Waterside assistance for broken boats, and a ‘Hardtop Hotel’ for Jeeps

Problem solvers: Waterside assistance for broken boats, and a ‘Hardtop Hotel’ for Jeeps

Cape Cod family makes a living towing boats, while a pair of brothers got creative to serve other Jeep owners



BY LAND OR BY SEA. WHEN A CAR BREAKS DOWN ON THE ROAD THERE ARE OPTIONS. CALL A TOW TRUCK, ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, BUT WHAT TO DO WHEN A BOAT BREAKS DOWN? >> WERE GOING TO BE THERE AND WERE GOING TO BE ABLE TO GET YOU IN. ANTHONY: CAPTAIN SEAN AND HIS WIFE STACY OWN TAPE TELLING AND SAVAGE. >> WE ARE A TOWING COMPANY FROM PLYMOUTH. ANTHONY: SAY HELLO TO ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE, A MEMBERSHIP WITH TOPO US PROVIDES VOTERS WATERSIDE ASSISTANCE 24/7. CAPTAIN TRULY AND HIS FLOAT — FLEET OF SIX BOATS PATROLED ONE OF THE BUSIEST REGIONS OF THE COUNTRY. >> WE OWNED THE PORT THAT COVERS A PORTION OF BUZZARDS BAY, THE CAPE COD CANAL AND TH CAPE COD BAY. WE ALSO OWN THE PORT OF PLYMOUTH. THAT COVERS SOUTH ALONG THE SOUTH SHORE. ANTHONY: HE SAYS BECAUSE OF THE DUELING CURRENTS IN THE CANAL, HE HAS RESPONDERS PATROLLING BUZZARDS BAY THROUGHOUT THE DAY. >> WE DO NOT WANT THEM DRIFTING INTO ROCKS. >> WE HAVE AN 18 FOOT NAUTICAL DISPATCH COMING IN. DEAD BATTERY SO JUMPSTART IF WE CAN DO IT. >> WE REACH OUT TO THE BOATER, MAKE SURE THAT WE COVER ALL THE BASES TO MAKE SURE THAT IS THEIR ONLY PROBLEM. ARE YOU ANCHORED SAFE THERE? >> YES I AM. >> OK, GREAT. ANTHONY: THE BUSY SEASON RUNS BETWEEN A MEMORIAL DAY AND NOVEMBER 1. IN 2021, HE AND HIS CREW RESPONDED TO MORE THAN 800 CALLS DURING THE HIGH SEASON ALONE. >> THIS IS TOPO US. >> TOW BOAT U… NAUTICAL IN SEVEN. >> WE WILL BE ON OUR WAY TO YOU. ANTHONY: ACCORDING TO THE US COAST GUARD IN 20 20, THERE WERE MORE THAN 130,000 RECREATIONAL BOATS REGISTERED IN MASSACHUSETTS. HE SAYS BECAUSE THE CANAL IS A CUT THROUGH, THEY OFTEN RESPOND TO BOATS FROM OTHER STATES. AND EVEN OTHER COUNTRIES. >> TYPICALLY, IT IS ENGINE FAILURE. WE ALSO DEAL WITH PEOPLE WHO RUN OUT OF FUEL BECAUSE OF THE FACT THAT THE BOAT IS TALKING, BOUNCING THE FUEL GAUGE MIGHT GET STUCK AT A CERTAIN SPOT. ANTHONY: WHEN TROUBLE HAPPENS, THE BURLY FAMILY IS READY TO ANSWER THE CALL. >> MY OLDEST SON RYAN, HE IS A FULL-TIME CAPTAIN WITH US. PRETTY MUCH THE LEAD CAPTAIN. WE ALSO HAVE TRAVIS, WHO JUST GOT CERTIFIED AS A DIVER. THE WHOLE FAMILY IS KIND OF USED TO LIVING TO RADIOS ALL SUMMER. >> OK, SO I WILL GO AHEAD AND PASS THAT TO YOU AND THEN YOU CAN SEE IF SHE WORKS FOR YOU. >> LET’S GIVE HER A SHOT. PERFECT >> THAT WORKED OUT GREAT. >> WE ENJOY HELPING THE PEOPLE THAT JUST DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH EXPERIENCE WITH AIRBOAT TO BE ABLE TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM ON THEIR OWN. SHAYNA: IT IS SAFE TO SAY MOST PEOPLE WELCOME THE ARRIVAL OF WARMER WEATHER. TIME FOR THE BEACH, WALKS IN THE PARK, THE OCCASIONAL ICE CREAM CONE. BUT FOR SOME, SUNNY DAYS MEAN IT IS TIME FOR A DREADED TASK, SWITCHING A HARDTOP FOR THE SOFT TOP. >> THINGS ARE HEAVY, 150 POUNDS. SO YOU CANNOT DO IT YOURSELF UNLESS YOU WANT TO GET PRETTY SERIOUSLY INJURED. SHAYNA: RYAN HENRY OWNS A JEEP WRANGLER AND UNDERSTANDS THE STRUGGLE FOR STAND. — FIRSTHAND. >> WE LIVE IN THE CITY AND IT IS A STRUGGLE TO STORE IT, TO GET IT OFF. TO CONVINCE THIS GUY TO COME OVER TO HELP ME TAKE IT OFF. AND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE THE SAME PROBLEM. SHAYNA: IT WAS A CHALLENGE FOR BRIAN AND HIS BROTHER AND BECAME A BUSINESS. HARDTOP HOTEL LAUNCHED IN 2021. >> WE ARE A SERVICE THAT STORES HARDTOP AND SOFT TOPS SEASONALLY. SO WE DO THEM ALL THE TIME. IT TAKES US ABOUT 25, 30 MINUTES, BUT NORMAL HOMEOWNER WILL DO IT ONCE A YEAR, IT’LL BE LIKE AN HOUR TO TWO HOURS. IT IS NOT SUPER EASY. >> WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE SUPER POPULAR IN CITIES. IF WE WALK A BLOCK WE SEE FOUR OR FIVE WRANGLERS, SO WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE A HUGE THING THERE WERE NO ONE HAS STORAGE. THEY ENDED UP BEING A HUGE SUBURBAN THING. THE ALTERNATIVE IS PUTTING IT OUTSIDE. THIS IS ALWAYS A GOOD OPTION FOR FOLKS. A COUPLE DAYS IN THE SUN, LET IT STRETCH OUT. SHAYNA: THE BROTHERS SAY THEIR TEAM SWAPS OUT AROUND 25 HARD AND SOFT TOPS A DAY. STORING SOME IN THEIR WAREHOUSE AND OTHERS AT CUSTOMERS HOMES. >> UNTIL — WE HAVE BEEN TOLD WE’VE SAVED MARRIAGES, RELATIONSHIPS. >> EVERYBODY IS HAPPY WHEN YOU SHOW UP, BECAUSE IT’S KIND OF LIKE SUMMER IS HERE AND THEY DON’T HAVE TO DEAL WITH THE PAIN OF DEALING WITH A SOFT TOP AND HARDTOP AGAIN. SHAYNA: COLIN AND RYAN SAY THEY HAVE A TEAM THAT HELPS THEM WITH THE SWAPPING AND SOON IT THEY WILL BE TAKING THOSE SOFT TOPS OFF AND PUTTING THE HARDTOP’S BACK ON. ANTHONY: BACK TO CAPE TOWING AND SALVAGE. THE BUSY SEASON RUNS UNTIL NOVEMBER 1 BUT THEY ARE OPERATIONAL YEAR-ROUND. THEY HAVE FOUR CAPTAINS, ALL MARITIME GRADUATES AND THERE’S PLENTY OF WORK TO KEEP THEM BUSY. WE SHOULD MENTION THEY ARE ONE OF A NUMBER OF SERVICES THAT PROVIDE TOWIN

