Specific PFD Requirements
- All vessels (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must have at least one USCG–approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person on board.
- All persons on board a recreational vessel less than 21 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must wear a USCG–approved PFD from November 1 to May 1.
- In addition to the above requirements, vessels 16 feet in length or longer (except canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) must have one USCG–approved Type IV (throwable) PFD on board.
- All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and 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.
- New York law requires that all children under 12 years of age wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD while on board any vessel less than 65 feet in length (including canoes, kayaks, and rowboats) unless they are in a fully enclosed cabin.
- Each person riding on a PWC or being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved Type I, II, or III PFD.
- One Type V PFD may be substituted for any other type if it is specifically approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for the activity at hand. Type V PFDs may not be substituted on children weighing less than 90 lbs.