Please select your home edition
Maritimo 2021 - M600 - LEADERBOARD

TowBoatUS Comox opens, bringing 24-hour on-water towing service to Canada's Northern Georgia Strait

by Scott Croft 8 Apr 08:11 PDT
Capt. Peter Mathews, TowBoatUS Comox, British Columbia © Scott Croft

Local charter fishing guide Capt. Peter Mathews, who as child grew up working in the region's nascent sailing charter industry, says he cannot remember not being on the water. The Canadian Coast Guard-licensed Mathews is now owner of Vancouver Island-based TowBoatUS Comox, bringing 24-hour on-water towing and assistance to recreational boaters and anglers in the northern Georgia Strait.

This brings the number of TowBoatUS British Columbia locations, all locally owned, to three and adds to the network of 13 Pacific Northwest locations providing routine on-water assistance to boaters from the Columbia River and Puget Sound north to Canada's Campbell River, Blind Channel and Desolation Sound regions - popular summer cruising grounds for American and Canadians alike.

Mathew's custom-built 28-foot aluminum-hulled response vessel is fully rigged for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings and is homeported at Government Dock in Comox on Vancouver Island. However, to expedite a response, Mathews can trailer the vessel to a nearby launch site, saving valuable time.

Mathews comes from a line of seafarers, going back to his great-grandfather who was a Royal Lifeboat captain in Wales. Mathew's parents started Island Cruising in Maple Bay, one of the first British Columbia sail charter companies. A B.C. Institute of Technology grad, Mathews also has worked as a Provincial Park Ranger, did some marine research, vessel mechanic work, and began his fish-guiding business in 2005.

Knowing how boaters get into trouble is a part of the on-water towing business. Mathews says the region's significant tides, current and weather can give boaters trouble when they break down. "We can see up to 15 knots of tidal current in the Seymour Narrows, and the Strait's winds can stack up waves in close sets, so you really don't want to be caught with a dead engine or dead battery," he adds. The Comox Bar and deadheads on the Campbell River can also damage running gear.

TowBoatUS Comox is part of a network of 300 TowBoatUS ports and 600 towing response vessels across North America that responded to more than 70,000 requests for non-emergency assistance last year. Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for saltwater boaters and anglers for less than $200 per year, including 24/7 on-water assistance for battery jumps, towing, soft ungroundings and fuel drop-offs. Boaters without BoatUS towing services face costs averaging $750 per towing incident, with some paying more.

Included with Unlimited Towing Membership are more than 25 BoatUS benefits and discounts, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine and more.

Separate from BoatUS towing services, the company offers boat salvage as well as dive and environmental remediation services. Because of the region's remoteness, Mathews can also arrange for mobile mechanic services. "In certain situations, I'm able to bring a mechanic aboard on a call," he added.

The fastest way to summon assistance from TowBoatUS is to download the free BoatUS App that connects boaters to the closest local towing captain in under a minute. Additionally, TowBoatUS Comox can be reached at 250-897-6483, by hailing on VHF channel 16, or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869. More information can be found at or by calling 800-888-4869.

Related Articles

How the pandemic affected boating
Revealed in 2020 U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Report The U.S. Coast Guard recently released the 2020 Recreational Boating Statistics, and reports of accidents, fatalities and injuries were significantly up over the prior year. Posted on 17 Jul
Capt. Chris Justice becomes new owner of TowBoatUS
The company provides professional on-water towing assistance 24/7 to recreational boaters Capt. Chris Justice, a former hired on-water towing captain with TowBoatUS Tacoma, has chosen to strike out on his own and is the new owner of TowBoatUS Anacortes. Posted on 15 Jul
BoatUS announces top 10 boat names for 2021
A top choice of boat names reflects the times It's been a tumultuous year, and getting away from it all on a recreational boat has given many the respite they've needed. With lives upended, some recreational boat owners have chosen to reflect on the times when selecting a name for their boat. Posted on 2 Jul
Florida Anchoring Bill
BoatUS seeks solution for the long haul A bill that aims to both address the continuing vessel anchoring challenges facing some Florida counties while balancing the needs of responsible vessel operators became law yesterday with the signing of FL S.B. 1946 by Gov. Ron DeSantis. Posted on 2 Jul
Don't let alcohol crash America's birthday
Here are two good reasons to leave the partying ashore More recreational boaters than ever are expected to hit the water over Fourth of July weekend, and for some it will be their first spent aboard a boat during this uniquely American holiday. Posted on 30 Jun
TowBoatUS comes to Michigan's Inland Waterway
Lendarson family opens TowBoatUS Indian River On Northern Michigan's Inland Waterway, professional 24/7 on-water assistance for recreational boaters is now available with the opening of TowBoatUS Indian River. Posted on 25 Jun
Affordable Chesapeake on-water boat training
Courses offered evenings and weekends for beginner, experienced and women boaters New boats are everywhere on the Chesapeake Bay these days as families seek activities they can do together while keeping socially distant. With new boats come more first-time boat buyers who may not have critical at-the-helm boat handling skills. Posted on 12 Jun
Boaters should prepare for busy boating season
TowBoatUS predicts on-water towing and assistance dispatch volume to be up 20% The traditional kickoff of the summer boating season, Memorial Day weekend, is just days away, and TowBoatUS is expecting a very busy 2021 summer boating season ahead with increased boating traffic. Posted on 25 May
BoatUS, RBOC yield results for boaters
In California State budget negotiations The voices of recreational boaters, more than 4,000 strong who recently contacted their California state legislators and governor's office asking for a more responsible and fair boat registration fee increase, have been heard. Posted on 22 May
National Safe Boating Week in the USA preview
Three tips for boating safety and clean water all summer long The annual event helps remind boaters to keep boating safety front and center all season long. How can you be a safety hero aboard your boat? Here are three tips from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Posted on 28 Apr
Highfield Boats - PBW - FOOTERComposites Constructions 2021 - CAPE50 - FOOTERSea Sure 2020 - SHOCK-WBV - FOOTER