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New on-water boat towing service, TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland, opens

by Scott Croft 24 May 10:25 UTC
One of two TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland response vessels © Scott Croft

Rich Lenardson used to be in the vehicle recovery business, on the highways at all hours of the day and night. But in 2007, he took to the water and opened his first TowBoatUS 24-hour on-water boater assistance service on Lake Michigan.

Now the owner of nine TowBoatUS locations in the Great Lakes, Lenardson is betting that professional 24-hour on-water assistance provided by U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captains, combined with the latest technology to summon assistance and a range of other benefits, will be valuable to Lake Cumberland boaters.

"I believe we can serve boaters well, both on and off the water," said Lenardson at the recent opening of his newest location, TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland.

Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Freshwater Towing Membership for just $85 per year, which is good for any boat owned, rented or borrowed. Lenardson's company provides towing to launch ramps or marinas, battery jumps, fuel drop-offs and soft ungrounding services, day or night.

Kentucky boat owners who have BoatUS Marine Insurance may choose to add Unlimited Freshwater Towing to their insured boat's policy for just $36, cutting the price for on-water assistance by more than half.

Any tow provided by TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland to an Unlimited Towing member is paid for by BoatUS not the member. "It's always better to be able to leave your money or credit card in your wallet," added Lenardson. For those without a towing plan, the average nationwide cost for towing services runs about $750.

Included with towing is BoatUS membership, which offers more than 25 benefits and discounts, including 25% off transient slips at Lake Cumberland State Dock, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration, and more. In addition to on-water assistance, BoatUS offers Trailer Assist roadside assistance that won't force you to leave your broken-down boat trailer unattended on the side of the highway while you try to seek help for a flat tire. For just $14 additional per year, Trailer Assist will get the help you need with roadside flat-tire service, or will tow both a disabled boat trailer and tow vehicle up to 100 miles to a location of your choice. Boat ramp winching, battery jumps and lock-out service are included.

TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland operates two heavy-duty, 25-foot former Coast Guard SAFE boats with twin 250 horsepower outboards ready 24/7 to respond in all weather. Boaters can download the free BoatUS App, which speeds response times. "It's as simple as pressing one button on your smartphone screen. We know right where you are, which saves a lot of time," said Lenardson.

Stationed out of Lee's Ford Marina and Lake Cumberland Marina (formerly Alligator II Marina), both TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland response vessels are easily recognizable by their red hulls with TowBoatUS logo emblazoned in bright white letters on their hull sides. Each boat is rigged for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery, and soft ungroundings. The company also offers salvage and recovery services.

Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 269-605-9036, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone using the BoatUS App. More information can be found at or call 800-888-4869.

TowBoatUS Lake Cumberland is part of a nationwide fleet of more than 600 response vessels at 300-plus TowBoatUS locations. Last year TowBoatUS responded to over 70,000 requests for on-water assistance.

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