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Boat Owners Association of The United States
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Capt. Jeff Loraas Returns to His Roots as New Owner of TowBoatUS Lake Minnetonka
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LAKE MINNETONKA, Minn., April 20, 2018 – For Captain Jeff Loraas, a 1985 Mound Westonka High School graduate, his path in life took him from Minnesota to Florida for a career in service-related work and family. Now he’s back to Lake Minnetonka as the new owner of the 24-hour on water towing service TowBoatUS Lake Minnetonka. Joining him in the family-run business are his sons Jacob Loraas and Dean Lamke, and daughter Christine Loraas. The business is part of a nationwide network of more than 300 TowBoatUS locations.
Loraas, who has boated for over 40 years, says he wanted to return to his home state where he still has a sizable family. TowBoatUS Lake Minnetonka’s former owners, Capts. Jim and Deb Cox, were looking to retire after 14 years, and the timing was right.
“I’m glad to be back in my hometown to help boaters when they need on-water assistance,” said Loraas. “Having a BoatUS Unlimited Towing Membership is really better than a good Samaritan. We respond 24 hours a day with trained, professional assistance ready to go when you need it.” Capt. John Mullnick, fondly known to local boaters as “Captain Jay,” is staying on board with the new ownership. “He’s been with the company for 14 years, and everybody loves him,” chuckled Loraas. “He probably knows more about the lake than anyone out there, and were glad he’s with us.”
Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers an on-water Unlimited Towing Membership for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $72 per year. Boaters without a BoatUS Towing Membership face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out of pocket.
Nationwide, TowBoatUS responds to more than 70,000 requests per year for on-water help, including tows back to ramps or marinas, fuel drop offs, soft ungroundings and battery jumps. The “Big Island,” a local Lake Minnetonka hangout for boaters, is often the scene of dead batteries after playing music all day. “We can start a boat with a dead battery in a hurry,” said Loraas. “It’s all provided for in our Unlimited Towing Membership.”
Located near Three Points, Loraas’ fleet of five towing-response vessels have red hulls and bright white TowBoatUS logos on their sides.
Separate from BoatUS on-water towing services, TowBoatUS Minnetonka also refloats sunken boats and provides salvage services, winterization, and outdoor storage and boat hauling. A new personal watercraft-rental operation is also part of the family’s businesses.
Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Lake Minnetonka by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 612-282-8616, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone using the new BoatUS App. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/Towing, or call 800-888-4869.
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Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We are the Boat Owners Auto Club and 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, jump starts, fuel delivery, and soft ungroundings. The TowBoatUS towing fleet is North America’s largest network of towing ports with more than 300 locations and over 600 red towing assistance vessels, responding to over 70,000 requests for assistance each year. The BoatUS App makes it easy to summon water and road assistance 24/7, and can speed response times (BoatUS.com/app). For more information go to BoatUS.com/Membership.