Wearing waders on a pontoon?

Discussion in 'Watercraft' started by Quick Release, Jun 5, 2010.

  1. I have various sizes of pontoon boats. I wear breathable waders and an inflatable flotation device with CO2 device. I have always given thoughts to the safety of wearing waders on rivers like the Deschutes Oregon, and having an accident like falling in. Drowning isn't on my wish list. But there are these safety waders made by a company called William Joseph. They are not Coast Guard approved but perhaps are a safety addition? Any responses to that? They seem to be not so available and I can't find any info on them.

    Also, what do others think about the waders on a pontoon issue? Ever had the experience of falling in the river/lake?

    Any suggestions invited.
  2. Ok, it's pure MYTH about drowning and waders. YES, you can drown with them on. But they are not going to suck you under. You'll have neutral bouyancy once they fill up, if they do at all (why it's important to have proper fitting ones anyways). If you're going to drown, you'll drown anyways. Only problem with waders filling up is trying to get OUT of the water. While you're in it, it won't affect you much since the water pressure will keep them sucked to you. I've made many a trips into the waters with waders on. Very rarely has the water went more then bellybutton deep in the chest waders. Until later as the water trickles its way down. With old rubber packs, yes they will really let water seap in, only because they're so stiff and leave tons of air pockets for that water to travel freely. So if you're wearing a PFD with your waders, you have no worries. If you aren't, if you're a good swimmer and not in a sweeper, you'll be ok too. The only real drawback to any of the breathable waders is the feet are overly bouyant thanks to the neopreme. So your feet want to float up. Not good if you dump in a river especially and you're trying to keep head up through a run.
  3. When I got my inflatable PFDs I had a little "training swim" with waders. Anchored up a bit from shore. Slipped right in and filled 'em up. Wearing a wading belt greatly slows the process of water filling the waders. Pulled the cord and had more than enough buyoancy to get back up, float around, no problems. It was cold though. I'd be much more afraid of long term cold water exposure. I don't use either of the manually inflatables on the rivers though, only the lakes. When I hit the rivers it is a standard PFD for me.
  4. Good point Mumbles. The cold is what'll kill you more then anything. When I fell in last (went totally under in an 8' deep slot with no vest on), it was February and had snow on the ground. Got as much wet clothes on and cranked up the driftboat heater. I was still trembling by time I got off the river. Figures one of the times I fell in, I forgot my drybag with clothes in it at the truck.
  5. Very important to remember with waders is to keep them belted.
  6. I need to do that as well as learning how to right a flipped WM Kodiak.
  7. Neopremes are super bouyant. So yeah, they add bouyancy. Just a tad hot if it's spring/summer. LOL.
  8. Brian, we fished together on Ratttlesnake Lake...how and why do you think you could " flip" A WM Kodiak? What rivers are you considering running? And if you thought that was possible, why would you have bought it? I've only owned my Abel for 8 years and never had to consider the ' what-ifs' of flipping it or buying an REI seat to make it comfortable.
  9. Hey Fred. I don't know what I don't know. I've read user reports of a Water Strider (very similar to your Abel) flipping his boat in New Zealand, and a Kodiak on the Flathead near Spruce Park. I've had a several knowledgable people from this board tell me things like... "Someone who floats a lot of rivers and never gets spanked may also just be damn lucky. It is also interesting to note that nationwide, most fatalities are on Class II - or easier - water." And "River (self) rescue is also a vestigial skill - if you don't practice it you will hardly be sharp when the situation occurs. I recommend that everyone who play on rivers have a few days of rescue training every few years." And ..."the owner of a well-known WA fly shop and one of his top guides... had never been trained in Swiftwater Rescue let alone knew anything about it... saying “we’re not whitewater guides, we’re only fishing…” then "one of their most experienced guides sunk his boat in a roadless wilderness canyon and didn’t have a clue what to do. They were very lucky as no one got hurt". Maybe I'll never flip my Kodiak but it might be a good idea to try to learn what to do if it ever happens.

    I got the REI self-inflating seat idea from a post on WFF. My little Thermarest is both warm and comfy to sit on. BTW, I got one of those grappling anchors you showed me. At only 3 lbs it is easy to haul in yet it works great even in a stiff wind for flatwater.
  10. Shit happens. There's ALWAYS a chance you could pin a boat, or even flip it, on a mild stretch. Sounds far fetched, but I've seen it happen. Hell, had a friend pin my old Pac 800 on the Nooch during summerflows (there's NO water in that river during the summer). A mellow stretch with a small dog leg left. Somehow got the boat up against a small log jam (and it wasn't much of a jam). Had to pull him out, and it really wasn't "bad" in terms of water level and pressure. Wrong oar stroke in the right spot will do wonders to the boat and will send you swimming.
  11. Brian, I should have added a 'smilley' face, then you might have known I was just ribbing you! Do what you need to be feel as safe as possible....but some of what I have been reading[ not just you] is a little bit extreme! Common sense on a river is your best ally and computer time won't get you there! I believe Jerry would agree that most "errors" are caused by lack of attention. Glad you like that anchor, they work as advertised. BTW, the only difference from an Abel and a Waterstrider is the name on the side!

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