Capt. Jake VanReenen, who owns TowBoatUS services in Rochester and Clayton, N.Y., is the new owner of TowBoatUS Oneida Lake, which is also based in the Empire State.
“I like helping people,” VanReenen said in a statement. “I get great satisfaction that when boaters have a problem and think their day is ruined, we can bring them fuel, jump-start their engine, tow them off a sandbar and get them on their way, or, at the very least, get them back home safely. And, if they are BoatUS members with Unlimited Towing, they don’t get stuck with a big towing bill.”
BoatUS offers Unlimited Freshwater Towing Memberships for $72 per year. At 22 miles long and five miles wide, Oneida Lake is the largest lake wholly within New York State and is part of the New York State Canal System. Its 55-mile shoreline has private docks, boat ramps and marinas. Transient boaters traveling from Albany to Buffalo along the Erie Canal must cross the lake and VanReenen and the captains who work with him are available 24 hours per day. “Most of our work is in the lake,” he said. “However, we also cover a significant portion of the Erie Canal by trailering our response boat to the nearest put in, and we can tow vessels through locks.”
TowBoatUS Oneida Lake bases its assist boat, a 23-foot Pacific aluminum workboat powered by a 225-hp Yamaha outboard, at the Brewerton Boat Yard near the western end of the lake. As with all BoatUS vessels, it’s easy to recognize with its red hull and white logo. It’s fully rigged for towing and salvage. Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Oneida Lake by hailing on VHF channel 16, by tapping the new BoatUS App, by calling the company directly at 315-775-4114 or by phoning the BoatUS dispatch center at 800-391-4869.