Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Reliable 24-hour assistance comes to Honokohau Harbor

by D. Scott Croft on 23 Aug 2013
Capt. Robert Hemsher aboard one of his two Vessel Assist response boats. BoatUS Press Room
An on the water towing company for recreational boaters, anglers and charter operators, Vessel Assist Kona Hawaii, has opened on the 'Big Island' of Hawaii in Kailua-Kona's Honokohau Harbor. The new company is owned by Capt. Robert Hemsher, who also owns Ocean Eco Tours, a Kona-based dive tour operator, surfing school and whale watching business.

Much like an auto club for boaters, Hemsher's Vessel Assist Kona offers 24-hour, non-emergency on water assistance service that provides tows back to the harbor, as well as battery jump-starting, fuel drop off and ungrounding services.

Kona is the second Vessel Assist location in Hawaii after Vessel Assist Oahu, which opened in 2009. Both are part of BoatUS Towing Services that has 300 locations on the mainland. Vessel Assist offers 'Unlimited' on the water towing plans for saltwater boaters and anglers for just $149 a year, while six-pack charter fishing and delivery captains have a commercial towing plan available for $281. Each includes 24/7 on water assistance as well as BoatUS or BoatUS Angler membership.

'Most breakdowns are mechanical or fuel related,' said Hemsher, who had just finished towing in a 49-foot sailboat that had lost power on the approach to the idyllic harbor. 'We all have been towed before,' admits Hemsher. 'There's a real need for this kind of service, and I'm ready day or night.' The company offers an extended service area up to 100 miles offshore.

Stationed at Vessel Assist Kona are a 30-foot Allmar and 30-foot Pursuit response boats. Both have Vessel Assist signage and flags identifying them as part of the Vessel Assist fleet and each is fully rigged for towing and salvage, with powerful pumps, battery jump packs, dive gear and extra fuel.

Beyond offering towing plans, the company also offers salvage services, and works with local fire, police, Hawaii DLNR and the US Coast Guard to provide support where it's needed. 'We want to be an asset to our community, which has been so good to us over the years,' added Hemsher, who opened Kona's first surf school in 1996.

Boaters can reach Vessel Assist Kona 24 hours a day at 808-331-2121, through the BoatUS toll-free dispatch service at 800-391-4869, via smartphone with the free BoatUS Towing App, or by hailing Vessel Assist on VHF channel 16. BoatUS is also the only towing service that offers satellite messaging services with the SPOT and inReach satellite communications services to summon a towboat. To see the company's location on a map, go to BoatUS.com/kona.

Kona is a traditional Hawaiian fishing village that also caters to resort visitors. With its pristine eco-systems, this part of Hawaii Island is known for it's superb fishing and a title claimed by some to be 'the Billfish Capital of the World.'

BoatUS Towing Services, which include the TowBoatUS and Vessel Assist boat towing fleets, offer over 300 locations with over 600 towboats - the most in North America. For more information, go to www.BoatUS.com/towing or call 800-888-4869.
Mariners Museum 660x82Protector - 660 x 82Giacomo Yacht Sale

Related Articles

Keep the water out with Zhik’s new Superthermal Hydrobase
The lower arm and leg of the new Superthermal Hydrobase is made from a water-repellent, stretch woven fabric We’ve all done it - and fished a rope out of the water, pushed the rudder down or stepped down the slipway one foot too far and gained that unwanted wet sleeve or leg.
Posted on 9 Aug
North Sails releases new 3Di Headsail for the J/105 Class
North Sails released its latest headsail design for competitive J/105 class. The Li-5 3Di jib replaces the L-4 3DL jib North Sails released its latest headsail design for the competitive J/105 class. The Li-5 3Di jib replaces the L-4 3DL jib bringing the ultimate consistency and performance of North’s exclusive 3Di technology to this light-air optimized headsail. The Li-5 is the perfect complement for the Mi-4 3Di jib which is an all-purpose sail.
Posted on 4 Aug
Hands up - Who is wearing the Zhik Boot 460 at the Moth Worlds?
The Zhik Boot 460 are known as the active dinghy sailors ‘best friend’. The Zhik Boot 460 are known as the active dinghy sailors ‘best friend’. Last week Peter Burling rang the Zhik product development team in Sydney, for assistance to get hold of a pair of the Boot 460s in time for the Moth Worlds in Lake Garda. And looking around the fleet it seems he’s not alone, and the 230 strong fleet of Moth sailors are voting with their feet too.
Posted on 29 Jul
Yacht Racing Forum extends partnership with Zhik for two more years
Top sailors choose Zhik gear to win world championships, and demand it for their OIympic campaigns. The company sells its products into an international network covering more than 40 countries, in Europe, the Americas and the Asia Pacific.
Posted on 25 Jul
Moth Worlds – Moth speed uncovered
C-Tech’s Tim Willetts takes time to reflect on changes in Moth class rig design and development over the past six years With the 2017 Moth world championship starting Tuesday, C-Tech’s Tim Willetts takes time to reflect on changes in Moth class rig design and development over the past six years. A lot has happened behind the scenes that is giving the top sailors the edge by staying ahead.
Posted on 25 Jul
Int Moth Worlds - Zhik returns to its spiritual home at 2017 Worlds
Zhik is returning to its roots as the official clothing sponsor of the 2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships Zhik, the innovative sailing apparel specialist, is returning to its roots as the official clothing sponsor of the 2017 McDougall McConaghy Moth World Championships. And, ten years on, the Moths are returning to their spiritual home on Lake Garda. Zhik and the International Moth class are virtually synonymous with each other.
Posted on 20 Jul
World Sailing confirms strong presence at Yacht Racing Forum 2017
The tenth edition of the Yacht Racing Forum, in Aarhus, Denmark will reassemble the sport’s key personalities and actors The tenth edition of the Yacht Racing Forum, in Aarhus, Denmark (November 27-28) will once again reassemble the sport’s key personalities and actors, including a strong delegation of World Sailing representatives.
Posted on 19 Jul
Watch Change in Crosshaven - UK Sailmakers under new command
'Our strength has always been service, quality and people. Right now, they are Graham, Claire and Barry.' The famous Crosshaven loft that is part of the UK Sailmakers organisation will shortly have a new crew on deck. Barry Hayes, Claire Morgan and Graham Curran are taking over from Des McWilliam who is stepping down after 39 years in the business and 25 years at the helm of McWilliam Sailmakers.
Posted on 3 Jul
When the going gets hot Zhik has the answers on what to wear afloat
Whilst many of us Brits are looking in the sailing bag wondering what on earth to wear afloat in this heatwave Whilst many of us Brits are looking in the sailing bag wondering what on earth to wear afloat in this heatwave, Zhik the Australian sailing apparel innovators are set up for dealing with extreme heat, moisture management and sun protection.
Posted on 22 Jun
AkzoNobel named as official supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard
The competing boats– including team AkzoNobel’s brand new Volvo Ocean 65– have already been coated with Awlgrip products AkzoNobel will be the official coatings supplier to the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard in 2017-18, after signing a deal to ensure that the fleet of Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts will be coated with the company’s International and Awlgrip range of products
Posted on 29 May