Charles Chapman Award

The Charles Chapman Award honors individuals or groups within the marine industry who have made outstanding contributions to the sport of boating for the benefit of the recreational boating industry and boating public.


Contact: Rachel Harmon


View past recipients of this prestigious award.

2013: Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, CEO and Founder, Sea Tow Services International

Capt. Joe Frohnoefer

Capt. Joe Frohnhoefer, CEO and Founder of Sea Tow Services International, based in Southold, NY, is an avid boater with an unwavering interest in serving the public. In 1965, he started Water Thrills Inc., a marine company offering Water Skiing instruction, Red Cross Swimming instruction, sailboat and powerboat rentals. During this time, he also served as a volunteer emergency medical technician, firefighter, reaching the rank of Captain, and was president of the North Fork Lions Club and Mattituck Gun Club.

In 1982, a change in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) regulations led to the decision that the USCG would no longer tow in non-emergency situations. The opportunity to combine his life saving skills, commitment to public service, entrepreneurial spirit and love of the water was the inspiration for Frohnhoefer to found Sea Tow Services International Inc. in 1983.

Continuing his goal of giving back to the boating public, Capt. Joe founded the Sea Tow Foundation in 2007 with the goal of providing tools and education to reduce the number of accidents and fatalities on the water.  To date the Sea Tow Foundation has provided over 20,000 life jackets to the boating public via its Life Jacket Loaner program. Today, you can still find Captain Joe towing boats in the waters of Long Island Sound, Peconic Bay and off the coast of Montauk.