Experienced Boater at the Helm of New Company

by Dennis Rahm

If you are someone who spends a lot of time boating on Lake Chelan, you may count yourself among the many who have experienced problems on the water that required a helping hand. It could be you ran out of gas, busted a prop or even lost power to your motor.

Whatever the reason, it can be a helpless and sometimes harrowing experience to be adrift on a body of water as big and as temperamental as Lake Chelan. To lend assistance in these times of need, a new company was launched last summer to provide vessel assistance.

Local resident Jackson Engstrom started Chelan Assist in June of last year in order to provide quick assistance in a time of need. The 30-year-old Engstrom, a 2007 graduate of Chelan High School, grew up on the waters of Lake Chelan and has logged by his conservative count over 25,000 hours on the lake. Engstrom worked for the Lake Chelan Boat Company for 16 years including 10 as a captain piloting the Lady II, Lady Express and Lady Cat. Add in the fact that he is an experienced boat mechanic and Engstrom is well equipped to assist the local boating community.

Engstrom tells LakeChelanNow that the idea of starting Chelan Assist goes back about four years.

Chelan Assist is currently offering an introductory seasonal membership for $100 that will provide boaters the security of knowing they can call for assistance and have services such as an emergency tow, fuel delivery and battery jump starts. The membership also offers a 50 percent discount off other services including scuba salvage.

While the membership could be a great cost-saving comfort for regular boaters, you don’t have to be a member to utilize the services of Chelan Assist. The boat will be moored at a Chelan marina as soon as the lake level is up to allow for a quick response time.

If you have an emergency on the water, Chelan Assist can be called at 509-423-9560. Engstrom says he also monitors VHF channel 16.

Jackson and his wife Amy Pavelchek are both certified divers which allows Chelan Assist to offer scuba salvage services, including sunken boat retrievals, to depths of 100 feet. As to working alongside his wife, Engstrom says “she’s great to work with and she’s very capable. And it always helps to advertise with a good-looking gal on board”.

The company operates 27-foot aluminum hulled Duckworth powered by a 200-horsepower Yamaha outboard and the boat is well equipped with a generator, float bags, compressor and 400-feet of air hose.

For more information on Chelan Assist visit their website at www.chelanassist.com.