The traditional kickoff of the summer boating season, Memorial Day weekend, is just days away, and TowBoatUS, the on-water towing service that gets boats home after they break down or run aground, is expecting a very busy 2021 summer boating season ahead with increased boating traffic.
TowBoatUS forecasts the volume of requests from boaters for routine, non-emergency on-water help – a traditional barometer of boating activity – will be up 20% over last year. Boaters will need to prepare for congested waterways, launch ramps and anchorages.
“In 2020, our nationwide TowBoatUS towing fleet saw volume of requests for routine on water assistance up 20% over the prior year, which at the time was the highest single, year-over-year increase in the history of on water towing dispatches,” said Vice President of Towing John Condon.
More than 81,000 boaters made requests for on-water assistance.
“This season we predict recreational boating activity, as measured through the volume of requests for on-water towing, battery jumps, soft ungrounding services and fuel drop-offs will again be up 20% over last year,” added Condon. “That reflects a phenomenal increase in on-water boating activity in just two years.”
What can boaters do on congested waters? TowBoatUS towing vessel captains say patience, etiquette and safety is key. Slow down a bit and be considerate to fellow boaters. Follow launch ramp protocols and navigation rules, and keep an extra lookout while running. Ensure your boat has all safety gear, including an anchor, in case you break down and need to call for assistance.
Condon also notes the significant number of first-time boat owners. “Welcome them to the fold and show them the ropes with an eye toward operating safely, courteously and having a fun day on the water,” said Condon. “It will make everyone’s day on the water better.”