Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Minimum Requirements for Kayaking in Texas

I think this is really great information and I cannot take a single 
shred of credit for it, I'm simply copy and pasting Josh Neumeyer's 
work and effort. Josh has organized the requirements set by the 
state of Texas to legally be on the water in a kayak. He has even 
taken it a step farther and outlined fresh water and salt water legal 
guidelines so that it is all really easy to read and understand. 
Thank you Josh for doing all the leg work for everyone.

PFD (aka Lifevest) Requirements
  • You must have a Type I, II, III, or V PFD for each person on the kayak [TWSA Title 4 § 31.066(a)][CFR Title 33 § 175.15]
  • Children under the age of 13 must always wear their PFD [TWSA Title 4 § 31.066(b)][CFR Title 33 § 175.15(c)]
  • Type V PFDs must be used in accordance with the manufacturer's label to be legal [CFR Title 33 § 175.17(a)]
  • Inflatable PFDs may only be worn by adults over the age of 16 and weighing more than 80lbs [CFR Title 46 § 160.076]
  • All PFDs must be in good, serviceable condition without any cuts, tears, rotten material, etc [CFR Title 33 § 175.23]
  • All PFDs must fit each person properly [CFR Title 33 § 175.21]
  • Each PFD must be readily accessible to each person [CFR Title 33 § 175.19]

Distress Signaling Devices - Audible & Visual
  • On inland waters you are not required to have an audible signaling device [TWSA Title 4 § 31.073(a)]
  • On coastal waters you must have an audible signaling device capable of making efficient sound [USC Title 33 Chapter 34 § 2033(b)]
  • You are not required to have visual distress signaling devices on inland waters [TWSA Title 4 § 31.073(a)][CFR Title 33 § 175.5]
  • You are required to have USCG approved visual distress signaling devices suitable for night use when kayaking between sunset and sunrise on coastal waters [CFR Title 33 § 175.115]
  • Visual distress signaling devices must be readily accessible [CFR Title 33 § 175.120]
  • Visual distress signaling devices must be in serviceable condition [CFR Title 33 § 175.125]

Light Requirements
  • You must exhibit at least one bright light, lantern or flashlight visible all around the horizon from sunset to sunrise in all weather[TWSA Title 4 § 31.064]
  • All-around white lights must be visible for 2 miles [USC Title 33 Chapter 34 § 2022(c)]

Registration and Numbering
  • Kayaks, regardless of length, do not have to be registered [TWSA Title 4 § 31.022(c)]
  • Kayaks, 14 feet or longer, equipped as a sailboat have to be registered and numbered [TWSA Title 4 § 31.022(c)]
  • Kayaks, regardless of length, equipped with a motor (electric or gas) have to be registered and numbered [TWSA Title 4 § 31.021(a)]
  • If you register and number your kayak know that there are more minimum requirements that apply than listed above

Minimum Requirements Summary:
Lakes and Rivers: PFD and 360 light between sunset and sunrise
Bays and Gulf: PFD, 360 light between sunset and sunrise, sound signaling device, and night use visual signaling device between sunset and sunrise

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