May 22, 2023

BoatUS Membership: Essential Benefits Explained

BoatUS Membership offers a range of benefits and services tailored to meet the needs of recreational boaters. As the nation's largest recreational boating advocacy, services, and safety group, BoatUS strives to make boating better and more enjoyable for its members. With exclusive discounts at marinas, free MMSI registration, and a subscription to the award-winning BoatUS Magazine, members can enjoy peace of mind while maximizing their boating experience.

In addition to these benefits, BoatUS Membership includes 24/7 on-water towing assistance. This is an essential service designed to keep boaters moving and safe on the water. With a nationwide network of professional towboat captains, BoatUS ensures prompt and reliable assistance when needed. BoatUS Members can rest assured that help is just a phone call or VHF radio hail away.

Having access to these valuable resources and services makes BoatUS Membership a smart investment for any boater. By taking advantage of the assistance, expertise, and savings offered through this membership, recreational boaters can enjoy hassle-free experiences on the water while navigating with confidence.

BoatUS Membership Benefits

BoatUS Membership offers a wide range of benefits for recreational boaters, providing valuable services and discounts to improve your boating experience.

BoatUS Magazine

BoatUS Members can enjoy a subscription to the award-winning BoatUS Magazine, which covers essential boating information, safety tips, and industry news.

West Advantage Gold Rewards

Members enrolled in West Advantage Gold Rewards earn points on purchases at West Marine stores, which can be redeemed for discounts on future purchases. It is an excellent way to save money on boating essentials.

BoatUS App

The BoatUS App is an invaluable tool for boaters, providing easy access to services such as on-water towing requests, weather updates, and an extensive marina directory.

On-Water Towing Services

Members can benefit from 24/7 on-water towing assistance, covering jump starts, fuel delivery, and soft ungroundings. BoatUS pays 100% for on-water towing, giving members peace of mind during their boating adventures.

Fuel Discounts

BoatUS Membership offers exclusive fuel discounts at participating marinas, helping you save money and extend your boating budget.

Marina Discounts

BoatUS Members can enjoy exclusive discounts at marinas, including savings on dockage fees, transient slips, and repairs. This enables members to reduce their overall boating expenses.

Boat Insurance Discounts

Finally, BoatUS Membership can provide boat insurance discounts, making it more affordable to protect your valuable investment. Take advantage of these offers to ensure the safety of your vessel at a reasonable cost.

These benefits are just a few examples of how a BoatUS Membership can enhance your boating experience. Becoming a member grants access to necessary services and valuable discounts, making boat ownership more enjoyable and affordable.

BoatUS Towing Services


BoatUS offers a range of towing services to help boaters get back on track when faced with on-the-water issues. TowBoatUS, the nation's largest boat towing fleet, provides 24/7 assistance from expert captains.

BoatUS towing services cover several common issues, including:

  • On-the-water towing
  • Jump-starts
  • Fuel delivery
  • Soft ungroundings

Membership with BoatUS ensures that these services are available for all boats owned, borrowed, or rented by the member. Members also have the opportunity to enroll for free as a West Advantage Gold Rewards Member and earn the highest level of rewards at West Marine.

To make the most of BoatUS towing services, boaters can choose from different towing plans. These plans cater to various boating preferences and offer a range of coverage, from freshwater and saltwater assistance to unlimited towing.

BoatUS towing services provide peace of mind for boaters, ensuring they can enjoy their time on the water without worrying about potential issues. With a robust support system in place, members can rely on professional assistance whenever required.

BoatUS Foundation

The BoatUS Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting boating safety and clean water. It provides educational outreach directly to boaters and supports partner organizations throughout the United States.

Boating Safety Course

The foundation offers a FREE online boating safety course developed specifically for each state. These courses are designed to increase boater knowledge, reduce accidents and fatalities, and ensure boating remains a safe and enjoyable pastime. The course content covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • Navigation rules and regulations
  • Boat handling
  • Emergencies and preparedness
  • Weather
  • Boating law enforcement

On-Water Training

In addition to the online courses, the BoatUS Foundation also offers on-water training to help boaters gain hands-on experience and build their confidence in various boating situations. These courses include both beginner and advanced level options, addressing topics such as:

  • Docking and close-quarters maneuvering
  • Basic navigation and situational awareness
  • Weather preparedness
  • Troubleshooting onboard systems

Clean Boating

The BoatUS Foundation is committed to promoting clean boating practices to protect and preserve waterways for future generations. Some of the clean boating initiatives supported by the foundation include:

  • Encouraging the use of environmentally friendly products
  • Implementing proper waste management strategies
  • Creating awareness about non-point source pollution
  • Promoting the reduction of oil spills and other potential pollutants


To support its mission and reach a wider audience, the BoatUS Foundation awards grants to local organizations, clubs, and government agencies throughout the country. These grants are intended to finance projects and initiatives that:

Boating Equipment and Services

Boat Graphics and Lettering

Boat graphics and lettering are important aspects of personalizing your watercraft and ensuring it complies with local regulations. Many boating enthusiasts choose to have custom graphics or lettering added to their boat to showcase their personal style. There is a wide variety of options available for boat graphics, including vinyl decals, hand-painted designs, and digital printing. Boat lettering, which typically includes the boat's name and registration number, is available in various fonts, colors, and materials.

