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BoatUS reports fewer requests this year for on water assistance over the Memorial Day weekend.

Weather Dampens Memorial Day Weekend for some Recreational Boaters
Fewer than 3,000 requests for on-water assistance made to TowBoatUS nationwide towing Fleet

Mother Nature threw a wet blanket on boater’s plans for the traditional kickoff of the summer boating season, Memorial Day weekend, reports Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). Boaters made fewer than 3,000 requests for on-water assistance to the nation’s largest recreational boat towing fleet, TowBoatUS, from Friday, May 25 through Monday, May 28, down nearly 20 percent compared to 2017.

The volume of requests received by the 600-plus TowBoatUS response vessels at more than 300 locations around the country, as well as BoatUS 24-hour nationwide dispatch centers, is a barometer of boating activity. In some years this number can exceed 4,000 requests for battery jumps, soft ungroundings, fuel drop-offs and tows to marinas and launch ramps.

“While some locations did experience blue skies and sunshine early in the weekend, the weather largely washed out the second half of the Memorial Day weekend for many boaters, sailors and anglers,” said John Condon, director of operations for the BoatUS 24 hour dispatch service. “The West Coast and Pacific Northwest were the only bright spots, with near-normal boating activity and the largest towing volume,” added Condon, “but Tropical Storm Alberto shut down much of the Gulf and Florida, and the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and Midwest were hit with mostly cloudy skies and rain.”

The top five reasons why boaters called for assistance were:

1.  54%: mechanical breakdowns, including engine and equipment failures

2.  12%: running aground

3.  9%: read battery

4.  9%: out of fuel

5.  4%: engine overheats

Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, BoatUS offers an Unlimited Freshwater Towing Membership for freshwater boaters for just $72 a year, or $149 a year for saltwater boaters. Nationwide, boaters face costs that average $750 per towing incident – with some paying into the thousands out of pocket – when they don’t have an annual BoatUS Towing Membership.

Boaters can reach the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at (800) 391-4869, or via smartphone using the new BoatUS App. More information can be found at


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