Tuesday, October 4, 2022


If your boat sank, how far could you swim to shore?

Right, right, we’re RVers, not boaters, but we’re just curious. If you were out on a boat (any kind of boat, we don’t discriminate here) and it sank, how far could you swim to shore?

This poll is a bit specific, so just take your best guess. Are you like Dory (the fish in the video below from Pixar’s film, Finding Nemo)? Could you “just keep swimming” a long distance? Or are you like a camel, giraffe, porcupine or rhino (hint: none of those animals can swim.)?


Tell us in the poll below. Thanks!


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2 years ago

LOL… I expected this poll to run out to thousands of feet or even miles, not max out at 100s of feet!

Julian Palmer
2 years ago

Your Reader’s Poll is defective. You should have another answer: “I would NEVER go out in a boat without a PFD (Personal Flotation Device)”. Would you drive your RV and never hook up any safety chains or brake kill cable?

Gene Bjerke
2 years ago

I checked 50 yards. I used to swim 1,000 meters every day, but that was a few years ago. The last time I was in a pool, I could just about do one lap (50 yards). I will try and build that up this summer.

Beverley Fitch
2 years ago

The poll question needs a qualifier. If I was in the ocean I probably couldn’t swim far. In a lake where water is much calmer I could swim farther.

2 years ago

I think some of you people are thinking you are better swimmers than you are – especially in rough water with waves. It’s NOT like a swimming pool.

2 years ago

I would hope to have a PFD but your question was about swimming not how far I might get with a PDF. I was never a strong swimmer although I did have to do a minimum of 50 laps in order to pass my high school PE course. I couldn’t do that now. But it I didn’t have to swim against a current, I might make it 50 yards. For those discussing PFD’s and boating, remember that rip currents in the ocean are not associated with boating but still require staying afloat, rarely with a PFD involved.

2 years ago

With my luck, I’d sink with the Titanic.

Otherwise, I think I have a plethora of bulk to float for a while (or does that make you sink?).


2 years ago
Reply to  TravelingMan

The poll states:


Mike Albert
2 years ago

The first rule in boating is personal safety. You should always wear a Personal Flotation Device, (PFD) and know how to use it properly. Your local Red Cross, YMCA or evening schools that teach swimming should either teach you how to use and wear properly or be able to refer you to somebody that can.
Second, know how to use it properly.
Third. If you can’t swim and are on a small raft, ALWAYS wear your PFD.
Yes, Water temperature/surface condition does come into play but your chances of survival are greater if wearing a PFD.
Learn how to swim. In swimming lessons, the first thing they teach you is how to float. There is a reason for this. If you know how to float, you will know how to conserve energy and body heat. If the shore line is with in a reachable distance, if you are physically able and weather sea conditions are ideal, then swim at your own pace.
Finally, ideally, STAY with your vessel! It is easier to spot a large item than your head bobbing in the water. After numerous search and rescue missions with a Fire Company, we always found the person who was wearing a PFD and that stayed with the overturned craft or other items from the craft. (Ice chests, seat cushions, even a plastic garbage bag filled with air and tied shut).

2 years ago

My swimming ability has been greatly diminished as I found out last summer in a Mn lake. I tho’t I would surprise my Great Grandson by showing him how to swim – not anymore! I have been an excellent swimmer all of my life! I even swam across a Mn lake of about 3/4 to 1 mile (in my 20’s). But alas – loss of muscle mass has taken an unknown toll. If you can’t lift the same stuff you did 10 years ago – your shoulders, legs or hips are stiff or sore – don’t over estimate your swimming ability. Wear a Vest!!!! Stuff happens!

Steve P
2 years ago

You should have a line for 1/2 a mile, a mile, and more than a mile. I think a surprisingly high number of people will be able to do the longer distances

Jim Collins
2 years ago

I wasn’t allowed in a boat til I could pass the life saving course, because my dad could only save himself, as as soon as he hit the water he would end up on the bottom, but if and when he turned on his back he would have bobbed like a cork knew how to swim, but his body would not let him, but he sure could float like a cork.

Cheryl Bacon
2 years ago

Considering I grew up on water, down the street from the marina, we used our boat frequently and had a father that taught us serious boat safety I would not go boating without a Type 1 PFD and an inflatable lifeboat. I would hope the reason I was not overboard was because I was unconscious.

2 years ago

There are two reasons why I did not answer your poll:

One, if any part of the boat is floating, stay with it.

Two, if there is nothing left, then instead of swimming, conserve energy by floating.

Having said that, on the three occasions when I ended up out of the boat and in the water, there were three different scenarios: one, swam to shore – close by and had no choice because of currents – two, floated until rescued by boaters; and three, floated until rescued by Coast Guard.

2 years ago

Because I have copd, I couldn’t swim very far but I could float a longer distance. And when your life depends on it, you can do many things you’d never thought possible!

Wayne Caldwell
2 years ago

Probably about as far as a rock.

Bob p
2 years ago

If I had to swim probably 10 yards, if I roll over and float on my back, most of the day.

2 years ago

It really depends on the depth of the water.

2 years ago

The absence of hypothermia from frigid, riptide currents, or other detrimental factors would seem to have been assumed and consequently omitted by the person writing this survey question. External factors most assuredly would come into play.

2 years ago

These polls are becoming inane.

Chuck Woodbury(@chuck)
2 years ago
Reply to  Mike

Then don’t participate, Mike. We post more than 800 polls a year. You try coming up with that many that are all RV related. Half of these are just for fun, anyway. Please send us some questions you think we should ask. I bet you can’t come up with many we haven’t posed before in more than a decade of polling.

Tommy Molnar
2 years ago

As long as the water is tolerable, my trusty combo of breaststroke and sidestroke would take me to the shore – eventually . . .