Boat Repairs

Regular maintenance and timely boat repairs are crucial for boat owners to keep their watercrafts in good condition. Boat repair services can range from routine maintenance tasks to more complex procedures. Some common types of boat repairs include engine repairs or replacements, hull repairs, electrical system services, and plumbing services. Expert technicians are usually required for these tasks, ensuring the safety and functionality of the watercraft.

Boating Equipment

Investing in proper boating equipment is essential for a safe and enjoyable experience on the water. Some of the basic boating equipment required for a vessel are:

  • Life jackets: Wearing a life jacket is crucial for every person onboard, regardless of their swimming ability.
  • Fire extinguishers: Boats should have at least one fire extinguisher readily available in case of emergencies.
  • Sound devices: As required by BoatUS Foundation, boats less than 39.4 feet long must have an efficient sound-producing device, while boats between 39.4 and 65.6 feet must carry a bell and a whistle.
  • Navigation lights: These lights are essential for safe boating during nighttime or low-visibility conditions.
  • Anchor and lines: A suitable anchor and line length are necessary to secure your boat in various water and weather conditions.

By considering these essential boating equipment and services, boat owners can ensure a safe and enjoyable time on the water.

Boating Laws and Advocacy

Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatUS) is an organization that focuses on providing various services and benefits for boaters, including advocacy and support for boating issues. They work tirelessly to fight against unfair fees, regulations, and boating laws that single out boat owners. Additionally, BoatUS cooperates with state agencies to promote boating laws that make sense and protect the interests of the boating community.

BoatUS not only advocates for their members but also educates them about state boating laws, rules, and regulations. Each state has unique requirements regarding boating safety education, and BoatUS ensures that its members stay informed about these regulations. It is important to note that boating education certification is not a license, and cannot be revoked or suspended. It simply permits individuals to operate certain watercraft within the waters of the issuing state.

Many states practice reciprocity, recognizing valid boating education certifications from other states. BoatUS helps its members navigate these varying regulations by providing accurate information and resources for all states.

Furthermore, the BoatUS Foundation is a nonprofit organization that supports safe boating practices and clean water initiatives. They offer online safety courses and other tools to enhance boater safety and environmental responsibility.

In summary, the Boating Laws and Advocacy efforts of BoatUS play a crucial role in the association's mission to provide valuable services, information, and representation for boat owners across the United States. By staying up-to-date with state-specific boating laws and regulations, boat owners can enjoy a safer and more enjoyable experience on the water.

Boat Insurance and Financing

Boat Insurance

BoatUS provides a range of benefits and services for boat owners, including boat insurance. Boat insurance protects boat owners against potential financial losses if their boat is damaged or involved in an accident. BoatUS is a subsidiary of Geico Marine Insurance, which has superior financial ratings with two of the major U.S. credit rating agencies, A.M. Best and Moody's, and holds a Better Business Bureau rating of A-.

Some of the key features of BoatUS insurance policies include:

Boat Loans

Boat loans are another essential aspect of boat ownership that can help mitigate the financial burden of purchasing a boat. Boat loans come in various forms, such as secured and unsecured loans, with different interest rates and repayment terms. Potential boat owners should consider factors like their credit score, down payment amount, and loan term to find the best financing option for their needs.

Some options for boat loans include:

  • Credit unions and banks: Many financial institutions offer specific boat loan programs with competitive interest rates and flexible terms.
  • Marine lending specialists: These lenders focus exclusively on boat financing and can provide more tailored loan options.
  • Dealer financing: Some boat dealers offer financing options, often in conjunction with a manufacturer’s promotional program.

GEICO Auto Insurance

In addition to boat insurance, GEICO Marine also provides auto insurance policies for boat owners. Combining auto and boat insurance with the same company can result in significant savings for policyholders. Moreover, GEICO's auto insurance policies offer a wide range of coverage options and discounts, ensuring that boat owners get the best possible protection for their vehicles on land and water.

In conclusion, both boat insurance and financing are essential aspects of boat ownership that can help mitigate the financial burden of purchasing and maintaining a boat. BoatUS, as a subsidiary of Geico Marine Insurance, provides a range of benefits and services for boat owners, including comprehensive boat insurance coverage and access to GEICO's auto insurance policies for added savings and convenience.

BoatUS Magazine Content

BoatUS Magazine, an exclusive benefit of BoatUS Membership, provides a wealth of useful information for recreational boaters. This publication offers a variety of content, including regional boating news, boat reviews, step-by-step repair projects, boat handling tips, and fishing advice, all contained within its print and electronic editions.

Regional Boating News

In their regional boating news section, BoatUS Magazine covers noteworthy local events, significant developments, and news stories relevant to the boating community. Keeping its readers informed about boating activities happening in their area, this publication fosters a sense of camaraderie and connection amongst the boating enthusiasts.

