Let’s suppose that a fishing vessel responds to offer a tow. At this point it becomes the responsibility of the disabled boat to negotiate the terms. Step one is to make sure that a clear understanding exists between the parties that a tow is being requested, and what the terms of payment will be. It’s generally understood that if there is no peril, and that there is one tow boat and one towline, it’s a tow and not salvage. It makes no difference whether the towline belongs to the disabled boat or to the tow boat. Payment is usually based on an hourly rate, although it can be for a predetermined total amount. It’s advisable that if the terms are oral, they should at the very least be clear and witnessed, and state that no form of salvage claim will be made. Most cell phones, having the ability to photograph and record audio, make immediate documentation possible.