Federal law requires at least one wearable Type I, II, III or Type V Personal Flotation Device (“PFD”) for each person on-board or being towed on waterskis, wakeboards, surfboards or other recreational equipment. A Type V PFD provides performance of either a Type I, II or III PFD (as marked on its label) and must be used according to the label requirements. In addition, one throwable Type IV PFD must also be on board. As the owner, obtaining the appropriate PFDs is your responsibility. You must also determine whether people on-board, including those who are underage, are required to wear PFDs when underway. Your MasterCraft dealer can, and will be happy to, assist you with your purchase of appropriate PFDs.
People on-board who cannot swim or who are not strong swimmers, as well as children, should wear PFDs at all times.
- Wearable PFDs must be readily accessible in the boat.
- It should be possible to put on the PFDs within a reasonable amount of time in case of emergency.
- PFDs should never be stowed in plastic bags, in locked or closed compartments or have other gear stowed on top of them.
- The U.S. Coast Guard, as well as MasterCraft, recommends the wearing of PFDs at all times when the vessel is underway, even though it is not a requirement. The best PFD is the one that is worn and that can save your life.
- Inflatable PFDs must have a full cylinder and all status indicators on the inflator must be green, or the device is NOT serviceable, and is NOT considered a usable PFD for anyone on-board the vessel.
- Coast Guard-approved inflatable PFDs are authorized for use on recreational boats by persons at least 16 years of age.
- Some states require children to wear PFDs at all times. Check with your state boating safety officials for details. Be certain to equip children with a PFD that is appropriate for the size of the child. The label will indicate the weight limits for use.
NOTE: Requirements for coastal waters and inland waters differ. Check with the local boating authorities for more information.