BoatUS marks towing milestone

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BoatUS Towing Services recently reached a milestone with more than 300 TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist locations across the country, making it the largest boat-towing operation in the world.

That’s according to BoatUS, which said that like its other locations, 14 recently added units are equipped to respond 24 hours a day.

With half a million members, the on-the-water assistance service for recreational boaters has three times more locations than its closest competitor, according to the release.

On average, 65,000 requests are handled annually from boat owners seeking on-the-water help such as a battery jump-start, a soft ungrounding, a fuel drop-off or a tow home to a marina or launch ramp.

To date, BoatUS reports that 25 states are up more than 10 percent in towing dispatch volume from last year.

“The free BoatUS Towing App for iPhone and Android have helped drive this increase, along with better weather year to date,” BoatUS Towing Services vice president Jerry Cardarelli said in a statement.

Ten of the program's 14 new locations this year are on freshwater lakes and rivers, reflecting the association's growth in services for freshwater boaters.

“The inland regions, particularly the South, Midwest and Great Lakes, have a lot of boaters who need round-the-clock service, which many marinas don't offer. We've also had a great response, especially from anglers,” Cardarelli added.

The on-the-water towboat service, a program modeled after roadside assistance clubs for automobile owners, offers a choice of membership plans for recreational boaters and sailors and anglers with fishing boats. Annual towing plans now start at $58 a year for freshwaters and $149 for saltwaters and Florida. Both include a choice of BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership.

New locations were added in Alabama, Louisiana, North Carolina, New York, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin.

They are:

• TowBoatUS Lake Martin, Ala.

• TowBoatUS Lafitte, La.

• TowBoatUS Falls Lake, N.C.

• TowBoatUS Lake Gaston, N.C.

• TowBoatUS Kerr Lake, N.C.

• TowBoatUS Oak Orchard, N.Y.

TowBoatUS Sodus Bay, N.Y.

• TowBoatUS Grand Lake, Okla.

• TowBoatUS Bohicket, S.C.

• TowBoatUS Fort Loudon/Tellico Lake, Tenn.

• TowBoatUS Old Hickory Lake, Tenn.

• Vessel Assist Coos Bay, Wash.

• Vessel Assist Hood Canal, Wash.

• Black Warrior Marine, Wis.

Click here to find any location on a map.

Click here for the full release.

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