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North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

Capt. Mike Montgomery new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Conroe

by Scott Croft 2 Jul 09:47 PDT
Captain Mike Montgomery, new owner of TowBoatUS Lake Conroe. © Scott Croft

Capt. Mike Montgomery, lead captain for TowBoatUS Lake Conroe, is the new owner of the 24-hour on-water recreational boat towing and assistance service. Montgomery purchased the company from retiring Capt. Gary Lewis. The company provides professional, 24/7 on-water towing and assistance including boat towing, soft ungrounding, battery jumps and fuel drop-off services.

Montgomery was working in the oil fields in 2013 when he got a call from Lewis. "Gary said, 'Why are you traveling so much? I need a captain,' and then offered to send me to captains school," said Montgomery, a North Houston native. Since then, Montgomery steadily worked his way up and, for the last five years, has managed all port operations, including organizing and supervising all towing and salvage as well as captain staffing.

"I'm very thankful for the opportunity Gary gave me to serve as his right-hand man. I stuck to it, starting as a day laborer, then deckhand, and worked up the ladder to where I am today. When he recently told me, 'You can take over this,' I knew I my next step was to take ownership."

Montgomery's company is part of a nationwide network of more than 300 TowBoatUS locations that responded to more than 80,000 requests from boaters for on-water assistance last year. "About 50% of our calls for routine assistance are for engine failure, followed by out of gas and battery jumps" said Montgomery. Inexperienced boaters also wade into trouble when they fail to check navigation charts for danger zones filled with submerged tree stumps. Heavy rains can also bring debris that can damage running gear.

Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, BoatUS offers on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $99 per year. Included are more than 25 benefits and discounts, a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration and more.

The company's three towing response vessels, easily recognized by their bright red hulls with "TowBoatUS" in white letters on each side, are stationed at Palms Marina.

Separate from BoatUS on-water towing services, the company offers boat salvage, environmental response, dive, and storm debris removal services. Montgomery is also currently hiring towing captains.

The fastest way to request assistance from TowBoatUS Lake Conroe is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain. Additionally, the company can be reached at 936-524-0448, by hailing on VHF channel 16, or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869. More information can be found at BoatUS.com/Towing or by calling 800-888-4869.

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