Canadian Safe Boating Council

PFD Best Practices

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(January 17th, 2011)


 "The CSBC believes that all operators of all sizes and types of kayaks, canoes and self-propelled vessels and all types of other craft that are 6 meters or less in length, while passengers are on deck and while the boat is underway, should wear lifejackets or PFDs.".

 In 2008 CSBC began approaching organizations involved in boating and asked them the following questions.

  • Do you agree that the above statement is a good ‘best practice'?
  • Can your organization support this statement or can you tell us what is your policy in regards to PFD wear?
  • Do you think the time is right for the federal government to incorporate the above statement into mandatory wear legislation?
  • Since that time, many organizations have responded with positive input about the need for lifejacket wear in small open boats.  As we continue through 2011, the CSBC will continue to seek input from organizations and individuals for their position on this important issue. Sample letters are attached. Electronic versions can be obtained by contacting Barbara Byers at Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir.  . The CSBC urges you to provide feedback.the CSBC will continue to work with organzations, associations and companies to compile their feelings on this important subject.  


    In 2002, the Canadian Safe Boating Council struck a Lifejacket/Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Taskforce to review and develop options concerning increased PFD use for recreational boaters in small craft. In October of that year, the Taskforce contracted with SMARTRISK, to develop a research paper summarizing the best available evidence, pro and con, pertaining to mandatory lifejacket/PFD use. The Research Paper, "Will it float? was presented by SMARTRISK at the 2003 CSBC Symposium. The paper is available at

    Please provide any feedback to: Bob Minielly, Chair CSBC Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir.    This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or 905-628-8639