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Capt. Chris Shaffner Grows 24-hour Assistance Service for Boaters as New Owner of TowBoatUS Fort Pierce, Vero Beach

Now operates 5 TowBoatUS locations on Florida's east coast

Capt. Chris Shaffner, now the owner of five TowBoatUS locations on Florida's east coast
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FORT PIERCE, Fla., May 1, 2018 – Captain Chris Shaffner needed a career that worked for his family. The life of a young captain running yachts in the Bahamas and Caribbean often kept him away from home. So 17 years ago he opened his first two TowBoatUS locations in Palm Beach and Jupiter that help boaters get home safely. Today, after responding to thousands of requests for on-water assistance from engine breakdowns to fuel drop offs, the father of two is the new owner of two additional TowBoatUS locations in Fort Pierce and Vero Beach. This brings Shaffner’s total TowBoatUS ports to five, which are part of a network of 300 TowBoatUS locations across the country.

Shaffner said he would bring in all new TowBoatUS response vessels, equipment, and crew as he expands his operation. “I have a great crew that has been with me a very long time, and without them, we could not grow and add these two new locations. I’m looking forward to providing the best service and helping the boating community.”

After opening his first two ports, Shaffner added TowBoatUS Boynton Beach in 2010. Said in his self-deprecating style: “I’m really not good at anything else, so I’ve stayed with what I know – getting boaters home and making their day get a lot better. There’s a lot of open water between inlets, along with the Intracoastal Waterway and shipping channel. Groundings are common.” 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.

Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers an on-water Unlimited Towing Membership for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $149 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.

Shaffner’s response vessels, located in Fort Pierce at Harbortown Marina and the North Causeway Bridge in Vero Beach, have red hulls and the bright white TowBoatUS logos on their sides. The boats are rigged for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings.

Separate from BoatUS on-water towing services, the company also provides salvage services, such as refloating sunken boats, and oil-spill response services.

Boaters can reach any of Shaffner’s TowBoatUS ports by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 772-465-0709, 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, or call 800-888-4869.


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About TowBoatUS:

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 ( For more information go to