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captain joe

TowBoatUS Beaufort

CAPTAIN JOE IS BACK! Captain Joe is a native of Atlantic Beach, NC, where he spent his youth as an avid outdoorsman and grew up a waterman. He began commercial fishing offshore with his father on their 28' Bertram, 20' Sportcraft and later a 25' Hydra Sport from the time he was 3 months old, spending his youth in the offshore and inland waters of Carteret, Craven, Beaufort, Hyde, and Pamlico Counties.

Captain Joe attended West Carteret High School.  At 17 he began taking criminal justice classes at Carteret Community College, while landscaping and working at Triple S Pier where he became an avid pier fisherman and managed the pier house. He then worked for the State Department of Corrections for over two years before starting his first company doing lawn maintenance and landscaping. He also later started another business on Ocracoke Island doing educational horse rides in the surf.

In 2006 Captain Joe returned to Carteret County to reclaim his roots and heritage and began work on the water again. Captain Joe has worked for Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC for three years on the Susan Hudson a 57 foot 37 gross ton research vessel, as well as their two 24 foot Carolina Skiffs, which has taken him all over Eastern N.C. by water. He also mated on several charter and private vessels including the Kokomo, James Joyce II, and the Trinity, including 4 years on the 97 gross ton head-boat the Continental Shelf. Captain Joe also operated his own yacht maintenance and detail service where he honed his networking ties in Coastal Carolina.

Captain Joe has a 100 ton masters license, HAZMAT operations, awareness and terrorism certification, and is an active firefighter / EMT. He also holds several state certifications and successfully commanded several incidents in the surrounding downeast communities of the Marshallberg area where he resides and is an active participant in the local fire departments and surrounding communities.

Captain Joe strives to be the best at his selected field and as a professional waterman, takes pride in his knowledge and customer service.    

Be safe, tight lines, and hope to see ya’ on the water!!

About the Owner


Capt Lee Sykes is current President / Owner / Operator of the company and has been in the towing and marine salvage business since 2005. Prior to joining TowBoatUS as a Tow Captain in 2006, Capt Sykes was running his own fishing charter boat. An avid fisherman himself Capt Sykes has always enjoyed being on the water. Helping boaters that need assistance just seemed like an easy extension of his experience and background on the waters of the Crystal Coast.

In January of 2010, 2011, and 2014 Captain Sykes was awarded the BoatUS Annual Woody Pollack Memorial Certificate at the Annual BoatUS Conference. The award is given to TowBoatUS Captains who demonstrate actions above and beyond the call of duty during a heroic rescue or life saving case. Capt Sykes is never far from a VHF radio and with his fleet of boats within yards of the office, he can meet most boaters emergency rescue needs.

At the Annual BoatUS Conference TowBoatUS Beaufort has been awarded the Membership Achievement Award for outstanding membership sales in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016!!!!!!! We would like to thank the many boaters that signed up and rely on TowBoatUS to be there when they need towing assistance. Today we represent over 600,000 Members. As a BoatUS Member you are part of a family committed to boating safety, education, and the preservation of waterways for generations to come. There is strength in our numbers, and our hands on approach ensures that with any of our services - you always get more than what you pay for!

Capt Sykes is originally from Mt Olive, NC and has been residing on the Crystal Coast since 2003. He spends his off time "perfecting" his fishing skills. Capt Sykes also is available for speaking engagements on such topics as inland and off-shore fishing, as well as trends in the towing and salvage business.

Capt Sykes is married to Kristen Smith and have one daughter - Charli. What a beuatiful crew Lee has!
CharliSykes Family pic 2015Sykes

Towing On-the-Water Assistance We are available 24 hours-a-day, 365 days a year.  Our comprehensive towing package insures your peace-of-mind.


Salvage Sinkings, hard groundings, etc.We have the equipment and expertise to help "rescue" your boat.  Sinkings, hard groundings, and more are what we do.

Environmental Services Rapid Response TimesOur professionally trained and experienced personel helps minimize environmental impact. On-the-water and on-land.