Marine News from the Great Lakes

TowBoatUS Comes to Drummond Island, MI

at the Request of BoatUS Members

Published: Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Captain Dennis Bailey, the owner of TowBoatUS Drummond Island, a 24-hour on water towing service for recreational vessels, has been helping boaters since he was a child. His parents, Glen and Gert Bailey, opened Drummond Island Yacht Haven in the 1940s, and Denny and his sisters grew up in the business, now the largest full-service marina in the area. “I’ve been towing boats since 1965 when I was in high school,” says Bailey. “I went to college and got a business degree, and I am still towing boats,” he says with smile.

Bailey is also now the owner of Yacht Haven, and his nephew Joe DePaul, one of Glen and Gert’s grandkids, is the general manager. Both are licensed captains and will be running the TowBoatUS response boats. 

Bailey opened TowBoatUS Drummond Island this spring because his customers asked him to. The Lake Huron waters surrounding Drummond Island are prime fishing and cruising areas that attract “Great Loopers” – boaters exploring the Great Lakes as they circumnavigate the eastern half of the United States.

“Any time someone broke down the Coast Guard would call Yacht Haven,” Bailey says, “And we’d go out to assist. Many of the boaters were BoatUS members so it made great sense for us to become a TowBoatUS port. We like to help people, and BoatUS is a great association that takes care of its members.”

Much like a reliable auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers Unlimited Freshwater towing membership for boaters, anglers and sailors for just $72 a year that includes valuable BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $700 per incident nationally.

Drummond Island, which is 10-minute ferry ride from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is the last US port before Canada and is a jumping off place for boaters headed to the scenic North Channel along the Ontario shore. TowboatUS Drummond Island can assist boaters in both US and Canadian waters. “We’ll be there to help anyone who runs aground, has a mechanical breakdown or needs fuel,” Bailey said.

The company’s primary response boat, a 20-foot Bertram with a 165-horsepower inboard/outboard engine, is based at Drummond Island Yacht Haven. The TowBoatUS name and logo is emblazoned in white letters on the sides of the red hull, and the boat is fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel. The company also has three backup boats that can be put into service as needed.

TowBoatUS Drummond Island can be hailed on VHF channel 16, reached by calling the local office directly at 906-493-5232 or by calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, and via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App. More information can be found at or call 800-888-4869

tags: Destination, Safety

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