Capt. Wade Silzer and Capt. Tom Benton recently started Grand Lake (Okla.) Towing, which joined the BoatUS on-the-water-assistance network.
Silzer, who owns Rebel Marine and Captain’s Corner boat repair and storage facilities, and Benton, a marine surveyor with more than 30 years in the marine business, saw the need after a winter storm wreaked havoc on the lake in February 2011.
“It was a catastrophe,” Benton said in a statement. “We had 14 marinas collapse from heavy snow loads.” With so many boats damaged and in need of transport for repair, Benton and Silzer recognized a need for towing resources.
Grand Lake is a major recreational boating area in northeast Oklahoma with an estimated 6,000 boats, ranging in size from runabouts and small fishing boats to 50-foot-plus cruisers, houseboats and sailboats. With its many creeks and tributaries, the lake covers 46,500 acres and 1,300 miles of shoreline. The major boating area is about 33 miles long.
Benton and Silzer’s company will serve the entire lake. Silzer keeps his boat at his home in Duck Creek. Benton’s boat is across the lake at Thunder Bay Marina.