LEESBURG, Fla., September 5, 2017 – John and Jo Anne Davis, the new owners of TowBoatUS Lake Harris, an on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, know firsthand how important it is to get prompt help when a boat breaks down. When their 21-foot bowrider had engine problems a few years ago they called TowBoatUS, and Capt. Buddy Hall arrived and saved the day by towing them to a nearby boat ramp.
Now Hall, who has been the primary captain at TowBoatUS Lake Harris for many years, is working with the Davises. “He knows every channel in our chain of lakes,” said John Davis, who goes on dispatch calls with Hall so Davis can learn the boat-towing business from a master.
Much like an auto club for boaters, BoatUS offers TowBoatUS on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for Florida boaters and anglers for just $149 a year that includes BoatUS membership. Local boaters face costs that average $600 per towing incident – with some paying into the thousands out of pocket – when they don’t have an annual BoatUS towing plan.
The Davises, who met while crewing on a sailboat on Lake Michigan, have been active in the Central Florida boating community for more than 30 years. They decided to become TowBoatUS owner/operators at the suggestion of the prior owners, longtime friends of theirs who had their hands full with their own TowBoatUS service on the St. John’s River. “It was natural,” John Davis said. “I had retired from a service business. We are passionate about boating, and we live right on the lake.” John will run the boating end of the business; Jo Anne will be in charge of the office and will assist as first mate from time to time. “I love being on the water,” she said.
TowBoatUS Lake Harris will help any boater who has a breakdown, needs a jump start, runs out of fuel or needs help getting off a sandbar anywhere on the entire Harris Chain of Lakes – 12 lakes, including Lake Harris, Lake Eustis, Lake Dora and Lake Griffin, all connected by canals, rivers, and streams that extend over 75,000 acres in Central Florida. There are 31 boat ramps, 11 marinas and a shoreline dotted with private docks along the chain. This area of Florida is a prime retirement area, Jo Anne Davis said, so the lakes, well known for excellent bass fishing, are busy seven days a week with retirees and their families cruising, waterskiing, sailing and fishing.
TowBoatUS Lake Harris keeps its assist boat, a 20-foot center console response vessel, at a private dock right behind the Davis’ home on Lake Eustis. It is easy to recognize with its red hull and the TowBoatUS name and logo emblazoned in bright white letters on the side. It is rigged for towing services, jump starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings. Working with a network of TowBoatUS providers in the area, the company also provides diving, salvage and recovery services.
Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Lake Harris by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling the company directly at 407-929-2740, by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone using the New BoatUS Towing App. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/towing, or call 800-888-4869.