Specific PFD Requirements
Iowa law requires the following with respect to PFDs.
- All vessels must have at least one USCG–approved wearable PFD for each person on board.
- In addition to the above requirement, one USCG–approved throwable device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes or kayaks.
- While underway on a recreational vessel on any Iowa waters, a child under 13 years old must wear a USCG–approved PFD unless the child is in an enclosed cabin or below deck or is a passenger on a commercial vessel with a capacity of 25 people or more.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel on water skis, a surfboard, or similar device must wear a USCG–approved wearable PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for persons being towed.
- Each person on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved wearable PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use on PWC.
- Windsurfers are not required to wear a PFD.
- Inflatable PFDs are not approved for use by persons under the age of 16.
- All PFDs must be readily accessible and of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
- All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition.