Captain George Walker aboard his TowBoatUS response vessel, ready 24 hours a day (credit: James Overstreet).
ROUSES POINT, NY, -- Captain George Walker, the new owner of TowBoatUS Rouses Point, NY, wants Lake Champlain boaters to know he is there to help them anyway he can. A lifelong boater and certified diver who holds a US Coast Guard 100-ton Master license, Walker has a fleet of red-hulled boats ready to assist anyone who runs aground, has a mechanical breakdown, needs a battery jump or runs out of fuel anywhere on the lake from the Canadian border south to Plattsburgh, NY, and Burlington, VT. Former company owner John Mott remains with the company as senior captain.
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $67 a year that includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $600 per incident nationally.
Lake Champlain straddles the New York/Vermont border for 125 miles before it empties into Canada's Richelieu River. Many long-distance cruisers, traveling south from Montreal or north to Canada via the Hudson River and the Champlain Canal, cruise the length of the lake, which is also a recreational boating Mecca for local sailors, anglers and powerboaters.
"Since our address is in New York State," Walker said, "Vermont boaters may not realize we are here for them, too. A membership will save them a lot of money if they need on water assistance. Our dock is only a half-mile from the Vermont shoreline, and we are here to help anyone on either side of the lake 24/7."
In addition to Captain Walker and Captain Mott, two additional US Coast Guard-licensed 50-Ton Masters are available to provide professional service. Said Walker, "John knows everything about Lake Champlain, marine engines and towing. He is a real asset."
TowBoatUS Rouses Point is based at Lighthouse Point Marina, which Walker manages and his children own. Three weeks after the family bought the marina in April 2011, a severe windstorm hit the area and a microburst tore the marina apart. The Walkers are doing a complete renovation to restore it to the popular 300-slip, 30-mooring facility it once was.
Walkers' on water towing fleet includes a 25-foot Nautica rib, a 25-foot Sportcraft, and a 23-foot Fiberform, all with powerful 300-plus horsepower engines. The boats are painted a distinctive red with words "TowBoatUS " on the hull and are fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel.
Boaters can contact TowBoatUS Rouses Point by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling the company directly at 518-297-6392 or calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869. Assistance can also be summoned via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App, and BoatUS is also the only towing service that offers satellite messaging services with the SPOT and inReach satellite communications services. To see the company's location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/rousespoint.
Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) is the nation's leading advocate for recreational boaters providing over half a million members with a wide array of consumer services, including on water towing assistance provided by TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist. Combined, these two towing fleets offer boaters, anglers and sailors the world's largest network of towing ports with over 300 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels - three times larger than the closest competitor. For more information go to www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.