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February 27, 2024

Sea Tow expands its towing service on southern Maine waters

2 people in 2 boats with wire Courtesy / Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast Chris Davis, left, a captain with Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast, helps a boater with a battery jumpstart.

After adding Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast to his holdings last summer, Steve Arnold will expand the on-water assistance franchise’s southern Maine territory and has added a vessel in Kennebunk at DiMillo’s Marina.

Arnold owns Marina Holdings, which includes Yarmouth Boat Yard, Moose Landing Marina, Maine Boating Academy, Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast, Portland Sea Taxi and Freedom Boat Club of Maine, which he’s also planning to expand to DiMillo’s in Kennebunk.

Before last year’s acquisition of Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast, it served Cape Porpoise to Pemaquid Point and the inland rivers. Arnold’s first territory expansion included freshwater bodies of water Sebago Lake, Brandy Pond and Long Lake.

aerial of boats, docks and water
Courtesy / Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast
Sea Tow Portland/Midcoast has expanded to DiMillo’s Marina in Kennebunk. The two companies have a prior relationship in Portland.

With the latest expansion, Sea Tow vessels will be at marinas in Kennebunk, South Portland, Yarmouth, Naples, Sebago Lake, Bath and Boothbay Harbor. 

“Previously, our closest Sea Tow vessel was stationed in South Portland, so the response time for boaters needing help in this area will be reduced significantly,” said Arnold. 

Sea Tow was established by Capt. Joseph Frohnhoefer in 1983 in Southold, N.Y., when the U.S. Coast Guard eliminated its practice of responding to non-emergency boating calls. Today, Sea Tow has franchises in over 500 ports nationwide including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Boaters pay an annual membership fee and receive a 24/7 connection to Coast Guard-licensed captains who provide free boat towing, unlimited dock-to-dock towing, nationwide coverage, fuel delivery and battery jumpstarts. 

In addition to on-water assistance, the franchise network handles salvage and recovery missions, provide vessels for hire and responds to natural disasters, environmental hazards and oil spill cleanups. 

“We have an excellent working relationship with Sea Tow from our location in Portland and welcome having one of their tow boats at our facility,” said Luke DiMillo, manager of DiMillo’s Marina. “It’s a huge benefit not only for our marina tenants and guests, but anyone boating in the river.”

Arnold's franchise has a fleet of eight customized boats to cover the Portland area and the midcoast. Its crew of Coast Guard-licensed captains routinely log over 25,000 nautical miles per year, patrolling and assisting boaters in the coastal waters of Saco Bay, Portland Harbor, Casco Bay, Freeport, Brunswick, Harpswell and Boothbay region. In addition, the service covers the Saco, New Meadows, Kennebec, Sheepscot, and Damariscotta rivers, as well as certain freshwater areas, including Sebago Lake, Long Lake and Brandy Pond.

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