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NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
5323 Port Royal Rd., Springfield, VA 22151
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Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864,

Weather Dampens Memorial Day Weekend for Nation's Recreational Boaters

Fewer than 3,000 requests for on-water assistance made to TowBoatUS nationwide towing Fleet

BoatUS reports fewer requests this year for on water assistance over the Memorial Day weekend.
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., May 29, 2018 – Mother Nature threw a wet blanket on boater’s plans for the traditional kickoff of the summer boating season, Memorial Day weekend, reports Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). Boaters made fewer than 3,000 requests for on-water assistance to the nation’s largest recreational boat towing fleet, TowBoatUS, from Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28, down nearly 20 percent compared to 2017.

The volume of requests received by the 600-plus TowBoatUS response vessels at more than 300 locations around the country, as well as BoatUS 24-hour nationwide dispatch centers, is a barometer of boating activity. In some years this number can exceed 4,000 requests for battery jumps, soft ungroundings, fuel drop-offs and tows to marinas and launch ramps.

“While some locations did experience blue skies and sunshine early in the weekend, the weather largely washed out the second half of the Memorial Day weekend for many boaters, sailors and anglers,” said John Condon, director of operations for the BoatUS 24 hour dispatch service. “The West Coast and Pacific Northwest were the only bright spots, with near-normal boating activity and the largest towing volume,” added Condon, “but Tropical Storm Alberto shut down much of the Gulf and Florida, and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest were hit with mostly cloudy skies and rain.”

The top five reasons why boaters called for assistance were:

1. 54%: mechanical breakdowns, including engine and equipment failures
2. 12%: running aground
3. 9%: dead battery
4. 9%: out of fuel
5. 4%: engine overheats

Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, BoatUS offers an Unlimited Freshwater Towing Membership for freshwater boaters for just $72 a year, or $149 a year for saltwater boaters. Nationwide, boaters face costs that average $750 per towing incident – with some paying into the thousands out of pocket – when they don’t have an annual BoatUS Towing Membership.

Boaters can reach 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


Suggested Tweet and Facebook post:

The Memorial Day holiday was a big wet blanket for recreational boaters, with boating traffic and requests for on-water assistance down nearly 20% from last year, says @BoatUS

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