N.J. life jacket req's

-- Last Updated: Apr-30-07 1:21 PM EST --

Does anyone have the required information on the requirements for using life jackets in New Jersey while paddling your kayak? Meaning do you need to wear them while paddling? Most states I have been in only require you to have them with you.


– Last Updated: Apr-30-07 2:09 PM EST –

Las' ah' hear'd - one pfd Type I, II, III per person - doesn't have to be worn (doesn't make much sense to me, but to each their own) unless under 13 years old - then they must be worn. Type IV no longer legal as a primary. Type V must be worn. Big fines if you don't have a lifevest while on the water and they catch you.


IMHO Regardless of bureaucratic regulations, any time you are in a kayak on the water, you should wear a PFD - no exceptions.

When people go to the ocean, should they go in the water without a pfd? Just curious.

In Joisey
ya dun’t go to the ocean… youz go down da shaaawwwwwww!


I’ve lived there

Death wish
Just because our Governor may feel he can be driven around at +90 mph without wearing a seat belt, doesn’t mean all of us in N.J. have a death wish!

The law unfortunately is as Fat Elmo stated. I am also of the belief that wearing a PFD while in watercraft should be mandatory. Our waters up here are a tad colder than what you get in Florida. Hypothermia can leave a person with little time to put on a PFD while in the water in the cold water months.

Wear it
then you don’t have to worry about it.

Some places you have a better chance of getting hassled if you don’t wear it. At Round Valley, if you don’t have it on, you will get to meet the nice rangers.

NJ PFD laws

Scroll down for the section on PFDs, covers motorboats and Kayaks too…

Canoes and kayaks of any length and all other boats less than 16 feet in length: One I, II, III, or V PFD for each person on board. Under state law, it is an infraction, punishable by a fine of up to $250, to operate a vessel unless every child 12 years of age or younger on board is wearing a Type I, II, III, or V Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device (life jacket).

The law does not apply to:

* the operator of a vessel on which every child under age 13 is in an enclosed cabin. Inflatable PFDs - The U.S. Coast Guard approved inflatable PFDs in 1996.

Only certain brands are U.S. Coast Guard approved and some are only appropriate for adults. Proper use of inflatable PFDs, including appropriate age limits, vary by manufacturer. Please review the owner’s manual and information pamphlet carefully before purchasing an inflatable PFD. While automatic inflation is not a required feature, inflatables must be equipped, at a minimum, with both manual (pull) and oral (blow) inflation systems.




Any NJ State run waterway
a PFD is required and on. Round Valley as an example; you will be fined if you don’t have your PFD on.