Does a Paddle Float count as a PFD?

-- Last Updated: Jul-23-07 1:12 AM EST --

I have one of these North Water Paddle FLoats. It's always at the ready (non-inflatable), and I have floated on it and it floats well. Very buoyant.

Without getting into the endless debate on PFD wearing, I know that the law, at least here, is that one must have a rescue PFD available in the boat, but by law need not be wearing it. Floating seat cushions, I am told, qualify as a PFD.

Wonder if the paddle float qualifies, and no, I wouldn't be wearing it?


Seat cushion…
I think they put straps on them so that the coastgaurd will consider them wearable??

I would say you could consider it a p.f.d.,just not a C.G approved p.f.d.

$.2 …Danny

2 more pennies!
It reminds me of the old water ski belts…

I think they were approved,untill they figured out when you got knocked out you would float face down…

According to the Coast Guard, all recreational boats must carry one wearable PFD (Type I, II, III or V) per person on board. Boats over sixteen feet in length are also required to carry a throwable (Type IV) PFD, but canoes and kayaks are exempt from this rule. Under some circumstances, a throwbag – a throwable bag containing floating rope, used to extend a line to a nearby swimmer or boat – can substitute for a throwable PFD.

A local bar used to have throwable cushions as seats on their bar stools… as the were over the water your bar stool became a PFD if you fell over… :slight_smile:

in Illinois
I think you’re in Illinois, right? If so, then you need to carry one Type I, II, or III PFD per person in the kayak or canoe. It must be labeled Coast Guard Approved Type #. So if your float is labeled thusly, then it’s ok. I’d bet it’s not though.

I got my info here:

no, it’s not a pfd

State laws not USCG laws
can require PFD. The USCG does not gave any regulations on canoes or kayaks unless they have a motor mounted on them.

At one time throwables were allowed
in Illinois, they no longer qualify as a P.F.D. in a canoe , kayak, OR any other boat. You will get a ticket! All motorized craft are required to have 1 P.F.D./person AND 1 throwable (seat cushion or ring type) per boat. No… a padlle float does not qulify as a P.F.D., and not as a throwable either.