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Maritimo 2023 S-Series LEADERBOARD

Mother-and-Son Team, Janet Liciaga and Chris Rodriguez, new owners of TowBoatUS Weiss Lake, Alabama

by BoatUS 21 Mar 11:45 PDT
(L) Chris Rodriguez and (R) Janet Liciaga, new owners of TowBoatUS Weiss Lake, Alabama, with (C) port captain Bryson Dubsky © BoatUS

On the 30,000-plus-acre "Crappie Capital of the World" — Weiss Lake, Alabama — anglers with skill and perhaps a little luck regularly land 2- and sometimes 3-pounders of the warm-weather-loving gamefish. However, sometimes an angler's luck runs out when their fishing rig breaks down, has a dead battery or runs over a stump, leaving them with no way to get home. New to the lake on their first boating season, the owners of TowBoatUS Weiss Lake, Janet Liciaga and Chris Rodriguez, are there to help. The company provides towing, soft ungrounding, fuel drop-off and battery jump services 24/7 to anglers and boaters.

The mother-and-son team of Liciaga and Rodriguez have varied backgrounds in real estate, human services, sales and auto retailing. So how did they get into this unique business that's part of a nationwide fleet of more than 600 towboats that responds to over 90,000 requests from boat owners each year?

Rodriguez, who is also a BoatUS member with an Unlimited Towing Plan, kept a boat at nearby Lake Allatoona, Georgia. When it unexpectedly broke down several years ago, Capt. Chris Day, owner of TowBoatUS Allatoona, Georgia, and Weiss Lake, safely got the Rodriguez family and their boat back to a marina - all covered by the Towing Plan. A friendship formed, and soon Rodriguez was helping Day as a deckhand. When Day decided to sell the Alabama towing port, he reached out to Rodriguez, who then brought his mom aboard.

"We are really thankful to Chris for helping us get our foot in the door, and we're looking forward to helping people out," said Liciaga.

The company homeports its red 22-foot Boston Whaler response vessel at Bay Springs Country Inn Marina. Much like an auto club for recreational boat owners, Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS) offers annual on-water Unlimited Towing Memberships for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $109 per year. Towing, ungrounding, battery jumps and fuel drop-offs are all included, along with more than 25 BoatUS benefits. Also offered with membership is a subscription to BoatUS Magazine, free DSC-VHF radio registration and more.

TowBoatUS Weiss Lake is also ACAPT-accredited, supporting best practices in the recreational marine assistance industry. Separate from BoatUS on-water towing services, the company offers vessel salvage and environmental remediation services.

The fastest way to request assistance from TowBoatUS Weiss Lake is to download the free BoatUS App, which connects boaters to the closest local towing captain. Additionally, the company can be reached at 800-821-9620, or by phoning the BoatUS toll-free 24/7 Dispatch Center at 800-391-4869.

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