I had a little boat like that once that I bought from a GI at the base. I never used it on a large lake. I used it on Lake Moraine, and on Leland Pond, Bradley Brook, and lakes and ponds of that size.
I had to laugh and scratch my head one day when I was waiting to put my 17 foot pike boat in, under the bridge at Sylvan Beach. There was a guy and his kid putting one of those in, and after they launched, they headed out of the channel onto ONEIDA LAKE ! They had life jackets on, but I still can't imagine the 3 foot swells and large boat wakes, in that damned thing, haha.
My kids, as well as myself, always wore a jacket when fishing from a boat, and the kids were made to wear one even when bank fishing on a creek. The life vests of today, are not bulky and restricting to movement. Not like the big orange Kapok vests of our childhood.
I learned to wear a vest whenever a boat was in motion when I fished tournaments with the military bass club at Griffiss. It was a club rule that you had a jacket on, and the kill switch lanyard attached to it, whenever the main motor was running. We did take off the vests to fish with the trolling motor.
Although Kathy and I are both strong swimmers, we always had a vest next to us when we had our 24 foot pontoon, and children and non-swimmers were required to wear one. I also had life ring with 25 feet of rope attached.
Safety and caution are not sissy stuff around water. In a deep lake, if you submerge and don't come back up, even a good swimmer may not be able to locate and rescue you.
After years of wondering about some of the life preservers and jackets found on boats I was invited on, I went down to Gander a couple of years ago and bought myself a good one. I take it with me anytime I think I may be in a boat.
The vest that I have for myself is much like a fly fishermans vest with all the pockets etc, and tan in color. It is only slightly thicker, such as a thin quilted vest worn under a jacket in winter. I don't find it restrictive at all. I wear it as a fishing vest sometimes when trout fishing, simply for the convenience of the pockets. Also it is a good idea to wear a vest if wading. If you fall, and your waders fill with water, you are going to need all the buoyancy you can get. Always wear a belt or tie string around the top of chest high waders to slow the filling if you fall, and with hip waders, wear them loose enough to kick off if you fall. I once rescued a guy who was being carried by the current, towards a deep hole on the salmon river while fishing. I simply grabbed him as he floated by, nothing overly heroic, but he was in a pair of chest waders that had filled, and was in total panic mode.
lol!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ralph, you wouldn't be the first ones to go over Delta Dam. Dumb idiots!
My heart goes out to the family of this boy and my prayers are offered up for the little man.
Just wish parents would keep a few things conscience when their kids are near any body of water. Swimming lessons from the baby ages. Wearing life vest at all times, in or out of a boat. Never let your child be near the water without an adult present.
So very easy, but yet can be so tragic if these things are not practiced at all times.
I mostly fly fish, but I try to stay in water at knee level as I age. (I also use a staff now and I just bought a pair of the best non-slip boots (for my stocking foot waders) I've ever experienced.) I remember seeing a guy my age (sixties) fishing over in the Farmington in CT a few years ago. He was wearing chest waders and was in water up to his nipples almost. Not me! I think living is more important than "the big one." I mostly wear waist waders these days. I seldom wear my chest waders anymore. Too complicated when I have to take a leak!
Dave, when we had our camp at Sylvan beach can't tell you the number of people that drowned when they slipped off the "rocks" and off the pier there and all because the waders they were wearing filled with water and took them down very quickly. Same thing happened at some creeks in the area with rapid currents. Just by slipping in and their waders again filled with water and they were history.