Towing Services App

  • Instant Access to 24-Hour Assistance on The Water
  • The World's Largest On-The-Water Towing Fleet
  • Over 300 Locations and 600 Towboats
  • The Help You Need: Jumpstarts, Fuel Drops & More…

Available on Both Android and iPhone/iPad Devices

The BoatUS Towing App allows you to stay connected while out on the water. One push of a button connects you to the nation’s largest network of on-water towers with over 300 ports nationwide. The app is FREE for all boaters! Download it today!

The App From:

App features:

  • Easily call for an on-water tow and BoatUS will know your location
  • View your latitude & longitude (even out of cell range)
  • Share your location, raft up anchorage or favorite fishing hole via Facebook, text or email
  • Display your Membership card for discounts at marinas and other businesses (for Members)

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Fast and Efficient Dispatch
Pushing the “Call for a Tow” button connects you to one of BoatUS’s 24/7 Dispatch Centers who will know where you are based on your phone’s GPS. If you are a Member, they will also know who you are, what boat you’re most likely on, and what towing level you have. For Members who choose to buy Unlimited or Unlimited Gold Towing, BoatUS will pay the bill so you don’t have to!

Mobile Membership Card
BoatUS Members can select the “Digital Member Card” option and an image of your Membership card will be displayed, showing your name, Member number, expiration date, and towing levels. By having the card right on your phone, it is easy to get discounts at marinas and boating businesses!

Map it Out
At the top of your BoatUS Towing App, you will see your nautical Latitude and Longitude displayed. The app’s GPS function still works even when out of cell phone range. When in cell phone range, you can view your location on Google Maps. These features make it easy to relay your location over your phone or VHF radio in times of need!

Get Social
Other features include the ability to share your location with friends and family. Sharing your location is helpful when trying to meet up with friends, share a good fishing spot, or advise friends of potential navigational hazards. You can also stay up-to-date with the latest BoatUS news by accessing BoatUS Press Releases from the app.


The App Worked Flawlessly

Dear BoatUS,

I finished a month long solo trip from the upper Chesapeake to Beaufort North Carolina (and back) two weeks ago. In preparation for the trip, I downloaded the Towing App to my Android phone.

Fortunately I never needed the app to call for towing but I did use it to send notifications to many of my friends and family. The app worked flawlessly.

My friends and family were able to see, on a daily basis, that I was safe. And, by clicking on the link sent in the email, were able to see my exact location and follow my progress. Sending these notifications took me less than a minute each time.

Many thanks to BoatUS for this excellent new service.

Ron Harbin
BoatUS Member

Letter from a BoatUS Member

Dear BoatUS,

The Sailing for Hope Regatta held on July 16, 2011 at Lighthouse Landing Marina in Grand rivers, KY, raised over $11,000 for St Jude Children's Research Hospital. The bags, membership and blankets BoatUS donated for the silent auction helped us exceed our fund raising goal.

On an interesting note --- the power boat carrying the photographers for the event stalled directly off the second mark and started to drift into the shipping lane. The owners of the 27' cruiser, Crew Zen (my husband and myself) are long-time members of BoatUS ---so, no worries! He used the new BoatUS App on his smartphone which gave his GPS location directly to the TowBoatUS dispatcher.

In no time Gordon, stationed at Green Turtle Bay Marina, came to the rescue --- gave him a jump start and assisted in finding a new battery. My husband and the photographers were back on course in plenty of time to catch the downwind portion of the race and capture my crossing the finish line in our Hunter 27, Sea Zen.

Please accept my sincere thanks on behalf of the children that I care for here tonight and for all those who will follow.

More "Lost" Boaters Found with BoatUS Towing App

Over 36,000 Boaters Have Downloaded to Date

OCEAN CITY, NJ, June 13, 2011 – It was every boater’s bad ending to the weekend. On a late Sunday afternoon two weeks ago, a 21-foot bowrider with two persons aboard broke down on a foggy bay off the New Jersey coast. Unfortunately, the small vessel did not have a VHF radio or a chart plotter showing their precise location. But the captain and mate did have a cell phone with them, so they called the BoatUS Towing Services 24-hour dispatch center for assistance (800-391-4869).

The two boaters were tired and wanted to get home, but, unfortunately, gave the BoatUS dispatcher a poor description of the surroundings where they thought they were located. Upon hearing this information, local TowBoatUS captains in Beach Haven, Ocean City and Barnegat Light quickly deduced that it didn’t add up.

So how did BoatUS find the bowrider?

TowBoatUS Ocean City’s Capt. Patti Kearney says, "We solved the problem by advising the boaters to download the BoatUS Smartphone App." Once the couple completed this easy task, the BoatUS dispatcher was automatically provided the vessel’s precise latitude and longitude information, and Capt. Kearney was able to quickly locate the boat and bring it back home safely.

The App reduces towboat response times by using the accuracy of the GPS latitude and longitude technology built into smartphones, and also adds helpful location and tracking features. Since its launch in February, over 36,000 boaters, sailors and anglers have downloaded it.

The BoatUS Towing App can also work well with your float plan, allowing you to easily text or email loved ones ashore, allowing them to "track" your trip on the BoatUS online Member Service Locator map. The App also gives smartphone users the option of seeing their own location on Google maps (when their cell phone’s Internet connection is operable).

