Why Carry Extra PFDs on Your Boat
Part of being a good boater is always being prepared for anything, including having enough personal flotation devices for everybody onboard.
It’s highly recommended having extra life jackets and other personal flotation devices on your boat at all times. For one thing, it’s the law. Federal law says you must carry a life jacket or personal flotation device for each and every person onboard your boat. Pretty straightforward, and any boater experienced or otherwise should know this.
But aside from having personal flotation devices ready for your regular family and friends who frequently join you on boat rides, what about those who come along randomly? If they aren’t boaters themselves, chances are they don’t have PFDs of their own. By having some spare life jackets on your boat, you don’t have to worry about the odd man or woman out.
The law also states that each PFD for each person on your boat must be size-appropriate. It’s simple math: Four adults and three children on your boat equals four adult-size PFDs and three child-size PFDs. If you carry three or four life jackets in varying sizes — say two adult and two child-sized PFDs — you better have a PFD that’ll fit everyone you want to invite onboard.
One added benefit about carrying spare life jackets, life rings and floating cushions is they make ideal makeshift furniture. Your backside will be grateful for that extra PFD to rest upon during long and/or choppy boat rides.