Yak Safety [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

Yak Safety

01-08-2002, 08:02 PM
I know that I see many fishermen wearing waders in their kayaks as they travel from point A to point B. Personally, I would never do this - even while wearing a PFD.

The way I see it - even if you can swim with your waders on it will surely be much easier to get back into the yak without the waders. When I paddle I usually wear fleece pants and a thin fleece top (not loose fitting) or just a bathing suit and a fleece top. The fleece offers protection against hypothermia (a serious killer when you turn over a yak - even in the middle of summer when in the ocean waters of New England). The extra struggling with the waders on will only result in greater heat loss.

I also lash a West Marine inflatable PFD around the deck of my boat. If I ever flip it and if I find that it is too water logged to turn over (my present ghetto yak does not have separate/dry storage compartments so it takes on lots of water) I figure that the PFD will help me right the boat and/or at lest get me to a point where I can use my pump to get the water out of the boat. Obviously I also wear a PFD.

Has anyone had experience swimming in waders while wearing a PFD?

01-08-2002, 11:58 PM
This is important:buy a proper paddle float. They are not that expensive and they work. Kayaks that don't have water proof bulkheads need to have inflatable floatation bladders. Phew! I'm glad you are still with us.

01-09-2002, 07:32 AM
Thanks Eddie. I have a paddle float and I have bladders for the rear end of the yak. Thankfully, I also have room in this year's budget for a better yak.

01-09-2002, 11:48 AM
Hi guys,
Safety is an issue for me, I see too many taking unbelievable risk for the sake of a couple fish. So butting in with my 2 cts.
There are a few kayakers I know who wear gortex waders, stocking foot with neo booties, with a belt and a dry top and PFD over them and they have had no problems. They have tested this arrangement by practising dumping and re-entering. If you wear waders you need to absolutely keep water out of them or you'll a tough time getting back in the boat. Personally, I don't/won't wear waders in the yak. Suggest you look into a wetsuit. Fleece under a dry top is great. Best test is put the gear on and jump in the water. Practise dumping and re-entering in deep water with yr paddle float wearing what you choose. And then practise doing it in rough water. (practise with a buddy around). I don't know what you paddle but I doubt that a PFD for your yak will do much, most will roll pretty easily when they're full of water as you will see when you try to get back in. Check your float bags regularly and make sure thay are secured in the boat, not much help if they float out.

01-09-2002, 01:58 PM
Does swimming IN the yayak count? I'd second Eddie's recommendation for an air bladder, that pungo is nice and roomy but it sure holds a lot of water. I will also recommend a bilge pump.

01-10-2002, 08:25 AM
Doogue My brother just bought a house with a inground pool.I will try the wader thing out this spring.I will try out both yaks I have .I have a Tarpon and Pungo.Pungo is hard to get back in.But I have not even come close to flippin it.

01-10-2002, 03:57 PM
...If you dump a Pungo on flat water you WILL be nominated for a Darwin Award...
All bets are off in the surf...
Everything "in between" requires basic skills & paddle bracing, self rescue proficiency, knowing and respecting your own "comfort zone" and not biting off too much too soon, and it's always safer/better (and more fun) to paddle with friends!

01-10-2002, 04:59 PM
Penguin, agreed. You would have to try very hard to swamp the pungo on flat water. When I first swamped mine on purpose it was on a lake up in NH. I rocked it and leaned, finally I more or less fell out of it although some water got in it was still floating high. When I mentioned swimming in the yak I was referring to a surf encounter, one day I did alright, another day I got very wet.

01-10-2002, 09:56 PM
:) Jim, is that what you call a little wet? From what I saw was you had a kayak swamped, You should have an electric bilge pump. From what I saw you hand pumped out all of Long Island Sound, was there any fish in there? Seriously you really did a good job going out through the surf, and back, and that was without using a skirt.:D Hope to see you at the show.

01-11-2002, 12:55 PM
OK so there were a few anchovies swimming around in the boat. I was still in the boat. :) I will say that fish fever got the best of me and it was not the smartest thing I've ever done. Seeing all that bait busting out of the water well beyond the range of the surfcasters made me do it. Hey somebody had to get 'em.