When the residents of Cullman, Walker and Winston counties describe where they live, Lewis Smith Lake takes center stage, as the communities straddle the 21,000-acre lake. These boating communities are growing, so is the need for on water towing and assistance services for recreational boaters and anglers. The husband and wife team of Captain Jackson Dozier and Captain Nicki Dozier have teamed up with Captain Chris Shaffner to bring the 24/7 benefits of TowBoatUS to Lewis Smith Lake. TowBoatUS offers, lake-wide assistance for engine breakdowns, battery jumps, fuel delivery, soft ungrounding, towing and salvage services.
Said Jackson, “We hope to free up the people who work tirelessly to serve boaters – local marine police and the US Coast Guard Auxiliary – and let them focus on emergency help while we handle the everyday stuff. There are only a few marinas on the lake and they’re spread out, and towing is not their primary business. Lewis Smith Lake is a great boating destination and TowBoatUS services will be of value to every boater.”
The need for this service really became apparent when the Doziers attended the Birmingham Boat Show and over and over again, people kept mentioning Lewis Smith Lake. They soon learned that Lewis Smith is not only the lake of choice for Cullman, Walker and Winston County residents, but also for those close to Birmingham, as well as the Mississippi and Tennessee borders.
Now that the Doziers and Shaffner have opened a TowBoatUS “port” on the lake, boaters can get reliable assistance 24-hours a day when they break down or run aground. Much like an auto club for boaters, the assistance can be very affordable when boaters have an annual towing plan. TowBoatUS offers Unlimited on water towing plans for freshwater boaters and anglers for just $67 a year that includes BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership. Without an annual towing plan, boaters face out of pocket costs that average $600 per incident nationally.
This isn’t the first time that Doziers and Shaffner have opened a port together: About three years ago, after working together for some time, the business partners opened TowBoatUS Lake Martin. “I worked for Chris for about three years down in Palm Beach, Florida as one of his captains and approached him to get his advice about opening a port,” said Jackson. “So we got together and opened Lake Martin.”
Prior to working with Shaffner, Jackson had an extensive boating career that took him from the Bahamas to Alaska, and then back to Alabama. While Jackson handles most of the on water work, Nicki handles the “off water” functions such as marketing and business operations. At Lewis Smith Lake, a handful of operators assist the owners in providing coverage.
Image courtesy TowBoatUS