Tag Archives: BoatUS towing

BoatUS Report

BoatUS by the Numbers

Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is an association of like-minded boaters, sailors and anglers defined by a sampling of numbers. From how many members it has (over half a million) and the number of towboats across the nation (600), to the number of fishing tournaments sanctioned by the BoatUS Angler “Weigh-to-Win” cash bonus program (300+) or the combined total hull value of all of the boats insured (over $8 billion), BoatUS has a number for it.

Tossing a line: One of the 65,000 requests for on-the-water assistance that BoatUS received in 2011.

 As 2011 slowly fades from view, here’s a look at some of those numbers over the past year from the nation’s boating advocate and service provider:

The BoatUS Member
500,000+: Total number of BoatUS members in 2011.
1,000,000+: Total number of boats owned by BoatUS members in 2011.
27: Average number of years of boating experience for a BoatUS member.
Boating Safety
92,397: The number of boaters who have taken or enrolled in the BoatUS Foundation’s free Online Boating Safety Course in 2011, which qualifies as boating safety certification in 33 states and can qualify you for a discount on your boat insurance.
90,000+: The number of times a child’s life jacket was borrowed from the BoatUS Foundation’s Kids Life Jacket Loaner Program in 2011, which is offered at over 570 locations across the country.
4: The number of lives saved in 2011 attributed to the BoatUS Foundation EPIRB Rental Program.
Clean Water
2,131: Miles of fishing line recycled by the BoatUS Foundation Reel In and Recycle Monofilament Fishing Line Recycling Program.
800: Number of BoatUS Foundation Reel In and Recycle Program fishing line recycling bins built and installed around the country in 2011.
50% The average reduction in cigarette litter seen at 43 marinas that participated in the BoatUS Foundation Cigarette Litter Prevention Program.
On-the-Water Towing and Assistance
65,000+: The total number of requests from boaters for on-the-water assistance received by the BoatUS Towing Service’s 24-hour call centers and local TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing companies in 2011.
300: The total number of TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towboat locations in North America.
$600+: National average cost of an on-the-water towing bill paid out-of-pocket by non-members in 2011 (Towing bill cost for BoatUS members with annual “Unlimited” Towing Service Plan: $0).
62,900: The total number of downloads for the BoatUS Smart Phone App in 2011, which provides an easy way to see, text, email and share via Facebook your boat’s location (including latitude & longitude), or call for a tow on the water or to summon roadside assistance.
3,530: The number of times the BoatUS Smart Phone App has been used by boaters to call the BoatUS 24-Hour Dispatch Centers in 2011.
Roadside Trailering Assistance
$14: The cost of adding the BoatUS Trailering Club to a BoatUS membership, which will tow both a disabled boat trailer and tow vehicle up to 100 miles and includes a subscription to BoatUS Trailering Magazine.
18,000: The total number of roadside assistance companies across North America offering BoatUS Trailering Club and BoatUS Angler members the ability to handle both boat trailer and tow vehicle breakdowns 24/7.
43%: Percentage of requests for roadside assistance to the BoatUS 24-hour Dispatch Centers attributed to flat tires (the #1 request, followed by #2 bearings: 22%; #3. axle: 12%; #4. tow vehicle: 5%)
59%: Overall percentage of BoatUS members who fish (Percentage of BoatUS Angler members who fish: 100%)
300+: The number of fishing tournaments (including B.A.S.S., FLW, PAA, LBAA and Collegiate Bass Fishing) sanctioned by the BoatUS Angler “Weigh-to-Win” cash bonus program that pays the highest-placing BoatUS Angler member.
$75,000: Bonus dollars available to BoatUS Angler members who registered for the BoatUS Angler “Weigh-to-Win” program in 2011.
Boat Insurance
$8 Billion: The total hull value of all boats insured with BoatUS Marine Insurance in 2011.
$260 Million: The total value of BoatUS members’ boats who were safely hauled-out and stored ashore with help from their BoatUS insurance policy’s Hurricane Haul-out coverage with Hurricane Irene in 2011.
8,760: The number of hours per year that a boater can speak to BoatUS Marine Insurance Claims staff member (24/7/365).
Government Affairs
646,731: Total number of individual “BoatUS Government Affairs Alerts” concerning critical federal and state issues emailed to BoatUS members in 2011.
17,000: Total number of citizen comments generated for the federal government on just one issue: The potential loss of GPS and chartplotter signals with the proposed nationwide build-out of a cellular telephone network by a private company, LightSquared.
Consumer Affairs
$2,500: The average dollar amount returned to a BoatUS member who sought third-party negotiation assistance from the BoatUS Consumer Affairs Dispute Mediation Program to resolve a complaint in 2011.
DSC VHF Radio Registration
16,000+: Number of MMSI (Maritime Mobile Service Identity) numbers issued in 2011 for free through the BoatUS “Free MMSI Number” DSC VHF Radio registration at
Boating and Fishing Discounts:
900: The number of boating and fishing businesses offering discounts to BoatUS members (337 offer a fuel discount up to 10-cents off per gallon).
4%: The percentage of West Advantage Gold Rewards earned back by BoatUS members when shopping for boating supplies at West Marine.
Public Relations
150: Number of press releases issued by the BoatUS Public Relations Office in 2011 (To receive releases, visit
6.4 Million: Number of unique visitors to in 2011.

