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Marine News from the Great Lakes

TowBoatUS: Boaters Expected To Hit Season Opener in Record Numbers

On-Water Towing Fleet Could Reach Record Volume Of Dispatches For Boater Assistance This Memorial Day Holiday Weekend

Published: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 10:00 am

Recreating outdoors has become an important survival tool in the era of the coronavirus pandemic, and recreational boaters are no different. The nationwide on-water towing fleet with more than 600 red response vessels, TowBoatUS, expects this Memorial Day holiday weekend to be a busy one, responding to an increased number of requests for assistance by recreational boaters.

“While there are some locations where recreational boating hasn’t quite returned yet, those will be the exception this Memorial Day weekend,” said BoatUS Vice President of Towing Services John Condon. “Boating is an approved activity and boaters are social distancing, so we believe they will be on the water in a big way, trying to get to back to what’s familiar and enjoyable with the family.”

Condon predicts calls for assistance over VHF channel 16, cellphone and via the time-saving BoatUS App by recreational boaters experiencing engine breakdowns, dead batteries, running aground or needing a tow home will be up 20%. “We think that’s a conservative number,” he added.

Calls for assistance to BoatUS’s 24-hour dispatch is a traditional barometer of the nation’s on-water boating activity.

To prevent having to call TowBoatUS for help, ensure your boat is ready to go and spring commissioning is fully completed. Breakdowns this early in the season are often attributed to rushing to get the boat in the water.

If you’re trailering to the launch ramp for the first time, BoatUS dispatch reports the No. 1 request for roadside Trailer Assist service is for flat tires/no spare. Wheel bearings and trailer axle troubles follow, so be sure all three of these are up to snuff before you go.

What to do if the best laid plans collide with the unexpected? Be prepared by having a BoatUS on-water Unlimited Towing membership for freshwater boaters for just $85 per year or $159 for saltwater boaters. Included are more than 25 benefits and discounts, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration, and more. Boaters without a towing membership face an average nationwide cost of $750 per towing incident.

About TowBoatUS:

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We are the Boat Owners Auto Club and provide our more than half-million members with a wide array of helpful services, including 24-hour on-water towing that gets you safely home when your boat won’t, jump starts, fuel delivery, and soft ungroundings. The TowBoatUS towing fleet is North America’s largest network of towing ports with more than 300 locations and over 600 red towing assistance vessels, responding to more than 70,000 requests for assistance each year. The BoatUS App makes it easy to summon water and road assistance 24/7 and can speed response times (BoatUS.com/App). For more information go to BoatUS.com/Towing.


tags: Travel, Boat Club, Safety, Towing

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