NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
NATIONS LARGEST ON-THE-WATER TOWING SERVICE ANTICIPATES 3,000 BOATERS WILL CALL FOR ASSISTANCE THIS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND
Boating’s Season’s “Kick-Off”
The nation’s largest on-the-water towing and assistance service predicts it will receive as many as 3,000 or more requests for assistance from boaters across the country this Memorial Day weekend who will need a jump start, fuel drop off or a tow back to port. The holiday weekend is typically the “kick-off” of the summer boating season, with many vessels hitting the water for the first time.
“We expect the switchboards at our 24-hour call centers will start to light up on Friday the 26 th and stay busy through the holiday weekend,” said Jerry Cardarelli, Vice President of BoatU.S. Towing Services, which includes over 500 TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist response vessels stationed in some 260 ports across the country.
Requests for on-the-water assistance to the TowBoatU.S. and Vessel Assist fleet has traditionally been a reliable indicator of recreational boating volume on the nation’s waterways. “Fuel prices are affecting the offshore power boating and fishing enthusiasts, more so in some areas such as the West Coast and Pacific Northwest,” says Cardarelli. “Our towers in that region say that not as many folks are taking long cruises through the San Juan Islands and up the British Columbia coast,” he added.
“In the Northeast we expect traffic to be flat or slightly lower. And the Gulf region has lost a large portion of its recreational vessels to hurricanes, so we are expecting numbers to be down in that region. However, the biggest wild card is the weather – if it stays good more people will be on the water and with that comes more breakdowns,” said Cardarelli.
Like an auto club, BoatU.S. offers on-the-water assistance plans starting at around $37 a year. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident.
“Many of the calls our towers get this time of year can be attributed to incomplete spring commissioning,” said Cardarelli. He suggests that boaters ensure that their VHF radio is operable and its antenna is in good shape, as well as ensuring that a vessel's charging system is working properly.
For more information on BoatU.S. Towing Services call 800-888-4869 or visit BoatUS.com/Towing and for a free online spring commissioning checklist that could help you avoid the need for a tow visit BoatUS.com/boattech/springlist.htm.
BoatU.S. – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 650,000 members with a wide array of consumer services including a group-rate marine insurance program that insures nearly a quarter million boats; the largest fleet of more than 500 towing assistance vessels; discounts on fuel, slips, and repairs at over 825 Cooperating Marinas; boat financing; and a subscription to BoatU.S. Magazine, the most widely read boating publication in the U.S. For membership information visit http://www.BoatUS.com or call 800-395-2628.