February 4, 2016

Sea Tow New Orleans Gives You Peace Of Mind & This Is Why

Having a back-up plan when you leave the dock is as essential to your fishing trip as having the right bait. Mine is Sea Tow New Orleans.


I cannot tell you how many times I have been hopelessly broken down or stuck. There are literally too many to list.

That is how I got as much experience running the marsh as I have: Sometimes I got lucky and was able to get help from a passerby, other times I had to lay in the bed I made.

I know this and have many back ups to bail me out of a bad situation, but the best one for fishing in Louisiana has been Sea Tow New Orleans.

Having a marine assistance provider like Sea Tow New Orleans is a great tool to have in your toolbox, but you should be warned: There is misinformation keeping boaters from making the right decision.

I created this blog post to shed light on what is true and what is not.

The experience I share can mean the difference between your family spending a cold night in the marsh or arriving safely at the dock.

Who is Sea Tow New Orleans?

They are a marine assistance provider for the Greater New Orleans area. 

They service everything east of the Mississippi River, though there is a Sea Tow West Bank that services waters west of the river.

Sea Tow New Orleans provides marine assistance such as:

  • towing
  • fuel delivery
  • battery jump starts
  • disentanglements
  • ungroundings
  • and more

Joining Sea Tow New Orleans is available with key services provided at no additional charge.

What makes them unique?

Since Sea Tow is a franchise, all Sea Tow locations are locally owned and operated by experienced and licensed boat captains. This is key for the following reasons:

Sea Tow Has Lots Of Boating Experience

These boat captains grew up fishing and navigating the same areas you fish.

SeaTow New Orleans covers members from Lake Maurepas to Breton Island and their captains know how to safely navigate across that entire area.

You won’t get an uncomfortable silence on the phone when you tell them you are broke down in Bayou Batola because they have been to Bayou Batola before.

Remember that Louisiana’s marsh is big and not everyone knows it inside and out. A non-local will have a very tough time getting to you.

Sea Tow Captains Know The Marsh

Because they are locals, they understand the nature of the marsh: it’s muddy bottom, where the water goes with the wind and more.

When you are stuck they know how best to go about getting you unstuck without further complicating matters.

They Cover The Interior Marsh, Not Just Single Bodies Of Water

Sea Tow is special because they actually cover the interior marsh.

During my research for this article I learned other tow providers only cover large bodies of water like Lakes Maurepas, Pontchartrain and Borgne. They will not venture inside the marsh, where the majority of anglers fish.

This is shocking to me because that is a very small area when compared to the rest of the marsh. Use somebody besides Sea Tow New Orleans when you break down in Stump Lagoon and you are out of luck, but if you have Sea Tow they will come get you.

Why pay for Sea Tow services?

Why not? Asking why you would want Sea Tow New Orleans in your corner is like asking why you should have a life vest.

Free Services For Members

Commonly used services like battery jumps, towing and ungrounding are free-of-charge to members.

The way Murphy’s Law works, if you are a member you will never have to make the call, whereas the day you launch the boat without being covered by Sea Tow New Orleans is the day the unexpected happens.

Ready To Help 24/7

Sea Tow operates a call center that is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. When you need assistance at 10pm on a Saturday they will be there to answer the phone and render aid.

This is a streamlined service you get with Sea Tow New Orleans. Does your boat insurance do the same?

Sea Tow Members Come First

Sea Tow members get preference over non-members.

If three boats are stuck in the marsh and only two are members of Sea Tow New Orleans then they will be serviced first before the non-member is, even if the non-member called first.

If you're not a member, then this can mean additional hours you are stuck with no way to get home.

Get The Most From Sea Tow New Orleans

Sea Tow only works if you are able to contact them when you need help. Obviously, most areas in Louisiana have minimal cell phone coverage.

Even if your cell phone can get a signal it will wear itself out trying to keep it, eventually killing the battery.

inshore fishing equipment

Because of this you should have a 25 watt (or stronger) VHF radio. You can call SeaTow on VHF 16 or, if you are out of range of their receiver, call the Coast Guard and they can relay your situation and location to Sea Tow New Orleans.

Quick Note on the Coast Guard

The Coast Guard is not coming to get you if your situation is a non-emergency.

Period. End of story.

Say what you want about your tax dollars, the Coast Guard does not have the time or inclination to hold the hands of unprepared anglers.

The Coast Guard is there to handle actual emergencies, and if your situation does not constitute one they will refer it to a marine assistance provider, like Sea Tow New Orleans.

However, once Sea Tow is dispatched, they are required to maintain contact with the Coast Guard until you are safely back to the dock.

This way every situation is safely handled and is kept from deteriorating into a worse one.

What will happen if you are not a member?

When things inevitably go wrong you will be forced to make the call. If you are not a member of Sea Tow New Orleans you will be required to give them a valid credit card over the phone before they leave to come get you, because they are charging you by the hour for not being a member.

After consulting the New Orleans franchise, I can tell you a non-member can expect to pay around $1400 to get back to the dock from Stump Lagoon in Hopedale, a 12-mile tow to Breton Sound Marina.

That $1400 boating lesson could instead pay for more than seven years worth of Sea Tow New Orleans coverage.

That $1400 boating lesson could instead pay for more than seven years worth of Sea Tow New Orleans coverage.

Fourteen-hundred dollars is a lot, but the expenses do not stop there. If you use your boater’s insurance to pay for it you will be forced to make a claim and your insurance rates will go up.

A Big Problem With Boat Insurance Policies

Another important detail to note is that Sea Tow New Orleans does not accept third party payments. This is important for you to know when you are choosing your boat insurance.

Leading insurance companies will tell their customers Sea Tow is included in their coverage. This is not true.

What they are really saying is that they will call Sea Tow for you after you contact them upon breaking down.

Well, why not go direct with Sea Tow in the first place? They will contact Sea Tow, just to be told third party payments are not accepted.

Last time I checked, the pretty brunette insurance lady does not monitor VHF 16 for members in need of aid.

Sea Tow Marine Assistance Provider
How do I become a member of Sea Tow New Orleans?

It’s easy. Visit www.seatow.com

The cost is $179.00 a year and it is worth every penny.

Despite having my Master license, despite being experienced, despite having a dozen fishing buddies with access to everything from a catamaran to an airboat, I am a Sea Tow member because Sea Tow New Orleans has a proven track record of excellent customer service.


All kinds of bizarre things can occur and I don’t want my friends and family to find my body floating in a place it should be fishing

After that, I just want to have fun on my fishing trips, and having peace of mind goes a long way. Sea Tow New Orleans gives me a little bit of that.

This sounds harsh but it is brazenly true and something you should think about long before launching the boat.

Tight lines, y’all.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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