May 22, 2023

Tow Boat US: Comprehensive Guide to the Leading Towing Service

Tow Boat US, also known as the Boat Owners Association of the United States, is a renowned national tow boat provider that has been serving boaters since 1966. With a membership of over 700,000 across the country, this organization partners with local boating businesses, towboats, and ports to provide reliable boat-towing services, ensuring timely assistance for boaters in need.

The comprehensive services offered by Tow Boat US range from on-the-water towing and soft ungroundings to battery jump-starts and fuel delivery. Each of these services is designed to keep boaters safe and moving on the water, while minimizing potential risks or inconveniences. To further enhance their support, Tow Boat US worrks closely with companies like GEICO Marine Insurance, offering towing coverage endorsements to insured watercraft owners.

SeaMag BoatUs

By offering both inland and coastal towing options, Tow Boat US has earned a reputation as an essential resource for recreational and professional boaters alike. Understanding the benefits of a Tow Boat US membership can help boaters make informed decisions about whether the service is the right fit for their needs and peace of mind on the water.

Overview of Tow Boat US

Towing Services

Tow Boat US, also known as the Boat Owners Association of the United States, is a nationwide tow boat provider that was established in 1966. The company partners with various boating businesses, towboats, and ports to provide boat-towing services to its members. With a vast network of providers, Tow Boat US serves over 700,000 members across the country.

Their on-the-water towing services include assistance with fuel delivery, battery jumps, and soft ungrounding, among others. Members can call for a tow anytime, and the TowBoatUS fleet is ready to attend to their needs.

BoatUS Membership

Membership Options

Tow Boat US offers multiple membership options to cater to the diverse needs of its boating community. Some popular membership plans include:

  • Unlimited Saltwater and Freshwater Towing: Priced at $125, this plan is suitable for both coastal and inland boaters, as well as those in Florida. It covers 100% payment for a tow at sea to the member's home dock or repair facility, 100% payment for a tow from a restricted-use dock to their home dock or repair facility, and 50% payment for a tow from their home dock or mooring to a repair facility. (source)
  • Unlimited Towing Membership: Considered the best value and lowest-priced towing service available, this membership option provides 50% coverage for towing your boat from its dock or mooring to a repair facility.

Members can choose the most suitable option for their needs and enjoy peace of mind while out on the water. By offering a range of membership options, Tow Boat US ensures that all boating enthusiasts have access to reliable and cost-effective towing services.

Tow BoatUS SeaMag

BoatUS and Tow Boat US

Boat Insurance

BoatUS is an organization dedicated to serving boaters' needs. One of their primary offerings is boat insurance. BoatUS provides comprehensive boat insurance policies to protect recreational boaters from various risks. The insurance covers personal property, liability, medical payments, towing assistance, and uninsured boater coverage. BoatUS policies are tailored to different types of boats, including powerboats, sailboats, fishing boats, and personal watercraft.

BoatUS insurance policies also provide two different coverage options: Actual Cash Value (ACV) and Agreed Value (AV). ACV policies pay based on the current market value of the insured boat, while AV policies pay a pre-determined amount agreed upon by both parties beforehand. This ensures that boaters have a choice in their coverage and can select a policy that best suits their needs.

Roadside Assistance

BoatUS also offers roadside assistance for boaters. This service provides support to BoatUS members when they experience issues on the road while towing their boats. Roadside assistance includes services such as:

  • Flat tire assistance
  • Battery jump-start
  • Fuel delivery
  • Lockout service
  • On-water towing

Roadside assistance is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, ensuring that boaters have access to support whenever they need it. BoatUS has a dispatch center that is strategically stationed on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, making it easy for members to get in touch with them for help. In addition, BoatUS operates the largest on-water towing fleet in the United States, with over 600 tow response vessels across 300 locations, including 44 locations covering the Great Lakes region.

In conclusion, BoatUS and Tow Boat US provide a range of services to support recreational boaters. From comprehensive boat insurance to roadside assistance, they are a valuable resource for anyone navigating the waters.

TowBoatUS SeaMag

Towing Membership Plans

Tow Boat US offers various membership plans to cater to the diverse needs of its customers. These plans include Unlimited Saltwater, Unlimited Gold, and Basic Membership. Each plan provides different services and coverage at varying rates.

