How can I find a support boat?

miklcctmiklcct London, United KingdomMem​ber

I want to self-plan some long distance swims in my region which will be a substantial distance from shore, therefore I will need motor support for it. Furthermore I also need to practice swimming next to a boat in the open sea which I have completely no experience in it.

I have asked a few marathon swimmers in the city and also a few other people (my scout leaders and also water sport coaches) but no one has any idea about it. The marathon swimmers I asked didn't have these kind of training before. This is my last outstanding problem to self-organise marathon swims where I live.

  1. How do the people here find support boats when self-organising marathon swims?
  2. If the pilot is provided, how can I decide if he is experienced enough for me to depend my life on him?


  • curlycurly Issaquah, WASenior Member

    I would say, develop a strong network of swimmers that you interact with either online or in the real world. Develop your credibility as a long distance swimmer so that they are confident in your ability and judgement. Start meeting other swimmers who have possible boating connections.

    Remind yourself that not only are you putting your life in the pilot's hands. They are putting their lives, safety, reputation and also their liability in your hands. It's a two way street here. A skilled boater is lending their time and boat to your adventure. It is important to realize that you are on a team in this situation. Everyone involved is part of the success or failure of the expedition. If you haven't developed a reputation as a good team member, I'm sure there are a lot of boaters that will be happy to avoid working with you.

    Depending on your area, you may have to develop your own boat crew. Maybe stopping by marinas and meeting some of the people who own boats will help. If you live near water, you know someone who knows someone who owns a boat. Start putting out feelers for someone who would be interested in getting involved in your adventure. It's always fun to see how many people love to help other swimmers. On that note, be actively involved in helping other swimmers. Be on a crew as support or as an observer. You will learn tons and you will be part of a team. It's fun and rewarding.

    But I guarantee you that if you start working with boaters like you work with the accomplished swimmers on this site, you are going to be left high and dry.

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