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TowBoatUS Comes to the Caribbean

New boater-assistance service opens on St. Thomas, USVI

TowBoatUS St. Thomas is the first TowBoatUS towing location in the Lesser Antilles, and part of a network over 300 locations and 600 response vessels in North America (credit: TowBoatUS).
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ST. THOMAS, USVI, December 20, 2016 – Capt. Robert Manley, a New Jersey native who has been running marine businesses in the Caribbean for the last 25 years, has opened TowBoatUS St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI). “I’ve been towing boats and helping boaters ever since I came to St. Thomas,” he said. “The only real difference now is that I am working with BoatUS, which has great member benefits.”

Now anyone who boats in the USVI or the nearby Spanish Virgin Islands can take advantage of 24/7 on-water assistance. Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on water towing plans for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $149 a year which includes BoatUS membership. Boaters face costs that average $700 per towing incident – with some paying into the thousands out of pocket – when they don’t have an annual BoatUS towing plan.

The maritime jack-of-all-trades Capt. Manley got his sea legs as a youngster fishing off the New Jersey coast. After several years running a demolition and construction business in his home state, he left the cold and snow behind and headed to the islands where he built marinas, ran fishing charters and boated for pleasure. “The sun and saltwater do me a lot of good,” he explained.

Manley is well known locally from running Above & Below Marine Services, a company that offers a range of boat-repair and assistance services. His goal now, he said, it to let people know about TowBoatUS membership and benefits. “It’s well known in the States but new down here,” he said. To celebrate and share the news, TowBoatUS St. Thomas hosted a pig roast and decked out its boats with a Santa and snowmen for the island Christmas boat parade this past weekend. Manley has also reached out to help with St. Thomas Yacht Club events. “Once people know about us, I know they will want our service,” he said.

St. Thomas and the surrounding waters are vibrant boating areas attracting both locals and snowbirds who cruise south from mainland U.S. TowBoatUS St. Thomas is based at Ruans Marine in Banner Bay on the east end of the island. In addition to St. Thomas, it covers the islands of St Croix and St. John in the USVI and Puerto Rico’s Culebra and Vieques, known as the Spanish Virgin Islands. Culebra is just 12 nautical miles away, Manley said. “It’s lot closer to us than it is to mainland Puerto Rico.

TowBoatUS St. Thomas has two bright red assist boats: a 29-foot Fountain powered by twin 150-hp outboards and a 33-foot Bertram with twin diesels. The TowBoatUS name is emblazoned in bright white letters on their hulls, and each are fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel.

Boaters can reach TowBoatUS St. Thomas by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling the company directly at 340-201-2820, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone using the free BoatUS Towing App. More information can be found at or call 800-888-4869.

TowBoatUS St. Thomas is one of four BoatUS ports outside the mainland US. The others are located in Vancouver, Gulf Islands and Georgia Strait in British Columbia, Canada. TowBoatUS Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach can also assist boaters in the western Bahamas.


Suggested Tweet and Facebook post:

TowBoatUS St. John USVI opens to assist boaters 24 hours a day  #TowBoatUS

About TowBoatUS:
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We provide our more than half-million members with a wide array of helpful services, including 24-hour on water towing that gets you safely home when your boat won’t, will bring you fuel if you run out, jumpstart your dead battery, or provide a gentle pull after you’ve run aground. The TowBoatUS towing fleet is North America’s largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels, responding to over 70,000 requests for assistance each year. For more information go to