Specific PFD Requirements
- All vessels must have at least one USCG–approved wearable PFD for each person on board.
- In addition to the requirement for PFDs, one USCG–approved throwable PFD must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer.
- All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and readily accessible. Wearable PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
- Children 12 years old and younger must wear a USCG–approved PFD securely fastened to their persons at all times while on any vessel. The only exception is if the child is within the enclosed area of a houseboat or cruiser, or within the area enclosed by railings on a party barge, cruiser, or houseboat, and the vessel is not underway.
- Each person on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use on PWC.
- Each person being towed behind a motorized vessel on water skis, an aquaplane, or other device must wear a USCG–approved PFD.