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