ALEXANDRIA, Va. – The BoatUS 24-hour national dispatch centers received over 1,800 requests for assistance from recreational boaters and anglers over the four-day (Friday-Monday) Memorial Day weekend. Great weather across the country is the main reason, says the nation’s boat owners group. “When weather is good, boating traffic is up, which leads to higher numbers of routine requests for jump-starts, fuel-drop offs, or tows back to a launch ramp,” said Vice President of BoatUS Towing Services Adam Wheeler. The 1,800 number does not include requests made directly to any of BoatUS’ individual 300 TowBoatUS or Vessel Assist locations, and follows an increasing trend that has grown about 20% over the last five years.
BoatUS attributes some of the increase to having more new towing ports, many of which have sprouted up on inland, freshwater locations over the past few years. But also contributing to the requests for assistance this Memorial holiday was likely a short spring commissioning season, which sometimes causes boaters to rush through their checklists or miss an important maintenance item, which leads to breakdowns.
Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers on the water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for only $67 a year or $149 a year for saltwater boaters which includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. Boaters can contact TowBoatUS or Vessel Assist by hailing on VHF channel 16 or calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869. Assistance can also be summoned via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App, and BoatUS is also the only towing service that offers satellite messaging services with the SPOT and inReach satellite communications services.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with a wide array of consumer services, including on water towing assistance provided by TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist. Combined, these two towing fleets offer boaters, anglers and sailors the world’s largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels — three times larger than the closest competitor. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.