Please select your home edition
Edition
Raymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - TOP

Capt. Seth Owens, new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell, sees opportunity to grow

by Scott Croft 17 Apr 13:14 UTC
Capt. Seth Owens, new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell, South Carolina aboard his 24/7 response vessel. © Scott Croft

Capt. Seth Owens first came to Lake Hartwell in the 1970s as a guest of his grandparents. Since then, he's enjoyed the lake with his family and guided fishing clients.

Eventually he took the position of lead hired captain for TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell, a 24/7 on-water assistance service for boaters. After purchasing the location from Capt. Wade Cline, Owens now embarks on a new role as owner of the company that's been on the lake since 2000. The location is a part of a network of more than 600 TowBoatUS locations across the nation that provide on-water assistance including towing, battery jumps, soft ungroundings and fuel drop offs.

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 BoatUS towing services face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out of pocket.

Owens, who is licensed by the U.S Coast Guard, has grown into several roles with the company over the years, including becoming the maintenance foreman and scheduler. He also has logged hundreds of hours getting boaters safely home.

"I hear people say they have neighbors who can come get them if they break down or run aground on the lake," said Owens. "But it may be dark, and you don't have to feel bad for interrupting their dinner. Call us and you'll get swift, professional assistance." Using the free BoatUS App to summon on-water assistance often speeds response times.

A common challenge for Lake Hartwell boaters is fluctuating water levels. "Sometimes what was navigable a little while ago, isn't today," added Owens. "It can drop 6 feet in very short period of time. We get quite a few calls for ungrounding services."

The company operates a fleet of three response vessels from 21 to 27 feet out of Coneross Creek, Harbor Light Marina and Tugaloo River. All are easily recognizable by their red hulls with the 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 Hartwell by hailing on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 864-909-7388, 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 BoatUS.com/Towing or call 800-888-4869.

Related Articles

Want to learn how to boat?
Learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club San Diego offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats Posted on 26 Jun
Want to learn how to boat?
Intro to boating and women making waves offered in Lewes Want to learn the basics of powerboating or brush up on your skills? The non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club Lewes offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses. Posted on 19 Jun
Boaters beware: Expect more E15 this summer
A bad fuel is lurking Over the objections of a wide coalition of American citizens and environmental, conservation, food producer, fuel retailer, taxpayer advocate, and outdoor recreation industry groups, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Posted on 18 Jun
Who else wants money to improve boating in the US?
Help your floating community be safe and clean Begun over 25 years ago and one of the longest-running boating community grant programs, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water Grassroots Grant program provides local groups up to $10,000 to help educate boaters. Posted on 3 Jun
Affordable 3-hour on-water training courses
Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves offered on Lake Norman The nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water together with Freedom Boat Club Lake Norman offer a choice of two fun on-water boat training courses taught aboard single-engine powerboats: Intro to Boating and Women Making Waves. Posted on 1 Jun
Boaters aren't the only ones getting heavier
BoatUS says be careful when repowering One year ago the U.S. Coast Guard required new recreational boats to have more floatation to support the increased weight of newer four-stroke outboards if the boat becomes swamped. Posted on 31 May
6 ways boaters can be green this summer
All across America boating season has begun. With some help from the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water, here are six ways boaters can help keep waters clean and be good environmental stewards all summer long. Posted on 29 May
BoatUS releases annual list of Top 10 Boat Names
The tradition dates back a quarter century Each year, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) tallies the most popular boat names. The tradition dates back a quarter century, with the list derived from adding up requests for boat name designs from BoatUS Boat Graphics. Posted on 24 May
BoatUS checklist: How to rent your boat
Know your liabilities, and plan for breakdowns Airbnb has shown that the sharing economy can work. A new report says, in 2018, the peer-to-peer rental company's annual sales surpassed Hilton, based on data from U.S. travelers (excluding business spending). Posted on 22 May
Atlantic Hurricane Season begins June 1
4 tips to ready your boat When a hurricane approaches, recreational boat owners have a big problem. Faced with limited time to protect their homes, and with families to possibly evacuate, what can they do to prepare their boats? Posted on 21 May
Marina Exchange FOOTER 1Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterRaymarine AUS Lighthouse 3 Annapolis 3.9 - BOTTOM