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Boat Owners Association of The United States
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24-Hour On-Water Towing Service for Boaters Opens on Delmarva: TowBoatUS Chincoteague
Transient boating traffic to popular tourist town on the increase
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CHINCOTEAGUE, Va., July 19, 2018 – TowBoatUS Ocean City Owner Capt. Greg Hall and Operations Manager Capt. Rob Copenhaver often need to run the 30 miles south to Chincoteague to provide routine on-water assistance to boaters, but the 12-hour round trip can take its toll. Now, with boating traffic on the rise in the up-and-coming Delmarva town, Hall has opened TowBoatUS Chincoteague, Virginia.
“Chincoteague is coming into its own as a tourism destination, and that is bringing more transient boaters,” said Capt. Copenhaver. “It’s also the only safe haven from Ocean City to Norfolk, making it a popular layover. By keeping a towing response vessel here full-time, we’re able to greatly reduce response times.”
Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $149 per year. Boaters without BoatUS towing services face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out of pocket.
While many boaters request assistance for engine or battery troubles and need a tow home, Copenhaver said the region’s shifting shoals and oyster beds also lead to soft ungroundings. “There’s a tricky entrance channel to Chincoteague that’s been known to cause trouble for deep-keel sailboats,” added Copenhaver. The company’s 50-mile service area also means 24-hour towing service is available in the Washington Canyon, a popular offshore destination for sportfish anglers.
Capt. Hall started TowBoatUS Ocean City in 1986, and today it is one of the longest-running ports in the nationwide towing fleet of more than 600 response vessels at 300-plus locations. Copenhaver joined the company about six years ago. TowBoatUS Chincoteague’s U.S. Coast Guard licensed captains have decades of on-water towing experience.
TowBoatUS Chincoteague operates a 28-foot Zodiac response boat with twin 150-hp outboards out of Curtis Merritt Harbor. The vessel is easily recognizable by its red hull with TowBoatUS logo emblazoned in bright white letters on the hull side and is rigged for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery, and soft ungroundings. The company also offers salvage and recovery services.
Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Chincoteague by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at (443) 235-3552, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at (800) 391-4869, or via smartphone using the 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, 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 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/Towing.