Please select your home edition
Edition
Savvy Navvy 2021 PBW LEADERBOARD v2

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 BoatUS.com/Towing or by calling 800-888-4869.

Related Articles

How to get a vessel safety check this season
A no cost, no penalty inspection can improve safety aboard your boat No cost, no penalty vessel safety checks, which up until last season were given more than 150,000 times each year by hundreds of U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadrons volunteers at launch ramps, boat clubs and marinas, are back. Posted on 3 Apr
Three-hour on-water boat training courses
Take to the water in Southport, N.C. If you have never tried getting behind the wheel of a boat before, now is your time. US Powerboat Training together with the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water are offering an easy way to try out recreational powerboating. Posted on 30 Mar
3-hour on-Water Boat Training Course
Courses for beginner and experienced boaters held Friday afternoons in April, May If you have never tried getting behind the wheel of a boat before, now is your time. Bridge Marina, in partnership with the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, is offering an easy way to try out recreational powerboating. Posted on 28 Mar
Get your boat's VHF radio ready for the season
The only thing that can directly connect you to the U.S. Coast Guard's Rescue 21 system In recreational boating, cellphones are just fine for routine communications. So why do you need a VHF radio - either a handheld or fixed mount - on your boat? Posted on 25 Mar
Three-hour on-water boat training courses
Courses for beginner and experienced boaters in Highlands, New Jersey If you have never tried getting behind the wheel of a boat before, now is your time. Bridge Marina is partnering with the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water to offer an easy way to try out recreational powerboating. Posted on 23 Mar
Essential BoatUS Spring Commissioning Checklist
More ways to ensure a trouble-free boating season Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers its updated Spring Commissioning Checklist to help boaters start the season right. Posted on 9 Mar
Affordable 3-hour on-water boat training course
Try the boating life in Wickford If you have never tried getting behind the wheel of a boat before, now is your time. Beginning April 10, In-Command Seamanship Training together with the BoatUS Foundation are offering an easy & affordable way to try out recreational powerboating. Posted on 3 Mar
An angler's winter chore may spark an idea
$30,000 in cash prizes on the line for best solutions Winter is annual maintenance time for many anglers, and respooling with new line and recycling the old is a common task. Ever thought about what happens once you dispose of the old line in a fishing line recycling tube? Posted on 4 Feb
How to do a midwinter checkup on your boat
BoatUS has four tips to ensure there are no surprises at spring commissioning Boating boomed in 2020, with thousands of first-time boat buyers desiring respite from the pandemic. Now many of these new boat owners are learning how to maintain and store their vessels for the first time. Posted on 26 Jan
TowBoatUS Captains honored for Lifesaving Acts
Last year, more than 70,000 recreational boaters requested routine on-water assistance Last year, more than 70,000 recreational boaters requested routine on-water assistance for soft ungroundings, jump-starts, fuel delivery or to tow their disabled vessels home. Posted on 23 Jan
McConaghy Boats 2021 - FOOTERHighfield Boats - PBW - FOOTERMaritimo 2019 Footer