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TowBoatUS comes to Northern Michigan's Inland Waterway

by Scott Croft 24 Jun 2021 23:08 PDT
TowBoatUS is ready to serve boaters on Northern Michigan's Inland Waterway 24 hours a day. © Scott Croft

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. The company provides towing and soft ungrounding help as well as battery jumps and fuel drop-offs, covering the entire waterway from Crooked and Pickerel lakes to Cheboygan.

It is the 13th TowBoatUS location for Rich Lendarson who operates TowBoatUS locations from Dolton, Indiana to Cheboygan. These include nearby TowBoatUS Mackinaw City, TowBoatUS Traverse Bay and TowBoatUS Torch Lake. All are part of a nationwide fleet of more than 600 towboats and 300 TowBoatUS locations. Also with the company are Lendarson's wife, Jessica, and son David who handle business operations, and son Hunter, who assists with salvage work.

Lendarson has stationed one red TowBoatUS response vessel, which is fully rigged for towing and salvage, at Indian River Marina located between Burt and Mullet lakes. In an effort to speed response times on the 40-mile stretch of interconnected lakes and rivers, a second response vessel is kept on a trailer ready to go at a moment's notice. "Our U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains travel over the road and launch at the nearest boat ramp," said Lendarson. "It improves our mobility and significantly reduces response times," he added.

BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $90 per year. 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 Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) benefits and discounts, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration, and more.

For roadside boat trailer breakdowns, adding $15 to a BoatUS membership provides Trailer Assist service, which will tow both a tow vehicle and a disabled boat trailer up to 100 miles to the nearest repair facility or safe area. The service includes launch ramp winching service, flat tire assistance, battery jumps, fuel delivery and lock out service.

Separate from BoatUS towing services, the company offers boat salvage, and dive and environmental remediation services.

The fastest way to summon assistance from TowBoatUS Indian River is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain in less than a minute. Additionally, the company can be reached at 269-605-9036, 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 864-313-0968.

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