The Perfect Escort

david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
edited March 2012 in General Discussion
So, as marathon swimmers, we pride ourselves on our minimalist attire, but we are indeed dependent on much equipment to make our swims safe and successful. The ultimate indulgence is to have a personal escort, at one's disposal. I've started to outfit a 22' Zodiac for the specific purpose of providing safety for OW events and escort for solo swims.
Naturally, creature comforts have taken a back seat to more practical things like; transportability, fuel efficiency, cost, etc.

As an ex-Coast Guard vessel, it is that nice (get the attention of recreational boaters) orange color, fast and maneuverable. I'll be equipping it with a prop guard. The low gunwales will make it easy to feed off of, and (if necessary) easy to pull a swimmer into the boat. Safety lines run the length of the tubes, and a couple of interior handles allow a swimmer to exit the water unassisted with little effort.

There is no head, no bunk, no galley, so the crew will have to endure a bit of discomfort over the long haul...
As soon as someone can explain how to upload pics, I'll post a few in progress.

Now.... as far as the perfect escort goes, I think it would be hard to beat the Outrider... beds aplenty, good food, hot shower, and room for a whole battalion!

...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.



  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    edited October 2012
    What a great idea! Does she have a name yet?
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited October 2012
    In the interest of streamlining the communication process, I'm leaning toward a name that would make radio identification of the vessel easier... Agent Orange, Orange Crush, etc.
    The wife is lobbying for something along the line of "My Darling Clare"

    Gotta choose your battles........... (to be continued)


    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    Clockwork Orange?

    Regardless, she's a beaut!
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    Clockwork is a winner!

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    edited October 2012
    Got tubes!


    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • jcmalickjcmalick Wilmington, DEMember
    @ david_barra, it finally looks like a real rib! I thought the innovative photo on March 11th was a new futuristic Jetson boat but now it looks even better!
  • EileenBEileenB New York, NYGuest
    edited April 2012
    Awesome! When is first launch? And hey, is that super-organized workshop wall in the background your handiwork? Hmmm--a little insight into your character there? (spoken with true admiration, by one who is perhaps not quite so organized herself...)
  • david_barradavid_barra NYCharter Member
    EileenB wrote:
    Awesome! When is first launch? And hey, is that super-organized workshop wall in the background your handiwork? Hmmm--a little insight into your character there? (spoken with true admiration, by one who is perhaps not quite so organized herself...)
    Ha... not my workshop, but a shout out to Nick Roberti's Marine in Kingston, NY.
    Hopefully we splash next weekend.

    ...anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

  • bobswimsbobswims Santa Barbara CACharter Member
    Nice boat! (but I had been hoping this thread was about a different kind of escort).
  • evmoevmo SydneyAdmin
    How has Agent Orange been working out, Dave?

    I've been seeing things on The Facebooks, and thought it was worth bumping this thread.
  • AquaRobAquaRob Humboldt Bay, CACharter Member
    +1 I'm curious too... that's a sexy boat, I have RIB envy
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    I was (re)inspired by this scene from SERC last weekend. For those who don't know, SERC and Dolphin Club have RIBs-4-rent to members at super reasonable rates, meaning you don't have to look to far for an escort if you want to go for a longer swim.

    Sadly, many of us do not live in San Francisco. Consequently, I've been looking at getting my own little RIB (not quite as fancy as deep-pockets @david_barra over there), and wanted to know from those of you who often use these types of boats, what makes The Perfect Escort boat?

    What are your experiences and recommendations?

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • One that doesn't sink, self draining , is light enough for 2 people to carry ....and has a pretty color.
    Seriously though... Agent Orange is great ( despite not having "facilities"). The SERC boats are better in my mind than the Dolphin Club boats as they are small enough to handle and easy enough for 4 people to lift out of water.They also plane better, despite the prop guards which affect cavitation (sp?).
    The kayaks are fine for coastal swims but we would NEVER use them as sole support on a cross channel swim.
    As Andrew said, they are for members use only.
  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    My perfect escort is Randy Nutt next to me in a kayak with coolers bungied to the deck.
  • malinakamalinaka Seattle, WACharter Member
    It is my honor to introduce to you, for the first time on the internet: Tuesday!


    We spent three hours in the hard rain yesterday on Lake Union getting her engine broken in, which ended with us picking up @caitlinrosen's mother and crossing the the lake for some cheese and crackers on a houseboat. Such whimsy, and this is just the first day!

    Tuesday is and Achilles SG-124 (12 feet 4 inches) with a Tohastu 25hp electric start engine, inflatable bottom, and the ability to legally seat five passengers. She lives on a trailer (customized with bigger bunks to accommodate her flexible bottom). Because of her small size, she can be pulled behind my little car with no problem, meaning we can choose between the Lake and the Sound very easily.

    Many of Seattle's most intriguing swims are now open to us! This will be a fun summer.

    There are a few more pictures along with a rationalization of this purchase at

    I don't wear a wetsuit; it gives the ocean a sporting chance.

  • swimmer25kswimmer25k Charter Member
    edited April 2014
    Is there a deep(ish) keel on that to keep the wind from blowing you around? Where's the cooler for beer?!

    Your boat is similar to the ones used in the old Magog race. They cradle the swimmer really well in addition to nice eye to eye contact with the trainer. Not so comfortable for the passengers for long durations and can be a beating based from some past experiences.
  • SpacemanspiffSpacemanspiff Dallas, TexasSenior Member
    So I went to @malinaka 's website ( to check out more pics of his new escort and I found something even better! This sweet haiku that made me fall out of my chair:

    New suit
    It’s me or the suit,
    one is a liar. We’re not
    both a thirty-two.

    "Lights go out and I can't be saved
    Tides that I tried to swim against
    Have brought be down upon my knees
    Oh I beg, I beg and plead..."

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