Unlimited Saltwater

The Unlimited Saltwater plan is designed for boaters who primarily navigate in saltwater. This plan offers:

  • Unlimited towing assistance
  • Service from over 300 TowBoatUS ports
  • Coverage for multiple boats owned by the same household
  • Toll-free 24/7 dispatch service

Customers can enjoy the convenience of having unrestricted access to towing services, ensuring a hassle-free boating experience. The fees for the Unlimited Saltwater plan vary depending on location and coverage preferences.

Unlimited Gold

For those seeking comprehensive coverage, the Unlimited Gold plan is an excellent option. This plan is geared towards boaters who require towing services for both freshwater and saltwater. Features of the Unlimited Gold plan include:

  • Unlimited towing assistance for both saltwater and freshwater
  • Service from over 300 TowBoatUS ports
  • Coverage for multiple boats owned by the same household
  • Toll-free 24/7 dispatch service

Similar to the Unlimited Saltwater plan, the rates for Unlimited Gold depend on location and the desired coverage.

Boat Needing A Tow

Basic Membership

The Basic Membership is a cost-effective solution for boaters seeking a minimal level of coverage. This plan offers:

  • 24/7 emergency towing services
  • Discounts and products from Tow Boat US partners
  • $50 coverage for each towing dispatch

Although the Basic Membership does not provide unlimited towing, it is an affordable option for those who only need occasional assistance. The annual fee for this plan is just $25, making it a budget-friendly choice for many boaters.

Each membership plan is designed to cater to the diverse needs of the boating community. By choosing the appropriate plan, boaters can enjoy peace of mind knowing they have reliable towing services available when needed.

BoatUS I.D Card

Towing Service Features

Tow Boat US is a popular boat towing service that offers various features to assist boaters in distress. This section will discuss three essential services provided by Tow Boat US: Fuel Delivery, Jump-starts, and Soft Ungroundings.

Fuel Delivery

Running out of fuel on the water can be a common issue for boaters. Tow Boat US addresses this problem by providing a fuel delivery service to stranded boaters. When a boater calls for assistance, a Tow Boat US vessel will be dispatched to deliver the required fuel type to the stranded vessel. This service proves to be extremely helpful for boaters who miscalculate their fuel needs or face unexpected situations that consume more fuel than anticipated.


Battery failure can leave a boat stranded and unable to start its engines. Tow Boat US offers jump-start services to assist boaters who face dead battery issues. When a boater calls for support, a skilled technician arrives on the scene with the necessary equipment to jump-start the vessel's battery. This service ensures that boaters can quickly get their engines running and continue their journey.

Soft Ungroundings

Occasionally, boats may run aground due to navigation errors or unexpected shallow water. In such situations, Tow Boat US provides soft ungrounding services to help boaters safely free their vessels. Soft ungroundings involve using gentle towing techniques to pull a stranded boat from shallow water areas without causing further damage. The Tow Boat US team assesses the situation and determines the most effective method to free the stranded vessel.

Tow Boat US's towing service features have made it a popular choice among boaters who need assistance in emergency situations. These services effectively address common issues that boaters may face, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable experience on the water.

Boater citation

Complementary Services

On-the-water Towing

Tow Boat US offers 24/7 emergency towing services to its members, providing assistance to boaters in need while they are out on the water. This service includes towing the boat to the nearest repair facility or home dock, ensuring that the members receive the necessary help in case of breakdowns or other emergencies. The Basic Membership, available for only $25 annually, grants members access to these on-the-water towing services and covers up to $50 of expenses for each towing dispatch.

