Specific PFD Requirements
- All vessels must carry one Type I, II, or III USCG–approved PFD for each person on board.
- All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
- In addition to the above requirements, one Type IV (throwable) USCG–approved PFD must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks.
- A Type IV (throwable) may not be substituted for a Type I, II, or III (wearable) PFD.
- Children under 12 years of age must wear a USCG–approved PFD at all times on a vessel less than 26 feet long that is in motion.
- Each person on board a personal watercraft must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
- Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
- Sailboard operators younger than 15 must wear a PFD at all times. If two or more people occupy a sailboard, each person must wear a PFD.
- A Type V PFD may be substituted for other required PFDs if the Type V PFD is approved for the wearer’s activity. A Type V PFD must be worn to be acceptable