NEWS from BoatUS
Boat Owners Association of The United States
880 S. Pickett St., Alexandria, VA 22304
BoatUS Press Room at www.BoatUS.com
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com
BoatUS Reports Recreational Boating Traffic Flat,
But More Boaters Using On-The-Water Towing
ALEXANDRIA, Va., August 24, 2009 – The summer of the great economic downturn continues to have an effect on recreational boating, says the nation’s largest recreational boat owners group. On-the-water boat towing and ungrounding services provided to members of Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) were up 8% at the midsummer mark, when compared to 2008. “Boaters have less money in their wallets this year, which translates to fewer outings, less maintenance, and an increase in calls for on-the-water assistance,” said BoatUS Towing Service Vice President Jerry Cardarelli. The Association’s BoatUS Towing Service operates a fleet of 600 TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist towing vessels across the country.
Good weather and lower gas prices, which typically lead to an increase in overall boating traffic, have been offset by the recession. “Except for the Northeast, weather has generally been good, and fuel prices remain around $3.50 per gallon at the fuel dock, down about a dollar or so from last summer’s highs. But the economy has been a bigger factor,” added Cardarelli.
A May 2009 survey of BoatUS members foreshadowed today’s news. When asked how they planned to use their boat this summer, about half of the respondents said they would reduce cruising distances, stay closer to home and reduce the number of boating trips/days, among other cost-cutting measures. “The middle class is boating’s bread and butter, and like everyone else, these families are feeling the strain on their budget for discretionary activities,” added Cardarelli.
“However, breakdowns can be costly, and experienced boaters know it’s prudent to have an on-the-water towing plan that will safely get you home — with your wallet intact,” added Cardarelli. Much like an auto club, BoatUS Towing Services offers “unlimited” towing plans for boaters starting at just $34 year. Without a towing plan, the national average out-of-pocket cost for a tow is about $600.
For membership and towing information visit www.BoatUS.com or call 800-888-4869.
BoatUS – Boat Owners Association of The United States – is the nation’s leading advocate for recreational boaters providing its 600,000 members with government representation, programs and money saving services, including on-the-water towing services provided by TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist Pacific. Combined, these two towing fleets offer North American boaters the largest network of US, Canadian and Bahamian towing ports with over 290 locations and over 600 towing assistance vessels — more than double that of any other service provider.