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Spending this summer on the water? It will be a doozy, according to TowBoatUS

by Scott Croft 25 May 08:49 PDT
BoatUS expects on water boating activity to again be significantly up this boating season, and urges boaters to be considerate of others and to have all the right safety gear aboard © Stacey Nedrow-Wigmore / BoatUS

The traditional kickoff of the summer boating season, Memorial Day weekend, is just days away, and TowBoatUS, the on-water towing service that gets boats home after they break down or run aground, is expecting a very busy 2021 summer boating season ahead with increased boating traffic.

With more than 300 locations across the country and 600 red on-water response vessels, TowBoatUS forecasts the volume of requests from boaters for routine, non-emergency on-water help - a traditional barometer of boating activity - will be up 20% over last year. Boaters will need to prepare for congested waterways, launch ramps and anchorages.

"In 2020, our nationwide TowBoatUS towing fleet saw volume of requests for routine on water assistance up 20% over the prior year, which at the time was the highest single, year-over-year increase in the history of on water towing dispatches," said Vice President of Towing John Condon. More than 81,000 boaters made requests for on-water assistance with the BoatUS App, by cellphone or VHF radio to TowBoatUS's 24-hour dispatch centers in Virginia, Florida, and local TowBoatUS companies.

"This season we predict recreational boating activity, as measured through the volume of requests for on-water towing, battery jumps, soft ungrounding services and fuel drop-offs will again be up 20% over last year," added Condon. "That reflects a phenomenal increase in on-water boating activity in just two years."

What can boaters do on congested waters? TowBoatUS towing vessel captains say patience, etiquette and safety is key. Slow down a bit and be considerate to fellow boaters. Follow launch ramp protocols and navigation rules, and keep an extra lookout while running. Ensure your boat has all safety gear, including an anchor, in case you break down and need to call for assistance. The free BoatUS App can connect boaters to the closest local towing captain.

Condon also notes the significant number of first-time boat owners. "Welcome them to the fold and show them the ropes with an eye toward operating safely, courteously and having a fun day on the water," said Condon. "It will make everyone's day on the water better."

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