CHARLOTTE — Capt. Derek DeBord, who has been running the TowBoatUS on Lake Norman since 2012, is the new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Wylie.
“We are on call 24/7,” said DeBord, who also is a Catawba County reserve deputy sheriff.
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on a water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for $67 a year and includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership.
The USCG-licensed DeBord has four towboats on Lake Norman and one on Lake Wylie. His business partner and wife, Cheryl, takes care of accounting and helps out as first mate. Ten other licensed captains work for the company, including Capt. Daniel Winegeart, a former tugboat master who pushed barges with a 72-foot tug.
Many boaters, particularly anglers, trailer their boats from one lake to another. “I know I’ll see some of my Lake Norman members in Lake Wylie,” DeBord said.
TowBoatUS Lake Wylie is based at River Hills Marina, where DeBord and the licensed captains who work for him operate a 22-foot C-Hawk center console with a 250-horsepower Yamaha outboard. It is painted red with words “TowBoatUS” on the hull, and it is fully rigged for towing and salvage, with pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel.
Boaters can contact TowBoatUS Lake Wylie by hailing on VHF channel 16, calling 704-200-1930 or 800-391-4869. To see the location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/lakewylie.