Press Room

NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
5323 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22151
BoatUS Press Room at

Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,

On the West Coast, BoatUS Rebrands Vessel Assist to TowBoatUS

(Right) Capt. Robert Butler of TowBoatUS San Diego with captains and crew aboard the first West Coast TowBoatUS towing response boat. Photo Credit: David J. Shuler Marine and Yacht Photography
Download hi-res photo.

ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 16, 2015 – In a move that aligns its on water towing services under one national brand, BoatUS is renaming its West Coast-based Vessel Assist towing fleet to TowBoatUS. The national boating advocacy, services and safety organization purchased Vessel Assist in 2003 and has since operated both recreational boat towing fleets under the membership-based BoatUS Towing Service program. The transition to TowBoatUS is expected to be completed by early 2016. “Other than a new name on the side of the towboat, BoatUS members and boaters needing assistance 24 hours a day will continue to get the same great, helpful and professional service from our local captains.” said BoatUS President Margaret Podlich. “There are no pricing changes for any of our annual on water towing plans.”

Prior to this rebranding, BoatUS offered the recreational boat towing service east of the Rockies under the TowBoatUS banner. The move to rename the red boats of Vessel Assist – located in CA, AZ, OR, WA, HI and British Columbia, Canada – to the red boats of TowBoatUS emphasizes the towing service’s standing as North America’s largest provider of on water assistance with over 300 locations and 600 towing response vessels. Services include boat towing, jumpstarts, soft ungroundings and fuel drop-offs.

“Since our purchase of the Vessel Assist fleet, BoatUS members have seamlessly been able to use either towing fleet for any boat they own, rent or charter anywhere in the US,” said BoatUS Vice President of Towing Services Adam Wheeler. “We will continue to offer Unlimited Freshwater Annual Towing Service Plans for $72 and Unlimited Saltwater Annual Towing Service Plans for $158 – both include BoatUS membership.”

BoatUS Towing Services responds to over 70,000 requests for assistance from boaters annually. Unique to BoatUS’ West Coast towing service is a series of VHF radio towers, or “high sites,” connected to BoatUS’ 24-hour Costa Mesa, California regional dispatch center. At their high elevation dotting the tops of the coastal California mountain range, the sites provide VHF radio communications far out to sea beyond normal range – a distinct advantage over competing boat towing services.

BoatUS is also the only towing service that offers five ways to call for a tow: VHF radio, BoatUS Towing App, telephone (800-391-4869), SPOT satellite messenger and the DeLorme inReach two-way satellite messenger. For more go to


About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

BoatUS is the nation¹s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, we bring boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS insurance program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit