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Michigan law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels must be equipped with a PFD for each person on board or being towed.
  • The USCG requires that all vessels have at least one Type I, II, or III PFD that is USCG–approved, wearable, and of the proper size for each person on board or being towed. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
  • Michigan's PFD law permits a vessel that is less than 16 feet long, or is a canoe or kayak, to choose to have either a wearable PFD (Type I, II, or III) or a throwable device (Type IV) for each person on board.
  • In addition to the above requirements, one USCG–approved throwable device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer and be readily accessible.
  • Michigan law requires all children under 6 years of age to wear a USCG–approved Type I or II PFD when riding on the open deck of any vessel while underway.
  • Each person riding on a PWC or being towed behind a PWC or other vessel must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD. Inflatable PFDs are not allowed on PWC or while being towed behind PWC or other vessels.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible.
Fitting a pfd to a child
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