BoatUS reminds boaters that a VHF marine radio should be the first choice for emergency communications and they should always contact the US Coast Guard or local law enforcement in an emergency situation. However, having the App is a great backup for routine breakdowns and it can be easily downloaded by going to It’s available for both Android and Apple iPhones.

BoatUS offers on-the-water towing service plans – much like a roadside assistance club for boaters - for freshwaters for $58 a year and saltwaters for $149 which includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. Go to or call 800-395-2628 for more information.

Source: BoatUS


Do you have to be a Member to use the app?

No, the BoatUS Towing App is available to anybody! If you are not a Member, please enter a “0” (zero) for your BoatUS Member #, enter your name where it says “Member Name” and fill out the rest of the information on the form. This information will help us and the local tower provide towing assistance to you. It will not be used for any other purpose. Consider joining BoatUS with our Unlimited on-water towing service and let BoatUS pay your entire on-water towing bill on the spot!

How do I share my location with friends?

To share your location, tap the “Share Your Location” button on the app. You then have 3 ways to share your location: E-mail Your Location, Text Your Location, or Share On Facebook.

  • Email: Your phone will pull up an email with your coordinates in the body of the email. It is automatically set up to send to both your own phone as well as your emergency contact. You can change who the recipients are and access your contact list. BoatUS does not have access to your contacts.
  • Text: If you choose to text your location, a text message box with a link to your location on Google Maps will appear. Your own phone and emergency contact are defaults but you can change who receives a text message.
  • Facebook: To share on Facebook, you must first login to Facebook. After logging in, you will be prompted to install the BoatUS Mobile App. If you do not install it, this feature will not work. Once the app has been installed, simply add any text you want to say and select “Post” submit it.

My iPhone won't display my Lat/Long!

The very first time you start the BoatUS app after downloading, your iPhone asks if you want to give the app permission to use your GPS. You must click “Allow” in this dialog box in order for the app to show and share your location.

If you did not select “Allow” when first prompted, you will need to change that setting. To grant the app access to your GPS: From your homescreen, go to Settings > Location Services, find BoatUS and turn it to "On." Your location information is never tracked by BoatUS, and only sent to our dispatch services when you hit the "Call for a Tow" button.

If the app still won’t show your location, make sure you have turned on the GPS. To turn on the GPS: From your homescreen, go to Settings > Location Services and move the toggle to "On."

See Apple's documentation for more in-depth information.

I’m having GPS issues on my Android

GPS and location services have come a long way in the past few years, but the more you understand how it works, the more reliable and accurate the location features will be.

If you click your Settings icon, then scroll to Location & security, you’ll see a page that looks something like this (to your right).

E911 - 911 emergency services. These can’t be turned off.

VZW location services - Verizon’s location system, which relies on cellular towers.

Standalone GPS services - GPS satellites. Enabling this will give BoatUS App the most accurate location.

Google location services - Uses a database of wifi signals to find your position.

Before you even turn on your BoatUS App, make sure your standalone GPS services are enabled.

If your cellphone can’t get a good GPS signal, it will try to find your location using cellphone towers, which isn’t as accurate as GPS, and can be miles off from your actual position.

The phone can’t tell you which method it’s using, so the best thing to do is check the accuracy yourself.

To do this, make sure Standalone GPS Services are enabled, and open the BoatUS App. Wait until the Lat/Long numbers are displayed at the top of the screen.

The easiest way to check the accuracy of the position is to click on Show Location On Map at the top of the screen on the right side. Once the map is displayed, zoom in and verify your location. We recommend trying this several times at different locations.

Most of the time, the position should be accurate, but there are times when it’s off. There are a lot of possible reasons for this:

  1. 1) The phone is using cellular triangulation instead of GPS
  2. 2) Low signal strength from your cellphone carrier’s cellular towers
  3. 3) GPS satellite signal is blocked or reflected off objects like buildings or large rocks
  4. 4) The movement of the boat prevented a good satellite connection
  5. 5) Poor weather
  6. 6) Poor cellphone connection
  7. 7) Weak or dead cellphone batteries

Error message when trying to view my Membership card

There are three error Messages that you may receive when trying to load your Member card:

1) “Member Not Found.” This message does not necessarily mean that you are not in our Member database. It means that some piece of information you entered in the settings was incorrect or did not match what we have on file for you. You may also see this message if you joined BoatUS within the last 24 hours. To verify your Membership information, login to or call 800-395-2628.

2) “There Was A Problem.” This indicates that there is a problem communicating with BoatUS’s servers. This might be because your phone is outside of data range, has too slow of a data connection, or some other condition outside our control. If you receive this error, please try again later.

3) “No Data Connection.” This message indicates that your phone has no internet connection available. Your phone may be in ‘Airplane Mode’ or is outside of data connection range. Once you have internet connection again, you will be able to download your Membership card. Your card will remain available on your phone for up to 14 days without needing to connect to the internet again. It is recommended that you download the Membership card to your phone before going out on the water to ensure that you are able to do so.

Incorrect towing level on Membership Card

If you have recently updated your towing level, the change may not be reflected on the member card on the phone. To make a new request for the information we have on file for you, please navigate to the Digital Member Card screen and (Apple:) click the refresh button in the top right corner or (Android:) press Menu and click Refresh.

Other Issues

If you have any other issues with the application that are not addressed in these FAQs, please contact us at Please include a detailed description of the type of phone you have and the issue you are experiencing.