CHARLOTTE, NC, April 28, 2014 -- Capt. Derek DeBord is ready to paint Lake Wylie red —TowBoatUS red. DeBord, who has been running the popular TowBoatUS on the water towing service in Lake Norman, NC, since 2012, is the new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Wylie. That means people who boat and fish in Lake Wylie, which spans the border between North and South Carolina, can count on prompt towing assistance when they run aground, have a mechanical breakdown, need a battery jump start, or run out of fuel, no matter what time of day or night. “We are on call 24/7,” said DeBord, who is also a Catawba County reserve deputy sheriff.
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on the water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $67 a year that includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $600 per incident nationally.
The USCG-licensed DeBord goes on calls himself as much as he can because he loves being out on the water and helping boaters get home safely. But with four towboats in Lake Norman and one in his new Lake Wylie location, he can’t do it all himself. His business partner and wife, Cheryl, takes care of accounting and helps out as First Mate. Ten other licensed captains work for the company so that service can be quick and efficient. One of them is Capt. Daniel Winegeart a former tugboat master who pushed barges with a 72-foot tug and just joined the company. “This is a man who knows everything about towing. He is a real asset,” DeBord said.
Like Lake Norman, Lake Wylie is part of the Catawba River Chain, a series of 11 lakes that extend from North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains to the South Carolina coastal plains. Dams, used for hydroelectric power, separate the lakes so there is no way to boat through the system, but many boaters, particularly anglers, trailer their boats from one lake to another. “I know I’ll see some of my Lake Norman members in Lake Wylie,” DeBord said.
TowBoatUS Lake Wylie is based at River Hills Marina in Lake Wylie, SC, where DeBord and the licensed captains who work for him operate a 22-foot C-Hawk center console with a 250-horsepower Yamaha outboard. It is painted a distinctive red with words “TowBoatUS “ on the hull, and it is fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel.
Boaters can contact TowBoatUS Lake Wylie by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling them directly at 704-200-1930 or calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869. To see the location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/lakewylie.
About BoatUS Towing Services:
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with a wide array of consumer services, including on water towing assistance provided by TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist. Combined, these two towing fleets offer boaters, anglers and sailors the world’s largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels — three times larger than the closest competitor. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.