About BoatUS: BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with government representation, programs and money-saving services. For membership information visit or call 800-395-2628.

Leave a comment

Posted by on February 4, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tags: ,

BoatUS Report

BoatUS Angler Will Assist Competitors in Need During
B.A.S.S. Opens

Traveling thousands of miles each year on the road and making it to weigh-in at the end of a tournament day are “givens” for today’s successful pro angler. But roadside breakdowns and on-the-water troubles can threaten a winning paycheck. That’s why it’s a perfect fit to announce that BoatUS Angler, which has provided both roadside and on-the-water assistance to boat and rig owners for nearly 20 years, has signed a sponsorship agreement with B.A.S.S. to be the Official Towing Service of the 2012 Bassmaster Open Series.

Young Jackson Smith's 2011 Winning Catch.

“On more than one occasion last year, we saw first-hand the goodness of BoatUS Angler being able to provide much needed assistance to our anglers during competition,” said B.A.S.S. Senior Tournament Manager, Chris Bowes. “Thus, entering a formal agreement to have BoatUS Angler towboats officially available to all Open competitors is a very logical relationship,” Bowes explained. “It’s a reassuring benefit to our anglers, as well as the B.A.S.S. staff who, first and foremost, want to see all of our competitors return safely to the dock each afternoon.” 

BoatUS Angler is the fishing division membership from the nation’s largest association of recreational boaters. They offer boat-owning fisherman services such as on-the-water breakdown and towing assistance provided by the largest fleet of towboats in North America, as well as roadside boat trailer and tow vehicle assistance through 20,000 specialized towing companies.

Another 2011 winner, this permit catch by Eric Pullen.

“Tournament anglers spend countless hours behind the wheel of their bass boat and tow vehicle,” said BoatUS Angler’s Steve Levi. “We’re offering a program that takes the hassles away with 24/7 dispatch assistance when either one breaks down, and gives you the chance with our Weigh-to-Win incentive program to make some extra cash when competing in nearly 300 professional fishing tournaments.”

“Our TowBoatUS Dispatch Service handles on-the-water breakdown calls on most of the nation’s major inland lakes, rivers and reservoirs,” added Levi. “If we don’t have TowBoatUS location nearby, our 24/7 dispatch centers can get you the help you need whether your engine fails, you’re out of gas, your battery dies or you run aground in shallow water.”

Sheriffs’ boats, camera boats, and other non-competitors have towed Bassmaster tournament anglers experiencing breakdowns safely to shore in the past, but this new agreement will mark the first time in history where B.A.S.S. has allowed outside help from a formal towing service for anglers during competition.

Services provided by towboats are free of charge with an affordable BoatUS Angler membership. Competitors who have not signed up for membership will be charged the standard cost of services provided by TowBoatUS.

Tournament anglers who buy a BoatUS Angler membership will also benefit greatly from their subsequent free participation in the BoatUS Angler “Weigh-to-Win” tournament cash bonus program.

Participation in BoatUS Angler’s “Weigh-to-Win” is as simple as signing up for any of the following invaluable programs. You choose which option appeals to you most.

