What is TowBoatUS?
Is my BoatUS Towing Service valid wherever I boat?
TowBoatUS is the nation’s largest network of towing companies organized by BoatUS to provide you with fast, professional assistance while you’re on the water. These companies have to meet specific criteria to qualify as TowBoatUS approved companies. Over 225 ports are staffed 24/7.
What does the service level on my Membership Card mean?
Yes. BoatUS Towing Service follows you and your boat. No matter where your homeport is or where you keep your boat, if you’re within a TowBoatUS service area, BoatUS will provide for towing service up to your selected service level. Even if you are boating in an area that does not support a TowBoatUS Service Provider, BoatUS will reimburse your commercial towing service up to your service level, $2,500 for Unlimited, when authorized by the BoatUS 24-hour dispatch center.
What does "Unlimited" mean?
This amount represents the amount that BoatUS will pay for provided services. It is NOT a deductible. You are responsible for all charges in excess of your chosen service level.
What's so special about BoatUS Towing Dispatch?
If you require service within a BoatUS Towing Service Area and are towed within that area, we will pay an “Unlimited” amount for provided services as listed in the BoatUS On-Water Towing Service Agreement. Outside this area, services are provided up to $2,500 for the Unlimited card.
If I'm broken down at my dock, does my BoatUS Towing Service still work for me?
The 24-hour National Dispatch Center is open and staffed all day, every day, 365 days a year with BoatUS employees to answer questions and dispatch towers. The Center can be reached by cell phone, VHF radio or via a Coast Guard relay. BoatUS has the largest recreational boat and trailer dispatch center nationwide.
Can I use some other towing company to tow my boat?
The Towing Service is for tows due to breakdowns at sea or at a restricted use dock. In addition, if your boat will not start while you are at your home dock, rental dock, or a non-restricted use slip, partial coverage may be available to you. By setting up the tow through normal channels, calling our dispatch center or contacting a TowBoatUS company directly, BoatUS will provide 50% of the towing charge incurred to the closest repair facility, up to your current towing service level. Of course, pre-existing conditions are not provided for at all.
When the Guide doesn't list any TowBoatUS or other approved companies in my area, whom should I use?
Yes, when outside the country and within the U.S. if dispatched by BoatUS through the 24-Hour Dispatch Center. BoatUS has a fleet of over 500 tow boats contracted and ready to go. When you call the National Dispatch Center, you will receive assistance from the closest available approved company. If there isn’t one in your area, the dispatcher will help you locate other assistance. There are little to no major boating areas without TowBoatUS.
What is the difference between Towing and Salvage?
When you contact the National Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, the dispatcher can check to see if any approved towing companies have been added to your area since The Guide was published. If there are still no towers in your area, the dispatcher will use other resources to locate the assistance you need in local marinas and commercial towing services. Outside the country tows are reimbursed by BoatUS.
Does the BoatUS Towing Service provide for recovery and towing of my boat should it sink?
BoatUS establishes Towing-Ungrounding as “any operation not involving immediate peril to the boat or to a legally protected marine environment and requiring only one towing vessel with lines attached to the grounded boat to refloat it or to the disabled boat to tow it.” Salvage includes “any operation involving immediate peril to the boat, the marine environment or the use of special salvage equipment (pumps, airbags, dredging equipment, cranes, etc.)”
Does the BoatUS Towing Service apply if I am a guest on a friend's boat?
The BoatUS Towing Service provides assistance should your boat suffer from a dead battery, an engine breakdown, runs out of gas, or requires a “soft” ungrounding while on the water. It is not designed for salvage operations such as a sinking or stranding. Salvage operations, including towing from the salvage site, would be paid for by a yacht or boat insurance policy, such as BoatUS Marine Insurance.
Can I use my BoatUS Towing Service for charter fishing & diving, or delivery of boats?
Every BoatUS towing level provides Towing Service for any boat which the Member owns, borrows, or charters. In these cases, the Member is considered the Captain and responsible for the care and control of the boat. If the Member is a guest on a boat and the owner is also present, regardless of who is at the helm, the owner would be responsible for having the appropriate towing service, not the guest member on board.
Is it true that towing companies bill from the time they leave their dock to the time they return?
The BoatUS Towing Service applies only to a “recreational boat owned, borrowed or chartered” by the Member. Once a boat is used for hire, for commercial purposes, or the Member is a paid captain, the boat or Member is considered commercial. In these cases, the appropriate commercial towing insurance should be purchased as a rider to their policy. BoatUS now provides commercial memberships.
Yes. Towing companies begin charging for their service from the moment they get underway. Even after you are already safe and sound in your own slip, the clock doesn’t stop until the tow boat has returned to its home dock. Remember to take that into consideration when selecting your towing service level. Our fleet is the only to be universally paid for their time. So they are dedicated to get up at 2am in the morning to service you!
If you are having trouble finding an answer to your question, please contact us via our contact page.