When word got out that Bob Hartman, the well-respected and longtime owner of TowBoatUS Philadelphia and TowBoatUS Neshaminy, was thinking of retiring, a trio of seasoned Delaware River captains bought the business.
With the boating season on the horizon, the new owners — Capts. Richard Busillo, Jack Kelly and Grace Marsh — are working to ensure a smooth transition.
“We’re ready,” Busillo, who has worked at TowBoatUS Philadelphia as a captain and dispatcher for 12 years, said in a statement. “We’ll be there 24/7 to help out if anyone has an engine breakdown, needs fuel, a battery jump, or a gentle tow off one of the river’s shallow spots.”
TowBoatUS Philadelphia and Neshaminy cover a 60-mile stretch of the Delaware River and its tributaries from the Delaware Memorial Bridge at New Castle, Del., to the end of navigation at Trenton, N.J.
Each port has a red 25-foot Hydra-Sports response boat powered by twin 150-hp Mercury outboards. The boats are docked at the Philadelphia Marine Center and All Seasons Marina in Croydon, Pa.
A 24-foot Grady-White with a 200-hp Mercury outboard serves as a backup boat, ready to be used where needed.