SOUTHSIDE, Ala., April 25, 2023 – Capt. Chris Day has spent a lot of time on the water. The owner of two TowBoatUS on-water boat towing ports on nearby Logan Martin Lake and Weiss Lake, boating safety instructor, life jacket advocate and former water patrol officer, Day will be spending more time on Neely Henry Lake this summer after opening TowBoatUS Neely Henry Lake, a professional 24/7 on-water towing and assistance service for boaters.
Also on Neely Henry, Day has opened a location of Georgia Boat Safety Training, his on-water training company, which is partnering with the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water this summer to offer affordable three-hour powerboat training courses for beginners as well as those looking to improve docking skills. Women-only courses, "Women Making Waves," are also slated.
The goal of the two companies, says Day, is to increase the number of Neely Henry Lake boaters confident in their boat handling skills, and give them a hand with a tow, battery jump, fuel drop or ungrounding when they need the help the most.
"We want to be good stewards of boating safety," said Day. "We also want to be there for you when the unexpected happens."
TowBoatUS Neely Henry Lake:
The company's red 24-foot response vessel is stationed at Bucks Island Marina in Southside. It's part of a nationwide network of more than 600 TowBoatUS towboats that responded to more than 90,000 requests for assistance last year.
Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $99 per year. This includes more than 25 BoatUS benefits including discounts on transient slips and fuel, exclusive savings from national partners, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration and more.
The fastest way to request assistance from TowBoatUS Neely Henry Lake is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain. Additionally, the port can be reached at 800-821-9620, or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869.
Georgia Boat Safety Training:
All of Georgia Boat Safety Training's instruction is offered aboard an 18-foot single-engine powerboat that departs out of the company's location at 721 Pier 77 Lane, Southside. Three-hour on-water boat handling courses are offered at 9 a.m. on select Saturdays through July. Courses are priced at an affordable $175 per person. Class size is limited to four students per vessel, ensuring each student gets sufficient time at the helm under the watchful eye of a U.S. Coast Guard-licensed captain certified to teach the National Safe Boating Council modular curriculum.
The "Intro to Boating" course covers centering the wheel, shifting gears, predeparture checklist and station holding, or staying in one place while wind or current effect the boat. "Women Making Waves" offers the same curriculum and is the perfect opportunity to spend a half-day learning boat-handling techniques in a supportive environment.
Precision Docking & Boat Handling includes 180-degree turns, docking on port and starboard, dock departures and learning the SCAN method to help navigate safely.
The minimum age to participate is 15 years old. BoatUS Foundation On-Water Training programs are offered at 18 locations. Sign-up at BoatUS.org/NeelyHenry.