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Maritimo 2019 HEADER

Local on-water towing captain brings 24-hour assistance to Logan Martin Lake boaters

by Scott Croft 8 May 2019 09:00 PDT
Danah Gilliland and Capt. Chad Gilliland, owners of newly opened TowBoatUS Logan Martin Lake, aboard one of their 24-hour on-water assistance company's response vessels © Scott Croft

Home to thousands of recreational boaters and anglers, Logan Martin Lake has never had affordable, professional 24/7 on-water assistance available to boaters until now.

Capt. Chad Gilliland and his wife Danah, owners of TowBoatUS Lake Martin, have now added a second location, TowBoatUS Logan Martin Lake, to meet the growing needs of the local boating community just in time for the summer boating season.

"Logan Martin Lake has a tremendous number of fishermen and recreational boaters," said Capt. Gilliland. "A few months ago, a local boater approached us explaining that her lakeside boating community was trying to build a network of numbers to call when someone needs on-water assistance, but it wasn't going well. When she discovered our TowBoatUS port on a nearby lake, she said our services were exactly what the community needed."

Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $85 per year. Boaters without a BoatUS Membership face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out-of-pocket. TowBoatUS Logan Martin Lake is part of a nationwide network of more than 300 TowBoatUS locations. Providing a safe tow home, a battery jump or a gentle pull off a shoal are their specialties.

From fluctuating water levels to mechanical issues that catch boaters off guard, there are various challenges that boaters face in this area. "With Logan Martin Lake being part of the Coosa River dam system, there are a lot of stump fields and shallows that you can't always anticipate," said Capt. Gilliland. "No matter how many years you've been boating and no matter how new your boat might be, at the end of the day there are always things that can happen not according to plan. That's why we're here to serve as a safety net for boaters who unexpectedly get into trouble on the water."

Capt. Gilliland has been serving the public for most of his adult life. He served in law enforcement, worked as a salvage diver raising sunken vessels, and was a fishing guide. It was his desire to serve the boating community that drew him into the on-water towing business. "I enjoy helping," he said. "It's the best feeling when boaters are really happy to see you after a rough day on the water. It gives me a lot of satisfaction knowing I'm doing a good thing for people."

TowBoatUS Logan Martin Lake operates a 21-foot Boston Whaler that's rigged and ready for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings. The vessel is kept at Woods Surfside Marina in Cropwell, Alabama, and is easily recognizable by its red hull with TowBoatUS logos emblazoned in bright white letters on its sides.

Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Logan Martin Lake by hailing TowBoatUS on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 256-307-1313, by phoning 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 BoatUS.com/towing, or call 800-888-4869.

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