On-the-water towing is beneficial for boaters as it can:

  • Save time and effort in case of unexpected breakdowns or emergencies
  • Ensure safety by providing assistance from professional tow boat operators
  • Offer peace of mind, knowing that help is available 24/7

Dock-to-dock Towing

Dock-to-dock towing, as part of the Unlimited Saltwater and Freshwater plan, provides 100% payment for a tow from a restricted use dock to the member's home dock or repair facility. This service ensures a safe and convenient transfer of the boat from one location to another. Additionally, members can also avail a 50% payment coverage for a tow from their home dock or mooring to a repair facility. Dock-to-dock towing can assist boaters by:

  • Facilitating easy transport of boats between docks
  • Reducing the risks associated with navigating unfamiliar waters
  • Offering a stress-free alternative to self-navigation in congested or restricted areas
Boats Sinking After Storm


Tow Boat US also provides salvage services in situations where the boat is in peril and requires rescue or retrieval from a dangerous scenario. Salvage operations may include situations such as a boat sinking, grounding, or catching fire. Tow Boat US dispatch centers, strategically stationed on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, can be contacted at 800-391-4869, 365 days a year for boat towing assistance.

Salvage services are essential for:

  • Protecting the boat and the environment from further damage
  • Ensuring the safety and well-being of the boaters on board
  • Mitigating the cost of potential loss or damage to the vessel

Fleet and Experience

Tow Boat US is a renowned boat towing service that has gained immense popularity for its efficient and reliable assistance. The company's fleet is extensive, boasting over 600 tow boats in 300 regional locations across the United States. This wide coverage ensures that they can provide timely aid to boaters in need, whether they are in freshwater or saltwater areas.

The vessels operated by Tow Boat US are designed for optimal towing performance. These boats are well-equipped with state-of-the-art navigation and communication systems. They are manned by experienced and skilled captains, who have the necessary knowledge and expertise to handle various boating emergencies.

To maintain its impeccable service quality, Tow Boat US invests in continuous training and development of its crew. They undergo rigorous programs that focus on navigation, towing techniques, operational safety, and customer service. With these highly-trained professionals at the helm, boaters can be assured that they are in good hands.

Aside from towing, Tow Boat US also offers a range of services, such as:

  • Jump starts
  • Fuel deliveries
  • Soft ungroundings
  • Prop disentanglement

The company's 24/7 dispatch service ensures that help is always at hand, regardless of the time or day. They have a membership of over 700,000 boaters, which is a testament to their exceptional performance and the trust they have earned from the boating community.

In summary, Tow Boat US's impressive fleet size, vast regional coverage, and experienced crew make it one of the most reliable and efficient boat towing services in the United States. Whether boaters require emergency assistance or just routine on-water support, Tow Boat US has consistently proven itself to be a dependable partner.

Yacht covered by BoatUS

Competitors and Comparison

TowBoatU.S is a well-known boat towing service that offers assistance to boaters in need. However, they are not the only player in this industry. One of their main competitors is Sea Tow. In this section, we will compare these two services in terms of coverage, membership benefits, and more.


TowBoatU.S boasts a large network of over 300 locations and more than 600 tow response vessels. They also have a strong presence in the Great Lakes region with 44 locations. On the other hand, Sea Tow also offers widespread coverage but with a focus on providing access to expert captains for navigational assistance and local knowledge.

Membership Benefits

Both TowBoatU.S and Sea Tow offer memberships that include valuable benefits for their clients. TowBoatU.S membership benefits include:

  • 24/7 dispatch services
  • Towing, fuel delivery, and battery jump-starts
  • Discounts on marine-related products and services

Sea Tow members can enjoy:


TowBoatU.S offers different coverage levels depending on the customers' needs. For instance, they provide the $149 Unlimited Saltwater membership and the $175 Unlimited Gold membership for ocean boaters. On the other hand, Sea Tow offers a $179-per-year Gold Card membership for those who boat recreationally in salt water.

When it comes to comparing TowBoatU.S and Sea Tow, it is crucial to weigh the benefits and coverage offered by each service against their respective prices. Ultimately, the choice between these two competitors will depend on the specific needs and preferences of each boater.

Luxury Sailboat Covered By BoatUS

Peace of Mind and Additional Benefits


Tow Boat US offers various membership levels, with the basic membership costing only $25 annually. At this level, members get access to 24/7 emergency towing services, and for any towing dispatch needed, Tow Boat US covers $50 of expenses. This reimbursement feature adds to the peace of mind for boaters knowing that they have financial protection in cases of emergencies.

Priority Service

Members of Tow Boat US receive priority service when they need assistance. This means that members are attended to first, ensuring prompt and efficient help when required. The service is available 24/7/365, and the support team comprises Coast Guard-licensed captains, ensuring your safety on the water.

