Proudly Canadian.

C-Tow Marine Assistance Ltd. is proudly Canadian owned and operated. So why is this important? Because we know the complexity of the waterways we service. These are the same waterways our Captains travel each and every day.

Largest fleet in Canada.

For over 40 years, C-Tow has been a boater’s best friend. We have grown from our humble beginnings on the West Coast of British Columbia to operating the largest on-water towing fleet in Canada. This growth has been achieved without compromising safety or customer service – which we know are important to you.

Commited to service.

At C-Tow, we aren’t content to just be Canada’s leading marine assistance company. We are also committed to providing unmatched personal service to our customers who depend upon us from coast-to-coast.

How To Become A C-Tow Captain

Serving Canadian boaters since 1984

C-Tow Marine Assistance Ltd. was founded in 1984 by Captain John MacDonald on Bowen Island, just outside of Vancouver, BC. Captain MacDonald saw an opportunity to fill a gap left by a change in the Canadian Coast Guard’s policy to assisting only vessels in immediate distress. His solution was to create a marine assistance company for Canadian boaters – like a tow truck on the water – the first of its kind in Canada.

Since then we’ve grown from 1 vessel to over 30 vessels working to keep boaters safe in Canada. Our captains are familiar with Canadian waters, with updated training and maps. What continues to separate us from our competitors is our exceptional Captains who are highly familiar with Canadian water.

Today, C-Tow continues to work closely with the Canadian Coast Guard providing boaters in non-distress situations with marine assistance. And we’re once again at the forefront of innovation with our free smartphone app that automatically transmits a customer’s longitude and latitude coordinates to C-Tow dispatch.

Our Captains

All of our experienced, local Captains go above and beyond when responding to calls to keep boaters safe. Our 24/7 dispatch centre personally answers each boater’s call. This allows you to talk to a real person, in real time who can assess how to best get you the help you need.

When emergencies happen, C-Tow has access to a vast network to respond quickly. Being Transport Canada licensed and trained, our Captains are marine experts in their local communities. This means they know not only the waterways, but also the variety of local marine conditions.

Our C-Tow Captains

Get To Know Us

The C-Tow Difference

Company Background

Canada has some of the most beautiful boating waters in the world. This is why 9 million Canadians enjoy recreational boating each year. Whether you operate a sailboat, inboard cruiser or outboard boat, our friendly and knowledge staff can help you select a membership package to meet your needs.

At C-Tow, we provide peace of mind so you can get focus on soaking up the scenery. And if you get into trouble, we are here to help. With the largest on-water towing fleet in Canada, we’ve got you covered. We support boaters in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Having provided stress free boating since 1984, we have grown with our local boating communities. Being born on Canada’s West Coast, we keep pace with changes in mapping and safety training to keep you safe.

Our vision, mission and values

Our Values:

Integrity | Transparency | Resourcefulness | Reliability | Strong Communities

We continue to earn the trust of our fellow boaters as a leader in Canadian marine rescue services. We proudly offer our experience and passion to bring unmatched personal service in our boating communities. In times of need, we bring you peace of mind and help you safely get back to what you love doing the most.

High Standards

C-Tow exceeds the Canadian Coast Guard’s towing policy. This is just one way we hold ourselves, and our Captains, accountable to maintaining high standards. Because at the end of the day, these standards ensure the safety of our customers and our crew. And they help us maintain your trust.

Local Knowledge

Although other marine assistance companies have entered our market, we are the Canadian owned and operated choice for boaters wanting local, Canadian and knowledgeable support. Canadian boaters know how important it is to have captains familiar with local conditions when help is needed.

C-Tow has long relationships with the boating community. This includes planning and training with the Canadian Coast Guard. We are also a member of the Canadian Power and Sail Squadron.

We look forward to continuing to grow, while providing local, knowledgeable and friendly service to our members in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland.

Here when you need us

Our 24/7 dispatch centre personally answers each boater’s call. This is relayed to a local captain who responds quickly. Our highly trained Captains will do whatever it takes to solve the situation, ensuring your safety is our top priority .

The C-Tow App

For added protection, boaters can also download the C-Tow App. Designed with boaters’ needs in mind, the app pinpoints the exact longitude and latitude using your phone’s GPS. This results in a faster response time to your most accurate location. When you’re calling for help – time matters.

Coverage Area

C-Tow provides peace of mind to boaters in British Columbia, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and USA + Caribbean. We take the time to build relationships and provide unmatched personal service by our experienced local captains. Being Canadian owned and operated, we have a solid understanding of the regions we serve, appreciating the uniqueness of each waterway.

We are continuousely expanding our coverage areas, and doing it in way that ensures your safety, and provides the friendly and knowledgeable service you have come to trust and expect. To keep our customers safe, we have access to an expansive network to respond and serve boaters wherever and whenever you need help.

C-Tow’s current coverage area includes:

British Columbia Coverage AreasOntario Coverage AreasNewfoundland Coverage Areas

British Columbia

  • From Vancouver to the top of Vancouver Island and west to Tofino
  • Cape Caution and the Broughton Islands
  • Georgia Strait
  • Gulf Islands
  • Victoria area
  • Across the U.S. border to mainland Washington including the San Juan Islands


  • Kingston
  • Lake Ontario
  • Toronto Harbour
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Hamilton
  • Mississauga
  • Lake Erie
  • Windsor
  • Lake St. Clair
  • Sarnia
  • Lake Huron
  • Georgian Bay
  • Sault Ste Marie
  • Parry Sound
  • Lake Simcoe
  • Kawartha Lakes

Coverage also includes towing back to Canada from US waters.


  • Conception Bay from Grates Cove to Pouch Cove


Giving Back is Part of Our DNA

Because we’re in the business of helping boaters, it’s only natural that we give back to the boating community. Whether it be through event sponsorship, helping in shoreline cleanup efforts or volunteering as a board member, our Company and Captains are passionate about pitching in to make a difference.

C-Tow Community Giving Back

Living Oceans

A great example of our commitment to supporting the boating community is how C-Tow became involved with Living Oceans Society, a non-profit organization that has been protecting Canada’s oceans since 1998.

As the organization was preparing for its 2018 clean-up project on Canada’s West Coast, its 60-year-old sailboat threw a belt outside of Pender Harbour. Having no spare belt on board, they called C-Tow to tow them into port.

Crew members were surprised when C-Tow’s CEO, Andy Cardiff, responded to the call. During the tow he learned more about Living Oceans’ mission and the desperately needed a boat that would get them into clean-up areas not accessible by deep-draft sailboats.

In response, Andy donated a boat designed and powered for the open ocean. and joined Living Oceans’ Board.

Having supported marine debris removal for a number of years, Andy decided to go a step further. He joined Living Oceans’ Board of Directors where he continues to play an active role in protecting the BC waters, he calls home.

Having supported marine debris removal for a number of years, Andy decided to go a step further. He joined Living Oceans’ Board of Directors where he continues to play an active role in protecting the BC waters, he calls home.