Hello - my first post although I've been visiting and learning from all of you for almost a year now. Bought my 2013 PA14 in July of last year from a local dealer in the Ft. Myers, FL area. I love the boat but still on a steep learning curve as far as fishing technique, especially around the mangroves in Estero bay. Can't tell you how many rigs I've lost by erant casts...
Anyway, last week I had just ventured out from the canal I live on on Fort Myers Beach and was in a relatively shallow 3-4 feet flat in Estero Bay. As I pulled my rod out to start fishing I realized that one of the front feet of my vantage seat was not properly seated in the foot cup, but instead was resting on top of it. Bummer.
So I got on my knees to try to unlatch the seat and reset it properly and, of course, my big butt caused the center of gravity to be greatly raised and when the boat started leaning slightly, I quickly found myself in the water and swimming after my boat which was moving along with the incoming tidal current. The boat did not flip, and I was able to climb back on over the rear of the boat without much trouble, but I was a bit flustered and decided to continue on without fixing the problem with the seat. That turned out to be a mistake, as the front seat foot shifted a little while later and I found the whole boat listing badly to that side. I quickly got off the seat and onto the floor of the boat , and then moved the seat to the low position (it had been in the raised position) and this seemed to remedy the immediate problem and I continued to fish for a while before heading back in. All in all everything went smoothly after that shift, but I couldn't really relax and enjoy myself.
So two questions:
1. When I fell off the boat, I had to swim pretty hard to catch up to it and the current wasn't really that bad. It made me realize that a stronger current could leave me without a boat in the same circumstance. Do people use a leash or something to avoid this problem?
2. Any thoughts on how to safely deal with the seat issue once on the water? Of course, I'll certainly be more careful about placing the seat properly in the first place, but any thoughts are appreciated.