Boat Reviews

BoatUS Magazine's boat reviews offer in-depth analyses of new and popular vessels in the boating marketplace. Experienced marine experts provide valuable insights on the performance, design, comfort, and overall appeal of various types of boats, allowing members to stay informed when considering purchasing, upgrading, or simply staying updated on the latest models.

Step-by-Step Repair Projects

The magazine's step-by-step repair projects help members maintain and improve their boats with confidence. With clear instructions and practical tips from skilled professionals, these articles enable readers to tackle various repair projects, ranging from simple fixes to more complex tasks. This valuable resource empowers boaters to take control of their vessel's maintenance and improvement, saving time and money in the process.

Boat Handling Tips

BoatUS Magazine provides boat handling tips that cover a range of topics to help members feel more confident on the water. The magazine offers advice on docking, anchoring, navigation, safety, and more, ensuring that readers have the essential skills to maneuver their boats more efficiently and effectively.

Fishing Advice

Finally, BoatUS Magazine's fishing advice section covers various aspects of angling, from selecting the right gear to understanding seasonal patterns and finding the best fishing spots. Knowledgeable contributors share their years of experience, providing insightful tips and techniques to help readers make the most of their fishing adventures.

Membership Management

Managing your BoatUS Membership is simple and can be done online through your BoatUS account. This section outlines various management options, such as renewing your membership, upgrading towing, filing a claim, and making payments.

Renew Membership

To renew your BoatUS Membership, simply log in to your BoatUS Account. Once logged in, you will find the option to renew your membership. Keeping your membership active ensures that you continue to enjoy the many benefits BoatUS has to offer, including towing services, discounts at marinas, and subscription to BoatUS Magazine.

Upgrade Towing

Upgrading your towing service can provide you with additional benefits and peace of mind when out on the water. To upgrade your towing, log in to your BoatUS Account and select the "upgrade towing" option. Members can choose from various towing packages to find the one that best suits their individual needs.

File a Claim

Filing a claim is also easy with BoatUS. In the event of an accident or incident involving your boat, you can log in to your account and select the option to file a claim. This will allow you to submit all necessary information and any supporting documents for your claim. The BoatUS Claims Team will then review your claim and work towards a resolution.

Make a Payment

BoatUS provides a straightforward process for making payments towards your membership, towing services, or any other policies you may have. To make a payment, simply log in to your account and select the appropriate payment option. Payments can be made using various methods, ensuring a hassle-free experience for members.

By utilizing the online account management tools provided by BoatUS, you can easily manage your membership, towing services, claims, and payments in one convenient location.

Q&A With Boat Buyers Association

Charlie, Sea Magazine (CM): Hello, Captain Smitt. It's a pleasure to have you here today to discuss the benefits of BoatUS boating services. As a seasoned member of the Safe Boaters Association, what insights can you share about responsible boating?

Captain Smitt, Safe Boaters Association (CS): Thank you, Charlie. Responsible boating is at the core of what we do. It's not just about following the rules; it's about ensuring safety and enjoyment for everyone on the water. BoatUS enhances this through their extensive services.

CM: That's interesting. Could you elaborate on the specific advantages for BoatUS members?

CS: Certainly. One of the most significant benefits is access to the largest towing fleet in the country. This means prompt assistance is always available, whether you're in a busy port or a remote location. It's a game-changer for boaters.

CM: I've heard a lot about their towing services. How does it work for a member?

CS: As a BoatUS member, if you find yourself in a situation where you need a tow, you can simply hail them on your radio. They're very responsive. The charges for towing are significantly lower for members, making it a cost-effective option.

CM: What about the expertise they offer? How do boating experts play a role in their services?

CS: The experts at BoatUS are a wealth of knowledge. They're not just there for emergencies. Members can consult them for anything from the best hailing port for their journey to advice on boat maintenance.

CM: That's quite comprehensive. I understand they have a presence in various locations. Can you mention a few?

CS: Absolutely. They have services in major ports and even in less prominent locations. For example, I recently visited their facility in Springfield, VA. The level of expertise and equipment they had was impressive.

CM: Speaking of visits, what should someone expect when they visit a BoatUS port?

CS: When you visit a BoatUS port, you're greeted with professionalism and expertise. Whether it's for a tow, maintenance, or just to sign up as a new member, the staff are well-equipped to handle all your needs.

CM: That sounds very reassuring. And how does one become a member?

CS: It's quite simple. You can sign up online or at any BoatUS port. The process is straightforward, and the benefits start from day one. They run specials at half off, their rep Michael said that occurs once a year.

CM: To wrap this up, what would you say is the most significant benefit of being a BoatUS member?

CS: It’s the peace of mind. Knowing that you have the support of the largest network of boating experts and services, whether you're halfway across a lake or docked at your local port, is invaluable. It's why I recommend BoatUS to every boater.

CM: Thank you, Captain Smitt, for your insights. It's been a pleasure.

CS: The pleasure is all mine, Charlie. Here’s to responsible and enjoyable boating for all.

Charlie Hardcastle
Charlie is Editor-in-Chief of Sea Magazine
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