A few thoughts
Posted by: Big_D on Feb-09-12 9:01 AM (EST)
First, that looks like a really cool boat. I've seen those on e-Bay and thought they'd make a good fishing boat. Once you get it on the water, please write back here with a review (even if you post a review in the main part of the site).
Second, it doesn't matter how stable your boat is. If you go in the water, you're in the water. Cold water will kill you if you aren't prepared for it. There are a LOT of misconceptions about waders. For some reason paddlers think that waders will fill up with water and sink you. I'm not sure why they think the water inside the waders will be heavier than the water outside the waders, but it won't be. IF they fill up, there are two problems. The first problem is that you'll be wet and cold and likely die in cold water. The other problem is that if you survive and get to the shore or back to your boat, the water in your waders will be a lot heavier than AIR when you try to pull yourself out. Both of these problems can be avoided by keeping water out of your waders. If you wear breathable chest waders, you can do that by cinching a wading belt around your waist. Fishermen do this for the same reason. I have worn chest waders with a wading belt in a safe area to test it. It worked well. When I put my PFD on over the top part of the chest wader and cinched it down tight, less water got in. When I tried chest waders with a wading belt, then a semi-dry top, then my PFD, I got a couple drops of water down my neck. That's it.
Next, the danger of chest waders is entirely different from what most paddlers think it is. The danger of falling out of the boat while wearing chest waders - if you are wearing a snug wading belt and a snug PFD - is that they are difficult to swim in. Especially if you are wearing wading boots. Because chest waders are bulky, for paddling purposes I replaced mine with a pair of waist-high breathable waders. These have a wide (about six inch) neoprene waist that interlaces with my semi-drytop. Instead of boots, I generally wear a pair of heavy wool socks inside the neoprene booties of the waders and a pair of sandals. If I wear that get-up along with my PFD, I'm comfortable, dry even in full submersion, and can swim far more easily than if I am wearing chest-high waders and wading boots.
Finally, whatever you decide to use I would HIGHLY recommend to you to test your gear in a safe area BEFORE having to rely on it to save your life.
I hope that helps.
- Big D
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