NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
Bay Native Looks Forward To First Full Season Assisting Local Boaters
Capt. Gary Poirier’s TowBoatU.S. Ports Provide On-the-Water Towing & Assistance
Saginaw Bay’s own Capt. Gary Poirier is starting his first full boating season with two TowBoatU.S. ports, which are part of the nation’s largest on-the-water towing service network for recreational boaters. Capt. Poirier purchased the TowBoatU.S. Bay City and TowBoatU.S. Sand Point locations last June and will operate them this year from April through November.
TowBoatU.S. Bay City, MI is located at the mouth of the Saginaw River at Sunset Waterways while TowBoatU.S. Sand Point, MI is located on the east side of the bay. A 28-foot Pacemaker with twin V-8 engines and 22-foot Boston Whaler guardian are stationed at each port, respectively. Both vessels can be identified by their distinctive red hulls, white bow stripes and “TowBoatU.S.” lettering along their sides. Each has a full complement of towing and salvage equipment including extra fuel, pumps, airbags and battery “jump packs” to handle every breakdown from running out of fuel to running aground.
A local salmon tournament fisherman and avid duck hunter, Capt. Poirier said that in the early spring boating season, boaters often request assistance because of bad gas or battery problems. “We have a long winter lay up – from November to April or May – which causes fuel kept in the tank to degrade,” he said. “But once the main summer season begins, the majority of calls are for engine overheating or drive train problems, some of which is maintenance related, some as a result of unfortunately running aground,” he added.
Capt. Poirier said boaters needing a tow can request to be pulled to a repair facility of their choice. “We don’t tell people where they have to have repairs done. But if they wish, we can let them know of some options.” Capt. Poirier also said his dock house at 4936 Oak St. in Bay City hosts a new BoatU.S. Foundation Kids Life Jacket Loaner Program site that allows boaters to borrow – at no cost – a correctly-sized kids life jacket for the afternoon, day or weekend.
Boaters in need of towing assistance can reach TowBoatU.S. Sand Point or Bay City 24-hours a day, seven days a week by VHF radio on channel 16; by calling the company directly at 989-674-2699; or through the BoatU.S. toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869.
Like an auto club, BoatU.S. offers on-the-water assistance plans starting at around $37 a year. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident. Boaters can call 800-888-4869 or visit http://www.BoatUS.com/Towing for more information.
BoatU.S. – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 640,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 825 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatU.S. Magazine, the most widely read boating publication in the U.S. For membership information visit http://www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.