My wife and I were bound for the Gulf Islands from Vancouver, British Columbia. We were running our 1974 Uniflite 36-foot motoryacht a little faster than typical, but the temperature and oil pressure gauges looked fine. Halfway across the Strait of Georgia, the boat suddenly started losing power, and I looked back and saw black smoke. I shut down the engines and called BoatUS. It was getting late in the day (the reason for running hard), and safety comes first on our boat.
The BoatUS dispatcher was professional and asked all the right questions — our location, number of people and dogs aboard, advised that the tow was included in our membership, then put me on hold while he contacted the local tow company. Nick Boychuk, a captain from TowBoatUS Gulf Islands, was comforting on the phone, and he got underway for the 90-minute run to my location.
Feeling relieved that help was on the way if we needed it, I started the starboard engine and began limping toward our destination. I let Nick know we were moving, so he asked me to let him know if we ran into more trouble or when we made it to the marina. He also offered to meet us and help us into a slip.
Although we didn't need Nick's help in the end, he was professional and gave me a sense of calm. Knowing he was on his way helped me think clearly and focus on the task at hand. I want to offer a big thank you to BoatUS and specifically Nick. My towing membership is one of the best expenses I pay, knowing you're there if things go wrong.