myiW Current Conditions and Forecasts Community Forums Buy and Sell Services
 
Hi guest · myAccount · Log in
 SearchSearch   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   RegisterRegister 
Are PFDs required on SUPs under 10 feet long in WA/OR?
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Northwest USA & Canada
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14627

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 1:43 pm    Post subject: Are PFDs required on SUPs under 10 feet long in WA/OR? Reply with quote

I've clicked and phoned 'til my fingers hurt, and am still getting conflicting answers from state and county agencies, dealers, owners, websites, and the like. As best as I can tell:
• The Coast Guard declared them vessels years ago; that narrows things down.
• Human propulsion and length MIGHT matter.
• Some counties will ticket even inner tubers w/o PFDs, others won't ticket anything under 10 feet long.
• We launch onto the Columbia in a variety of counties and two states, and wander between two states and counties in a single session.
• Some laws specify "near shore". WTH does that mean?

I have flotation vests; safety isn't the issue. I just wanna know whether I HAVE TO buy yet another big, bulky, expensive, piece of gear that will be in the way every time I clamber back onto the board, which I expect to happen every few minutes in big chop and swell on the river.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
mac



Joined: 07 Mar 1999
Posts: 5578

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 4:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Coast Guard will cite you in California if you don't have a flotation device. I would expect that to be uniform nationally on waters they patrol.

from http://worldpaddleassociation.com/pfd-laws-sup-or-paddleboards-now-classified-as-vessels/

2 clicks--and a willingness to understand that the Coast Guard is a federal agency with authority over Federal water--and appreciation that the fact that the water is Federal allows us to use it without paying rent.

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has officially classified stand up paddleboards (SUP) as a vessel. With the rapid growth of SUP in recent years on the West and East coast of the United States, the Coast Guard recently classified “paddleboards”, meaning SUP’s as “vessels.” SUP, the newly classified vessels must comply with federal Navigation Rules and “carriage” requirements when operated beyond the limits of a swimming, surfing or bathing area. Adult stand-up paddlers are required to have a USCG-approved life jacket also known as Personal Floatation Device (PFD, Type III) for each person, a sound signaling device (whistle), visual distress signal and navigation light (flashlight).
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1195
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick call to Big Winds would get you the answer, but it is my understanding is that you are required to have a coast guard approved PFD onboard. You are NOT required to be wearing it. Most strap it to the board (dumb I know). It is my understanding that when I take my 11' slalom kayak out in the Columbia I could be given a citation as well. And my understanding is that it IS enforced by agencies other than the USCG....
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
hilton08



Joined: 02 Apr 2000
Posts: 403

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm pretty sure the under 10' exemption only applies to the Aquatic Invasive Species Permit, and you will still need a PFD unless you are paddling in the surf zone (Ocean) in which case you are classified as a surfer and not a vessel.

http://www.dfw.state.or.us/conservationstrategy/invasive_species/quagga_zebra_mussel.asp

If you are paddling in chop and swell (wind) on the river, a board leash is strongly recommended since the board can easily get blown away from you while you are in the water.

I think the inflatable "fanny pack" PFDs will count as long as you are wearing them, but I hadn't heard of the requirements for a visual distress signal and navigation light.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ldhr



Joined: 10 Apr 2000
Posts: 72

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are they required? and does anyone write tickets is 2 different questions.
According to Oregon state law - yes they are required.
Also a whistle.....and invasive species sticker!
http://www.oregon.gov/osmb/pages/paddlecraft/paddlecraft.aspx
If paddleboarding on a river, lake or bay for transportation and being used beyond the limits of swimming, surfing or a confined area, a paddle board is considered a boat. As such, paddle boarders need to carry a properly fitting lifejacket and sound producing device. The US Coast Guard made the determination that paddleboards were boats in 2009. The Marine Board is enforcing this determination to be consistent with federal law.

that being said I paddle around HR all the time without one and have never been approached by any enforcement official on the river.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
nada



Joined: 21 Apr 1994
Posts: 13

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Enforcement is real…or can be. My wife got pulled over on her SUP by someone - can't remember if is was local or USCG - on a jet ski under the HR bridge one evening two years ago. She didn't have any of the boxes checked - no sticker, PDF, whistle - and was threatened with an $800 fine. Played dumb, said she was visiting, and got off, but the threat was real enough to get us to get a PFD/whistle fanny pack setup and sticker the next day.

Natch, no one has ever approached us since..
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14627

PostPosted: Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The HR County sheriff has stated his offices will not enforce the federal or state PFD laws for SUPs < 10 feet. That leaves the states, feds, and MANY other counties free to fine us big bucks. Enforcement is way up, according to the media.

$#!+! I've been sitting on my thumbs for weeks waiting for warmer water and my knee brace, planning explicitly on this week -- today, in fact -- to get on the water in time to meet other, more specific, deadlines. I found out just yesterday that, unless someone can prove otherwise to the satisfaction of the cops, I must buy a PFD. There's nothing available locally besides those "civilian" PFDs with robobuckles from yer waist to yer chin or kayak vests with bulky pockets in front ... neither very compatible with climbing onto the board a few hundred times a day* until I figure this thing out in rough water. My plan now is to order out a few candidates from REI and NRS, choose one, and return the rest. Ain't got time to try 'em one by one.

* Inflatable PFDs won't work for me on two counts: I'm in the water too much for a self-inflator and I sink like a stone without some flotation or a lot of swimming. If I wanted to stay dry I'd get a SIXTEEN FREAKING FOOTER and add pontoons. And I wouldn't ride a SUP even in the pool (too much concrete nearby), let alone a pond or The River (too much WATER nearby), without a leash.

I think Hilton's right that the 10-foot waiver applies only to the invasive species law. This "beyond the limits of swimming" clause may be my way out until I get a PFD, considering how many times I've swum my WSing gear across the Columbia out east where it's wide.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spennie



Joined: 13 Oct 1995
Posts: 867
Location: Thousand Oaks, CA

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get the ProMotion "Kite Vest" so you don't sink like a stone, since it's totally non-restrictive and range of motion is excellent, and add a fanny pack to please the authorities. The alternative is a bulky CG-approved vest. I can assure you the "Kite Vest" is great, I wear one for high wind sailing, but it's not CG approved.
_________________
Spennie the Wind Junkie
www.WindJunkie.net
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
isobars



Joined: 12 Dec 1999
Posts: 14627

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since posting the question, I'm finding that the federal law requires a USCG approved PFD and sound-producing device on any SUP; size does not matter, and the fines range from significant to huge.

Personally, I wouldn't rely on the Hood River Co. Sheriff's promise not to enforce it under 10 feet, because there are other gendarmes in the vicinity and up and down the Columbia. In my case, I expect to use mine way east of that county anyway, so I have no choice.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
johnl



Joined: 05 Jun 1994
Posts: 1195
Location: Hood River OR

PostPosted: Tue Apr 15, 2014 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dude, Like I said, you are required to have it ON BOARD. You don't have to be wearing it (like a sailboat). So if you have a USCG approved vest, there are many ways to just strap it to the board. With a whistle of course. You are making a big deal of nothing. Oh yeah, don't forget your invasive species sticker also......
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    iWindsurf Community Forum Index -> Northwest USA & Canada All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You can attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum

myiW | Weather | Community | Membership | Support | Log in
like us on facebook
© Copyright 1999-2007 WeatherFlow, Inc Contact Us Ad Marketplace

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group