BoatUS App

The BoatUS App is an additional benefit for Tow Boat US members. This app provides users with valuable information, such as weather forecasts, tide charts, and access to their membership information. Furthermore, members can request on-water assistance directly through the app, making it easy and convenient to get help when needed.

On-water Assistance

Tow Boat US offers various on-water assistance services, including:

  • Boat towing
  • Jump-starts
  • Fuel deliveries
  • Soft ungroundings
  • Navigational assistance

These services, coupled with 24/7 availability and experienced support personnel, show that Tow Boat US is committed to providing its members with comprehensive assistance on the water, ensuring peace of mind for boaters.

SeaMag talking with USCG


Interviewer: Charlie, Sea Magazine
Interviewee: Robert, U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

Charlie: Good morning, Robert. Thanks for joining us to discuss Tow Boat US services. To start, could you explain the essence of these services?

Robert: Absolutely, Charlie. Tow Boat US offers a range of services for boaters, primarily focusing on towing assistance. It's like having a towing vehicle but for boats. When a boater is stranded or in need of help, Tow Boat US is there to assist.

Charlie: I see. And I've heard about the Unlimited Trailer Assist. Can you elaborate on that?

Robert: Sure. Unlimited Trailer Assist is a service that helps boaters who have trouble with their boat trailers, whether it's a breakdown or a flat tire. It covers both the boat trailer and the towing vehicle.

Charlie: That sounds comprehensive. What about West Advantage Gold Rewards? How do they tie into this?

Robert: Members of Tow Boat US can earn West Advantage Gold Rewards, which they can redeem for discounts and rewards at West Marine stores. It's a great perk for members who regularly shop for boating supplies and equipment.

Charlie: Speaking of membership, can you tell us more about the Unlimited Gold Towing option?

Robert: The Unlimited Gold Towing membership is our premium offering. It includes unlimited towing, both on water and road, for any boats you own, borrow, or charter. It's peace of mind for avid boaters.

Charlie: Trailer Assist, how does that specifically work for members?

Robert: Trailer Assist is part of our service where we help members with issues related to their trailers. This could be roadside assistance or help in getting their boat and trailer safely to a repair shop.

Charlie: And this service applies to all boats a member might own or borrow?

Robert: Exactly. Whether it's a boat they own or one they've borrowed, our mission is to ensure they're never stranded. We cover a wide range of situations to provide complete peace of mind.

Charlie: What's the relationship between Tow Boat US and West Marine?

Robert: West Marine is a key partner. Members of Tow Boat US benefit from special rewards and discounts at West Marine stores, enhancing the value of their membership.

Charlie: Lastly, could you touch on how repairs are handled under these services?

Robert: When a boat needs repairs, whether it's an engine failure or other issues, we tow it to the nearest repair facility. Our goal is to ensure that members receive prompt and efficient service to get back on the water as quickly as possible.

Charlie: That's quite comprehensive. Thank you, Robert, for explaining the TowBoat US services and how they assist boaters.

Robert: My pleasure, Charlie. We're here to ensure a safe and enjoyable boating experience for everyone.


Tow Boat US has proven to be a valuable service for boaters in need of assistance on the water. With its various membership options, including the affordable Basic Membership at only $25 annually, the service provides 24/7 emergency towing services, discounts, and products from partners.

The towing services offered by Tow Boat US are available through their 24-Hour Dispatch Center, which can be reached at 800-391-4869 anytime, 365 days a year. They have strategically stationed their dispatch centers on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts to ensure coverage for a wide range of boaters.

When comparing coverage levels, it is crucial for boaters to evaluate their needs and select a plan that best aligns with their usage. Tow Boat US offers different pricing options such as the $149 Unlimited Saltwater membership or the $175 Unlimited Gold membership for those boating in the ocean.

In summary, Tow Boat US has established itself as a reliable and essential resource for many boaters. With various membership options, comprehensive coverage, and 24/7 availability, it offers a sense of security and peace of mind for boaters navigating unpredictable waters. When considering the potential costs and inconveniences that can arise from on-water emergencies, investing in a Tow Boat US membership is a wise choice for many.

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