About TowBoatUS Clear Lake
Serving the Local Area Since 1996
TowBoatUS Clear Lake is celebrating its 25th anniversary, and has the honor of being one of the first TowBoatUS locations in the nation.
Locally owned and operated, we provide service from Marina Del Sol, Kemah, and the Seabrook Marina to the Galveston Bay Area including:
- Clear Lake
- Galveston Bay
- Trinity Bay, East Bay and Upper West Bay
- ICW from Carancahua Reef to High Island Bridge
- Texas City Dike
- Offshore Galveston up to 30 miles
US Coast Guard-Licensed Captains
Philip “Pip” Bauerlein (Owner/Operator), Scott Ritterbusch, Dave Koplin, Michael Windham, Tim Grinage
The ACAPT program provides best practice guidance for the marine assistance industry and the best practical knowledge of towing industry equipment and training. ACAPT recognizes marine assistance companies that measure their own qualifications against industry consensus criteria and government regulations.
Philip “Captain Pip” Bauerlein
A lifelong Clear Lake area resident and recreational boater, Philip Bauerlein, known locally as “Capt. Pip” has had a nearly four-decade career as an officer on ships and tugs and owned local charter and sailing companies.
Capt. Pip first recognized he had a passion for the water – and the creatures that live in it at age 13, when his dad turned him loose on Clear Lake in a 13-foot Jon boat. At 14 he operated his dad’s 33-foot shrimp boat on Galveston Bay, and also became a certified scuba diver.
Following college, he spent over a decade as an officer on oil field vessels, including supply boats and crew boats, and another decade working as a safety/navigational officer on ocean-going vessels including a 300’ ship and various tugs.
Captain Pip has traveled as a Merchant Mariner through the Panama Canal, on the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, and around the Mediterranean and Caribbean Seas.
He worked as an officer on Harbor tugs in the Port of Houston, spent 8+ years as master of private yachts ranging in size from 70’-150’, and owned his own private motor yacht charters, tour boat, and sailing school for 10 years.
In 1996, Capt. Pip helped TowBoatUS Clear Lake founding owner Capt. Dave Huston get the then-new, 24-hour on-water towing business for recreational boaters off the ground by sharing his own knowledge about commercial vessel towing.
He returned to work at TowBoatUS Clear Lake in 2017, seeking the opportunity to help Huston again, this time as a part-time towing captain providing 24/7 assistance to boaters when their vessels broke down or needed a tow, battery jump, fuel drop-off, or soft ungrounding.
The beloved Huston sold the business to Capt. Pip in 2018, shortly before passing away.
Capt. Pip’s wife, Holly, also known as “Mrs. Pip,” handles marketing and much of the business of the business.
As a TowBoatUS towing captain, Capt. Pip has seen all of the challenges boaters have, from engine breakdowns to dealing with the region’s notoriously shallow waters.
Capt. Pip’s fleet of response vessels are rigged for towing, jump-starts, fuel delivery and soft ungroundings. Separate from TowBoatUS on-water towing services, Capt. Pip’s company ClearLake Towing & Salvage also refloats sunken boats and provides salvage/recovery services.
Philip (Capt. Pip) Bauerlein Licenses
- Master of Vessels less than 3000 gross tons ITC
- Master of Vessels less than 1600 gross tons upon all oceans
- Master of Towing Vessels, upon Oceans and Western Rivers
- Master of Sailing Vessels less than 50 gross tons
- Radar Observer Unlimited
- STCW Certified