Products & Services Expert Advice
May 16, 2023
NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
5323 Port Royal Rd, Springfield, VA 22151
BoatUS News Room at
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, Vice President Public Affairs, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
NEW SYMRNA BEACH, Fla., May 16, 2023 – In a business that requires captains to be ready at a moment’s notice to head out on the water any time of day or night, always at the mercy of the sky and sea, being an on-water towing company owner has never been easy. For Shonda Kennedy, who has built a strong local TowBoatUS presence on Florida’s First Coast for over 20 years, it comes naturally.
Kennedy began in 2003 when she and her former husband and family teamed up to purchase TowBoatUS Daytona, then quickly grew the on-water towing and assistance company from one to four locations. Now, Kennedy, the sole owner of TowBoatUS locations or “ports” at St. Augustine, Palm Coast, Daytona Beach, and Titusville adds a fifth port, TowBoatUS New Smyrna Beach, providing professional towing, ungroundings, fuel drop-offs or battery jump services 24/7 to the region’s boaters.
“Before we opened this port, when someone broke down in New Smyrna or Edgewater, the lay of the land meant we had a long run south from Daytona – lots of no-wake zones and bridges,” said Kennedy. “This new port is a time-saver for everyone.”
Unique to the world of on-water towing companies, Kennedy is just one of six woman owners at the helm out of the more than 100 TowBoatUS-licensed companies across the country. When asked about her success, she said, “I’ve got a great crew – we’re a big, old family of captains, mechanics and dispatchers. Teamwork makes this dream work.”
Capts. Avera Williams and Jordan Snipes are the location’s port captains, and all of Kennedy’s company’s captains are U.S. Coast Guard-licensed. The First Coast TowBoatUS locations are part of a network of more than 300 ports and 600-plus red TowBoatUS response vessels nationwide, which respond to around 90,000 requests for routine on-water assistance each year. Separate from BoatUS on-water towing, the company offers boat salvage, dive and environmental remediation services.
Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers annual on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for Florida boaters and anglers for just $165 per year. Included are more than 25 BoatUS benefits such as discounts at local fuel docks and transient slips at marinas. Also included with membership is a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration and more.
The fastest way to request assistance from TowBoatUS New Smyrna Beach is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain. Additionally, the company can be reached at 386-427-5267, or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869.
Suggested social media post:
Just one of six women owners at the helm of a #TowBoatUS company, Shonda Kennedy opens her 5th port in New Smyrna Beach, Fla. https://bit.ly/3I53PzU #redisready #boattow #marinetowing #boattowing #newsmyrnabeach #flboating #floridaboating
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocacy, services and safety group for recreational boaters. We are the Boat Owners Auto Club™ and provide our more than 800,000 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 more than 90,000 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.