The new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell is now Wade Cline. Wade began his boating life on that lake when he was just a young boy. His family had a home there. “I’ve been on the water my whole life, running boats of all kinds on lakes and out in the ocean,” he said, “so owning a business that will keep me on the water is a very good fit, and I’ve always loved this lake.”
Cline jumped at the chance to buy the business when his friend Benny Owens, one of the previous owners, mentioned that he and his partners were thinking about selling it. Cline took over in late June and promises to continue the excellent service that TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell is known for, using two of the same assist boats and several of the same USCG-licensed captains to aid boaters in need.
Much like an auto club for boaters, TowBoatUS offers on water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $72 a year that includes BoatUS membership. Without a towing plan, boaters face costs that average $750 per incident nationally.
At 56,000 acres, Lake Hartwell, at the confluence the Seneca, Tugaloo and Savannah Rivers, is a huge spiderlike body of water that spans the South Carolina/Georgia border. A reservoir created by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the 1960s, it is one of the most popular boating areas in the southeast, filled with all kinds of watercraft from kayaks and sailboats to fishing, pontoon and motorboats. “We’re there to help anyone who needs a hand, whether they have engine failure, need a jump start or find themselves soft aground on a sandy shoal,” Cline said.
Cline currently has two boats, a 21-foot Robolo center console with a 200-horsepower Mercury outboard and 27-foot pontoon boat with a 115-horsepower Mercury outboard. They are stationed at private docks at opposite ends of the lake, one near Saddler’s Creek State Park in Anderson, SC and the other on the Seneca River in Townville, SC. He plans to station a third boat on the Tugaloo River in the near future. Both boats are painted a distinctive red with TowBoatUS lettering and white bow stripes on each side. They are fully equipped for towing and salvage with dewatering pumps, dive gear, lift bags, towing gear, battery jump packs and extra fuel.
TowBoatUS Lake Hartwell can be hailed on VHF channel 16 or reached by calling 864-993-4131 or by calling the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869, and via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.