Alert: Cold-Water PFD Requirements


If you’re planning to use a kayak, SUP, or canoe this spring, be aware that some states now have mandatory cold-water lifejacket (PFD) requirements (in addition to year-round requirements). Here’s a brief state-by-state rundown.


Lifejackets must be worn by anyone in a manually propelled vessel from October 1 through May 31 (must be a Type I, II, III, V or V-hybrid).


All persons canoeing or kayaking on the Saco River between Hiram Dam and the Atlantic Ocean between January 1 and June 1 must be wearing a lifejacket.


Lifejackets must be worn from September 15 through May 15 when operating a canoe or kayak.

New York

No owner or operator of a pleasure vessel less than 21 feet, including rowboats, canoes, and kayaks shall permit its operation, between November 1st and May 1, unless each person on board such vessel is wearing a securely fastened United States Coast Guard approved wearable personal flotation device of an appropriate size when such vessel is underway.