TowBoatU.S. predicts increase in boating traffic

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – If the weather cooperates, the recreational boating season’s traditional Memorial Day “kick-off” weekend will likely be busier than usual, reported TowBoatU.S. in a statement today.

TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist fleets, part of BoatU.S. Towing Services, are expecting a 4-percent increase in requests over last year for on-the-water assistance for dead batteries, running out of fuel, groundings, and for other services this holiday weekend.

Requests for on-the-water assistance to the TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist 24-hour call centers in Virginia and California have traditionally been a reliable indicator of recreational boating volume on the nation’s waterways, according to the service provider.

Some of the expected increased traffic could be of a regional nature. Many Florida boaters have completed repairs on their homes – their first priority – and now have made their hurricane damaged boats seaworthy again, pointed out Jerry Cardarelli, vice president of BoatU.S. Towing Services.

“A lot of boaters had their season cut short last fall with the bad weather and four hurricanes, so they will be itching to get out on Memorial Day weekend,” he said.

Cardarelli also noted that requests for on-the-water assistance this spring have been slightly up over last year nationwide.

“While we do have reports of boaters making shorter trips, cruising shorter distances, or off-shore fishermen ‘buddy boating,’ we haven’t seen fuel prices making a big impact overall,” he said.

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