Are they safe yes and no.Depends on where and when.Say you are going to paddle small strecthes of open water like going to Monomoy I would say yes.Wear a belt around them .Wear sandals or dive booties.If ya go in the neoprene waders will act like a wet suit.I use them all the time.Most of my paddling is within a 1/4 mile of shore.I always try to fish with a buddy.I have a Pungo but I am getting a SOT for Xmas.Need something faster and easy in /out .I think I will purchase a dry suit for next fall for yakking.I have no reservations about wearing waders in my yak.The most important thing is to always wear a PFD.Know your limitations and dont take risks.
SOTs are used alot on the west coast where water temps are seldom above 60.They wear wetsuits or drysuits.They often fish 2-5 miles offshore.Everybody has a opinion this is mine.
Adrians Idea would work well
We do some Island hopping and keep them on all the time .Also wearing wading boots.If ya go over you can easily take off your boots and toss them into your yak.Everybody talks about swimming I would rather get back into my yak.I know if I had to get out of my waders in the water I could.But I think It would take a while for them to fill up.
TomD You say SOTS are less stable .They probaley are compared to a Pungo.But when you first got your yak it felt tippy but once you got your balance down it was ok.Guys on the left coast have been using them for along time.If ya go over they do not fill up with water.They are easier to get back onto.With the exception of being more exposed I think they have a advantage in alot of situations.
Striblue You are a animal that water on the Cape is cold even in July.
I fish with a bunch of hardcore guys from anther board and 90 % of them wear waders. Most have SOTs .I have fished close to 200 hrs from the yak this year and have not been with anyone who went over .We are always trying to be as safe as possible .
Anyway I thought I would share this stuff with ya guys.
Cant wait to get achance to meet some of ya and do some yakking.
Always Wishin I Was Yak Fishin