Questions & Answers on Pilots and Escort Boats

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Pilots & Escort Boats

Q. How do I hire an escort boat?

A. Look on the NEWS page on this site to find out when the swimmable tides are for the year you want to swim. Have a rough idea of your swim speed and the period (or periods) when you would like to swim and the amount of time you can be in England.

If you know the pilot you want make contact by telephone e-mail, fax or post. The list of registered pilots avalible is on the News page or you can e-mail the CS&PF Hon Sec. or look on the official web site Find out the if and when the pilot is free, what type of boat you will be on, what facilities are on the boat and if there are any special rules. If you like what you are told arrange a swim position and tide period. (The pilots can be booked 3 to 4 years ahead in advance, that's 4 swim seasons ahead). It is quite acceptable to ring around a number of pilots to find out their availability and fees. Ask other swimmers what they think.

Have your arrangements confirmed in writing by a swim contract.
You will be asked to pay a non returnable deposit to the pilot to confirm the booking.
This arrangement is similar to a package holiday booking.
The pilot only has a limited number of positions he can book during a tidal period and these are arranged months, or a year, or more in advance.
If you cancel after you have reserved a place and paid your deposit then it might be too late for anther swimmer to take your position. You will loose the deposit and could be liable for the balance. Think everything through well before you commit yourself and your money.

Every pilot sets his own piloting fees, contract conditions and the amount of the deposit, (although they are all fairly similar). The contract is between the swimmer and the pilot (the CS&PF committee can help with any arbitration if you write to them and state the situation requesting assistance) and the Federation is not involved in this business agreement)

Our pilots profiles and our pilot boat specifications are on the "about us" pages.

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