Gap Is Closed With Opening Of TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck, MI

On-the-Water Response Times Expected to Drop

Published online: Apr 18, 2007 News
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TowBoatU.S., part of the nation's largest on-the-water towing service for recreational boaters, has opened a new port on Lake Michigan's southeastern shore, TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck. Owned and operated by Capt. Richard Lenardson, the new port is located between TowBoatU.S. Muskegon and TowBoatU.S. South Haven. This brings the total number of TowBoatU.S ports in Michigan to 15 and it is the third for Lenardson.

Previously, boaters had to wait for assistance to arrive either from Muskegon or South Haven, a distance of a dozen miles or more, potentially in rough weather. "We've closed the gap between these two ports and given the Saugatuck region it's own dedicated response vessel which will greatly reduce response times," said Lenardson. "There's a lot of demand for on-the-water towing services in this area and we hope to continue to grow BoatU.S. membership as well," he added.

A native of Bridgman MI, Lenardson opened TowBoatU.S. St. Joe and TowBoatU.S. South Haven just last year. TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck has a 22-foot Sea Ark stationed at Tower Marina -- located just 10-minutes from the open waters of Lake Michigan. The response vessel can be identified by it's distinctive red with white bow stripes and "TowBoatU.S." lettering along its side. The boat carries a full complement of towing and salvage equipment including extra fuel, pumps, airbags and battery "jump packs" to handle every breakdown from running out of fuel to running aground.

Similar to a roadside auto club, BoatU.S. offers on-the-water assistance plans starting at around $37 a year. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that nationally average about $600 per incident. Boaters in need of towing assistance can reach TowBoatU.S. Saugatuck by calling the company directly at 269-266-2125; by VHF radio on channel 16; or through the BoatU.S. toll-free Dispatch Service at 800-391-4869 or visit for more information.

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