Problem solvers: Waterside assistance for broken boats, and a ‘Hardtop Hotel’ for Jeeps

Cape Cod family makes a living towing boats, while a pair of brothers got creative to serve other Jeep owners

When a car breaks down on the road, there are options — tow trucks, and roadside assistance. But what to do when a boat breaks down? Captain Shawn Brule and his wife Stacy own Cape Towing and Salvage. They operate TowBoatUS Cape Cod/Plymouth. Similar to roadside assistance, a membership with TowBoatUS provides boaters waterside assistance, 24/7. Captain Brule and his fleet of six boats patrol one of the busiest regions in the country. Driving around the Bay State, it’s clear that Jeep Wranglers are quite popular. But the arrival of warmer weather brings about a dreaded task for some Wrangler owners: switching the hard top for the soft top. Ryan and Colin Henry understand that struggle and decided to help others by opening HardTop Hotel. Their company will swap out the Wrangler hard- and soft-tops and even store the hard-top during the summer months.

When a car breaks down on the road, there are options — tow trucks, and roadside assistance. But what to do when a boat breaks down? Captain Shawn Brule and his wife Stacy own Cape Towing and Salvage. They operate TowBoatUS Cape Cod/Plymouth. Similar to roadside assistance, a membership with TowBoatUS provides boaters waterside assistance, 24/7. Captain Brule and his fleet of six boats patrol one of the busiest regions in the country.

Driving around the Bay State, it’s clear that Jeep Wranglers are quite popular. But the arrival of warmer weather brings about a dreaded task for some Wrangler owners: switching the hard top for the soft top. Ryan and Colin Henry understand that struggle and decided to help others by opening HardTop Hotel. Their company will swap out the Wrangler hard- and soft-tops and even store the hard-top during the summer months.

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