Rob Copenhaver takes over boating assistance service, expands to Chincoteague

(April 12, 2019) Capt. Rob Copenhaver, a 2004 Stephen Decatur High School graduate, is the new owner of the 24-hour, on-the-water boater assistance service, TowBoatUS Ocean City, Maryland.

Copenhaver worked under the late Capt. Greg Hall, who started TowBoatUS Ocean City in 1986. Hall passed away in October.

“I was able to purchase the company off the estate,” Copenhaver said. “I’ve been working for him for the past five or six years. [Hall] and I actually had talked about having a buyout. Neither one of us was in a hurry to do it but I wanted to continue his legacy.”

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Captain Rob Copenhaver displays one of the six tow boats the water maintenance company uses.

Copenhaver’s most recent title was operations manager. He helped grow the local boat towing company’s footprint last July by adding a second location, TowBoatUS Chincoteague, Virginia.

The assistance service operates from Delaware all the way to Chincoteague. According to Copenhaver, business has continued to run smoothly since he took over after Hall’s passing.

“Greg had a very good relationship with the boating community. We’re going to keep that all, go in and do our best to keep the coverage up and try to grow in the process, with more boats downtown and get bigger, better equipment every year.”

The company operates a fleet of six response vessels ranging from 21 to 42 feet out of Fisherman’s Marina in West Ocean City, and Curtis Merritt Harbor in Chincoteague.

The boats are recognizable by their red hulls with the TowBoatUS logo in bright white letters. Each boat is rigged for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings. The company also offers salvage and recovery services.

TowBoatUS assists around 400 vessels each year, with most calls occurring between April and November, Copenhaver said.

Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS also offers on-water unlimited towing memberships for saltwater boaters and anglers for $159 per year.

Boaters without TowBoatUS services can face costs that average $750 per towing incident, with some paying into the thousands out of pocket, Copenhaver said.

Boaters can reach TowBoatUS Ocean City and Chincoteague on VHF channel 16, by calling the company directly at 443-235-3552, or the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, or via smartphone using the BoatUS App.

For more information visit BoatUS.com/Towing or call 800-888-4869.

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