Safety on the water.

Is it easy to shoot with a float coat in a sneak boat? I wear a inflatable before the boat moves. PFD if the weather is sour. Been thinking about the float coat also...
You will get used to it. I've even shot from the layout boat with mine on.

If the weather is nice I may unzip it for some air and additional freedom of movement, but I always have it on. Most also have a buckle waist strap on the inside, so unzipping does not make it entirely unsecure.

I prefer the jacket style to the full length coat for shooting, as you may end up sitting on the "coattails" which isn't ideal when shooting from a sitting position. Plus if you do wade the jacket will stay drier than the coat.

Mustang makes a float jacket in olive drab. Onyx makes a float jacket in camo.
One of the most frequent causes of falling overboard while in a boat is via attempts to urinate over the side...carry a pee jug, and don't make yourself a future statistic.
On the occasions that I am out hunting solo, I too text when I head out and upon my return. It offers some peace of mind for my loved ones.
A buddy of mine was tossed out this fall on Lake Superior in the pitch black. Low 50's water temp. He had a Striker camo Float suit on (they stopped making the camo ones now ... stupid), as well as the tether around his wrist. With the current ripping, the other two in the boat (who were also thrown to the floor) needed to get the now "dead-in-the-water" boat over to my buddy. Luckily, he had another plastic piece for the kill switch taped to the tiller handle so they could insert that piece and start the motor and get over to him.

Obviously, these things should always be discussed before needed. In the pre-dawn blackness, they were able to refire the outboard and go pick him out of the water. An extra kill switch key is a MUST HAVE, and it needs to be quickly accessible.
That was a great post. I had never really thought about restarting a motor after a kill-switch event. The lanyard on my old Merc 50 just has an eyelet that is fed through a fairlead and loops around a regular bat-handled toggle switch. The toggle switch can be flipped back on at any time. On the other hand, the little 4hp Johnson I use on a sneak boat has a button that must be held down for the motor to run. The key on the lanyard is a clip that holds the button down. Without the clip, I would have to continuously hold the button down while starting and operating the motor. I don't have a spare clip. I'll have to give this some more thought.
MLBob Furia said:
On another site, Willy just reposted a video a guy made after falling out of his boat while picking up decoys without a PDF on. The shock of the cold water almost did him in and he was lucky to finally get back into the boat.... completely exhausted. All this happened with his son watching from their shore blind while he struggled. Really hit close to home for me, because oftentimes (most times) I'm guilty of picking-up sans PDF before getting underway. I rationalize that it gives me more freedom of movement, that I'm in shallow water close to the bank, and that I always put it on as soon as I get underway to run back to the ramp.
Made me realize wouldn't take long for me to get in trouble regardless of the water depth, especially since I'm LONG past ten foot tall & bulletproof. Wear 'em!!

One other point to add, as we age fundamental changes occur in our inner ear, impacting balance adversely...for all folks "of a certain age". You can offset this to a degree via exercise.

Willy is likely quite familiar with cold water drowning and hypothermia issues due to his close friendship with Jim Wicks who lost his good friend and hunting companion in a cold water drowning incident on South Manistieque Lake. Weldon had Jim hunted out of a pontoon boat blind that had been completely converted into a floating island via Jim's artistry work on the metal frame and extensive brushing. Jim would tow his marsh boat out behind the john boat to set decoys and retrieve birds, hiding the power boat on the other side of the point he preferred to hunt after repositioning the pontoon boat to sit up against the shore timber on the lee side of the point. Weldon paddled the Hoefgen out to retrieve a bird and fell over the side while reaching for it. The reason cold water immersion is so dangerous is that your vasculature, specifically your arterioles which contain a layer of smooth muscle immediately contract which causes a massive increase in what is termed pre-load on your heart, requiring a marked increase in pumping force, oxygen demand, and huge increase in catecholemine release. For folks without marked Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) issues this is physically taxing since the body is essentially shutting down blood flow to extremeties in an effort hold core temperature up. As time of immersion progresses, diminished oxygenated blood flow increases lactic acid release in skeletal muscles climbs as the cells switch over to anaerobic restoration to continue to make ATP. The increased lactic acid levels begin inteferring with muscle contraction rates and scope, as well as impacting heart muscle and brain function negatively. Heart muscle can't function much past five minutes at sites downstream of clot formation during an MI, dying. Part of this process is driven by increased tissue lactic acid levels.

In Jim's case, he could not revive Weldon when he got him once he dragged him onshore. He was too heavy to get into the jon boat, forcing him to tie him to the outside gunnel to motor back to the waiting ambulance-not an experience anyone would handle well. Jim quit duck hunting, based on that incident. and stopped carving duck decoys. Some time later I spoke briefly with Willy after he accompanied Jim down to the last ODCCA show at Westlake once he was back home. He thought Jim had a good time, but he also admitted that the experience had markedly changed him. Another common friend had been hunting with me prior leaving to hunt with them the following day. He videotaped their hunt, sending Jim a copy prior flying out of Kalamazoo to go back to Alaska. He checked his phone upon arrival in Anchorage, to be notified by his mom that Weldon had died via cold water immersion. Seelig was pretty heart sick to learn that he had sent Jim the video, which essentially was a record of the last day he was alive..

Your so right, I am as guilty as the next person. For years I never put on a life jacket, But after I had my two sons I beat it into their heads and mine to always where them in the cold weather. And now I even put them on when I'm in my boat. I hunt out of a 18 foot boat and always use a decoy pole to get my decoys. The water will take you fast in the cold, And no matter what we think how strong we are . With all those clothes and heavy waders on .The only chance you got is with a life jacket. I have been in some bad spots on the water. I have been scared out of my mind sinking in a boat. I didn't have a life jacket on that day and I had on waders. I thought it was over!! Thank God we were only off shore about ten or twenty feet on the Hudson. But it happen so fast !your never ready for something like that. Be smart be safe and always let someone know where your going.
Spent many days on the water from a teen on the water running pots, duck hunting and working for tow boat later. Never wore a life vest, I was invincible... Working on tow boat almost went overboard on a wet deck. Left work and went right to west marine and bought my own inflatiable. I now have two, one stays with the duck boat one in my truck. Getting older, maybe smarter too! I use my push pole to pick up decoys.
Wish they made a really big inflatable, 5-6X to go over the y camo jacket easy, called Mustang and they don't make one. Remember, the life you save, may be your own... Be safe out there,