sea Hag Marina by the buckets-full, and the meat (adductor muscles) is big this year, with 2 gallon limits producing just over a pound of clean scallops.

Another factor that can make the ride south difficult is the huge influx of floating sea grass.  This is caused by the natural shedding of old growth and accelerated by the persistent westerly breezes along the Big Bend.  There’s no danger in running through the grass, but be sure to check you water pressure gauge frequently to be sure your cooling water intakes are not clogged.  Another method is to watch the “pee hole” of your outboard.  If the stream is weak, your motor’s likely clogging up.  Many outboard motors now come with an alarm system that sounds upon overheating, and then slow the engine speed down automatically.  If you do clog up, DO NOT STOP YOUR MOTOR.  All that will do is seize a piston to the cylinder wall (not a good thing!).  Shift gears from forward to reverse, and keep the revolutions (RPMs) up.  Higher revs mean that you’re pumping more cool water into your engine’s water jacket.  Usually a minute or so will clear the intakes and you’ll be on your way.

I can’t stress enough the need for any boater to have some sort of assistance “insurance” in the form of either Sea Tow or Tow Boat US membership.  Getting a tow home can be expensive.  At Carrabelle, Steinhatchee and Horseshoe Beach, I recommend Sea Tow.  At Yankeetown (Levy and Citrus County) Capt. Matt Fleming of Tow Boat US is always on call.

Sea Tow/Horseshoe Beach now has a presence at the Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee.

Capt. Matt Fleming of Tow Boat/Yankeetown is waiting to assist!

For a few hints on successful scalloping, click HERE!

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Meet Your Sea Tow Captains at the 2012 Tallahassee Boat Show, March 2-4

by on Mar.01, 2012, under FLORIDA'S BIG BEND AND EMERALD COAST

March 2-4 marks the 2012 Tallahassee Boat Show at the Tallahassee Fairgrounds. When you are at the show, be sure to stop by the Sea Tow booth – we’d love to see you there! It’s the perfect opportunity to get to know your Sea Tow Captains, ask a local Sea Tow expert about boating and fishing on your local waterways, do a little accessory shopping, and tour the new boat you’ve been dreaming about buying.

When you stop by the Sea Tow booth and JOIN or RENEW your Sea Tow membership at the Boat Show, you will receive 14 months for the price of 12 – that is 2 MONTHS of Sea Tow service FREE! **Offer valid ONLY in person at the Boat Show**

Hours of operation for the 2012 Tallahassee Boat Show are as follows:
Friday, March 2, 2012 10:00am-7:00pm
Saturday, March 3, 2012 10:00am-7:00pm
Sunday, March 4, 2012 10:00am-5:00pm
Admission to the Boat Show is FREE. Click here for more information about the 2012 Tallahassee Boat Show.

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Sea Tow/Horseshoe Beach Adds Shallow Water Tow Boat!

by on Feb.29, 2012, under Horseshoe Beach, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Steinhatchee

Take a look at this rig.  It will be a welcome sight if you get stranded in the shallow waters near Horseshoe Beach and Keaton Beach.  I saw the boat a the Sea Hag Marina in Steinhatchee, as suspect that’s where Capt. Sammy Royal will dock her for the upcoming warm months.  Sea Tow / Horseshoe Beach is always standing by on VHF Channel 16–just in case.  Or, if you have phone service, call (352) 498-4144.

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Breaker, Breaker, 27—Sea Tow’s New Automated Radio Check Service

by on Mar.06, 2011, under Horseshoe Beach, Keaton Beach to Fenholloway, Steinhatchee, Suwannee

Don’t bug the marinas anymore with your constant radio checks.  Sea Tow now offers an automatic radio check service in the Steinhatchee, Keaton Beach, Carrabelle and Horseshoe Beach areas.  When you call VHF Channel 27 and ask for a ‘radio check’ the service will repeat your call, letting you know that it was received ‘4×4′.  Give it a try the next time you’re out.

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Sea Tow Service Now On Station at Steinhatchee, Florida

by on Feb.25, 2011, under Steinhatchee

Steinhatchee finally has its very own Sea Tow boat, thanks to Sea Tow/Horseshoe Beach operator Sammy Royal.  Of course, Sammy’s always been available, but it’s nice to know he’s keeping one of his boats at The Sea Hag Marina.

Sea Tow Steinhatchee

Sea Tow service now available at Steinhatchee, FL.

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