Believe it or not, Capt. Jared Frank likes his work schedule – 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Jared is the new owner of TowBoatUS Marathon, Florida, an on water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters. “It’s always busy in the waters around the Florida Keys,” he said. “We get three or four calls for assistance many days. Sometimes they come in the middle of the night. When that phone rings, you just get up and go.”
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers nationwide on water towing plans for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $158 a year that includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $750 per incident nationally.
Frank, who is known locally as “Capt. Jared,” is a lifelong boater and former charter boat captain from Michigan and has been a captain for TowBoatUS Marathon since 2007. That’s when Capt. Albert Kluck, a family friend, invited him to come down to “give it a try.” Capt. Jared, who holds a 100-ton US Coast Guard Master License, has been there ever since, and when Kluck decided it was time to retire, Jared did not hesitate to buy the business. He became owner in April, and now Capt. Kluck is helping out as one of the on-call USCG licensed captains Jared relies on when he needs additional manpower.
“I am thrilled to be in this business,” Capt. Jared said. “I love to be on the water and I love helping people, so sometimes it doesn’t even feel like work. You’re out in the ocean and see dolphins and turtles and all kinds of things. It is certainly not a typical office job.”
With three assist boats, all equipped with dewatering pumps, dive gear, lift bags, towing gear, battery jump packs and extra fuel, the company is ever ready to come to the aid of boaters who get stuck on a sandbar, have a mechanical breakdown, need fuel, a battery jumpstart or other assistance. Frank keeps his boats, a pair of 26-foot Glacier Bays, powered by twin 150 horsepower engines, and a 25-foot Starfire with two 250 horsepower engines, at three different Marathon locations. The easy-to-recognize boats, all painted a distinctive red with the name TowBoatUS emblazoned in bright white on the sides, are located at Key Fisheries Marina and in the water near the homes of Captains Jared and Kluck. “We can get there faster that way,” he explained.
TowBoatUS Marathon can be hailed on VHF channel 16 or reached by calling Capt. Jared directly at 586-215-1905 or by calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, and via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App. BoatUS is also the only towing service that offers services with both SPOT and DeLorme inReach satellite communication devices. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.