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Are paddleboards considered vessels?

Q:  Are paddleboards considered vessels?

A:  Yes.  The U.S. Coast Guard in a decisional memo dated Oct.3, 2008, classified paddleboards as vessels in accordance with Title 1 United States Code, Section 3.  This classification means that when used beyond the narrow limits of a swimming, surfing, or bathing area, no person may use a paddleboard unless in compliance with the Navigation Rules, and applicable carriage requirements for this type of vessel. This may include a Coast Guard approved life jacket for each person on board, a sound producing device, visual distress signals, and proper navigation lights. A police-type whistle and a flashlight comply with these requirements.  The Coast Guard has also exempted the hull identification number requirement from the manufacturing standards.


Date:  28 April 2015

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