The On-the-Road Towing package includes a BoatUS Angler membership for just $38 and is great for bass anglers concerned about breakdowns on the highway. Those who want on-the-water assistance would likely choose the On-the-Water Unlimited Freshwater Towing package for $58. Anglers that want their mind at ease, both on-the-road and on-the-water, would choose the combined BoatUS Angler membership for $72. All three offerings make you eligible to enter the “Weigh-to-Win” tournament cash bonus program at no additional cost.

Simply said, it pays to buy a highly affordable BoatUS Angler membership regardless of what B.A.S.S. events you compete in, including the Bassmaster Weekend Series – especially when you’re registered for the Weigh-to-Win cash tournament bonus program, and that’s why hundreds of anglers signed up last year. To make sure you are eligible in 2012, just dial (918) 742-6424 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. CST, and ask for Kendell, she’ll make sure you get signed-up. Or to learn more, please visit

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tags: , ,

BoatUS Report

Five On-The-Water BoatUS Towboat Captains Honored for Heroism

With over 600 tow boats spread across North America, the law of averages dictates that, eventually, BoatUS towing captains will be thrust into the middle of life-threatening emergencies. BoatUS Towing Services recently honored five of its TowBoatUS captains for their heroic actions with its annual BoatUS “Woody Pollack Lifesaving Awards” at a ceremony that capped off the group’s annual conference held in Tampa FL. The award is named after the well-respected towboat captain in the fleet who died at an early age.

“Sometimes the routine of normal day is interrupted by a life-threatening mayday call or an incident that unfolds in front of them, and our captains step in without hesitation,” said BoatUS Vice President of Towing Services Jerry Cardarelli. “They are not in the rescue business, but their actions save others. We are very proud of them.”

US Coast Guard Chief of Search and Rescue, Captain David McBride, who BoatUS also honored at the ceremony for his years of selfless and dedicated service to the nation’s boaters, presented the awards on behalf of BoatUS. Here are the details on the incidents:

One late, blustery summer night last year in July, Captain Kevin Freestone of TowBoatUS Big Pine Key, FL, responded to a mayday call from a 22-foot vessel with six persons aboard. After communications with the stricken boat fell ominously silent, Freestone desperately searched and found the swamped vessel, in which six passengers, standing in the semi-submersed boat, were precariously trying to balance to keep from overturning. Freestone took all aboard and safely returned them to shore and salvaged the vessel.

Capt. Kevin Freestone (L) of TowBoatUS Big Pine Key, FL, with US Coast Guard Chief of Search and Rescue, Capt. David McBride. Freestone was one of five BoatUS towing captains honored for heroism at the annual BoatUS Towing Services Conference.

When a late afternoon thunderstorm rolled in sheets of rain, 30 knots of wind, lighting and thunder, Captain Lee Eckler of TowBoatUS Tarpon Springs, FL was stunned at what he saw in the distance through the tempest: three heads bobbing in the water and an overturned kayak. Eckler immediately took aboard three girls, age 12 to 16, who only had one life jacket amongst them, and then safely deposited them and the kayak ashore at their nearby home. It was likely the luckiest break in their young lives.

One Friday last April, husband and wife Captains Rodney and Mattie Suggs of TowBoatUS Clear Lake, TX, raced to the scene of a disabled sailboat that had reported several persons in the water, but who were unable to swim back to the vessel as a swift current dragged them farther away. After finding one person and safely bringing them aboard, the Suggs’ were shocked to learn that six others were still missing. Searching, the captains soon found the remaining group – all of whom were severely exhausted, and one who had ingested a large amount of seawater. His friends said the young man would have soon drowned if it had not been for the Sugg’s fortunate actions.

On a Saturday afternoon Captain Mike Dunn of TowBoatUS Homosassa, FL, along with the local sheriff, arrived to a chaotic scene in which a 37-foot powerboat had violently overturned, ejecting its nine passengers into the water. While all had injuries, one 18-year-old was blue, not breathing, and had an exposed open wound to the head. After loading the young man aboard with the help of a Good Samaritan nurse and the boy’s mother, Dunn gunned the engines racing for shore while CPR was performed. At high speed, he then dodged dozens of boats along a narrow, constricted waterway, all the while making securite calls on the VHF radio and arranging to rendezvous with EMTs. The teen was life-flighted to the local hospital – and survived.

Leave a comment

Posted by on January 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Tags: ,