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life jacket legal question #2266693 05/15/08 04:54 AM
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bdog1234 Offline OP
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I know it is a good idea to wear the jacket at all times, but that is another discussion. What is the law on life jackets? I know the kids have to wear them at all times, but for adults they just have to be on board right?

Game Warden checks the wife and I and our son is wearing his, and a compartment in our boat that is easy accessible has 6 jackets in it. There is nothing in this compartment other than the jackets, they are not buried, hard to get at, etc.

GW does not give us a ticket but tells us to keep the life jackets out in the open, basically on the floor of the boat. Is this a law or just his recommendation?



Re: life jacket legal question [Re: bdog1234] #2266724 05/15/08 07:38 AM
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lawmann Offline
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Re: life jacket legal question [Re: bdog1234] #2266729 05/15/08 07:45 AM
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triumph190 Offline
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bdog
Try this, I think it will answer your question.

http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/safety/life_jackets/

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: triumph190] #2266730 05/15/08 07:48 AM
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triumph190 Offline
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Lawmann was faster. His works too.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: triumph190] #2266948 05/15/08 10:31 AM
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rod_bender Offline
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Thank goodness he let you be. Those tickets are pretty steep, trust me.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: rod_bender] #2266974 05/15/08 10:46 AM
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Michial Thompson Offline
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I asked the GW this exact question a couple weeks ago. His response was "readily available" is subject to his interpretation. He said that some GW's require them to be on deck, others are ok with them being in unlocked storage compartments, and others just want to know they are on the boat.

I keep mine in a compartment under my console, and it's a locked compartment. He told me that if he was to check me on the lake I'd get ticketed because the compartment was locked.

I also asked specifically about the throwable preserver. Same thing applies.

In my case this makes life a pain because all of my floor compartments get water in them at one time or another, and the only place I have that remains dry is under the console which is a locked compartment. I'm trying to figure out some alternative way to store them and yet keep them from blowing out or getting wet until needed.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: Michial Thompson] #2267164 05/15/08 11:46 AM
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triumph190 Offline
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I have a cc bay boat and I can wrap my life jacket around the back seat and clip the buckle which makes it "readily available" and keeps it from blowing out of the boat. Also, before buckling the jacket I will run the strap of the life jacket though the handle on my throwable, keeping it from blowing out.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: triumph190] #2267257 05/15/08 12:12 PM
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Michial Thompson Offline
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over time the sun will degrade and rot them and force you to replace them every couple three years.

My CC has high gunnels, and good rails for keeping people inside so the life jackets rarely ever get used. I cannot see replacing them every couple of years just because they've rotted out.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: Michial Thompson] #2267368 05/15/08 12:55 PM
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Pivo Offline
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On the topic of throwables, I heard that a 100' rope needs to be attached. Is this correct? I've been checked several times with no rope attached and no problems from the GWs. Maybe this is up for interpretation also.


<*}}}><
Re: life jacket legal question [Re: Michial Thompson] #2267374 05/15/08 12:55 PM
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They are only hooked to the seat when I am in the boat. I take them out of my storage compartment while preforming my regular prelaunch routine. After I load the boat back on the trailer they go back into storage so they stay dry and out of the weather. The life jackets I have are over two years old and still look like new. I don't see sun rotting as an issue.

Last edited by triumph190; 05/15/08 01:39 PM.
Re: life jacket legal question [Re: triumph190] #2267914 05/15/08 03:39 PM
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bdog1234 Offline OP
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Thanks for the replies.

I guess it all hinges on what "readily accessible" means.

I can see getting a ticket if they were locked up, or buried under a ton of other stuff but I think I will take my chances with the way they are.

I know there is some "readily accessible" language in the laws regarding firearms and I am sure if these life jackets were guns and I was stopped they would be considered accessible.



Re: life jacket legal question [Re: Pivo] #2267971 05/15/08 04:04 PM
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Rocky Robison Offline
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Originally Posted By: Pivo
On the topic of throwables, I heard that a 100' rope needs to be attached. Is this correct? I've been checked several times with no rope attached and no problems from the GWs. Maybe this is up for interpretation also.


Not to be legal, now if you want to pass the Coast Guard Safety Certification on a motorized boat, and get a sticker to place on the boat, which if some GWs see, they won't even check your boat. You need to have 20' of rope attached to the throw cushion. 100' of anchor rope attached to an anchor, fire extinguisher, a paddle(even with trolling motor), whistle or horn. This was what was required several years ago, it could have changed somewhat since then.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: triumph190] #2268343 05/15/08 05:47 PM
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Michial Thompson Offline
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Originally Posted By: triumph190
They are only hooked to the seat when I am in the boat. I take them out of my storage compartment while preforming my regular prelaunch routine. After I load the boat back on the trailer they go back into storage so they stay dry and out of the weather. The life jackets I have are over two years old and still look like new. I don't see sun rotting as an issue.


I'm on the water 4 days a week, most all day. Just about everything cloth on my boat is sun bleached. I keep an auto inflateable in the top of my console so that if the water gets rough or I am running jugs or something where I feel like I might get thrown over I can grab it and put it on, and it's 18 months old right now and sun bleached. I haven't checked the threads to see if they are rotting yet, hope their not.

I have two seats in the back of my boat near the motor well, I will probably just put a snap from the bottom of the seat to the deck and use the space under them for the life jackets so that I can meet the requirements. Keep some old cheap toilet seat vests in there and all should be fine.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: bdog1234] #2268358 05/15/08 05:52 PM
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Michial Thompson Offline
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Originally Posted By: bdog1234
Thanks for the replies.

I guess it all hinges on what "readily accessible" means.

I can see getting a ticket if they were locked up, or buried under a ton of other stuff but I think I will take my chances with the way they are.

I know there is some "readily accessible" language in the laws regarding firearms and I am sure if these life jackets were guns and I was stopped they would be considered accessible.



I agree 100% the law is a funny thing, especially when you look at the intentions behind the law, and the wording of the law you almost want to cry.

I used to keep my jackets in a storage compartment on my old tracker and never had issues when I got checked. I haven't gotten checked on the CC, but would expect that as long as I wasn't an a-hole to the warden I would probably pass the inspection with a verbal suggestion that I not have them locked up.

I've been working with law enforcement for about 12 years now, and one thing that seems to be consistant with *MOST* of them is that they will cut you some slack if you talk to them with respect and not try to act like you know more than they do. But there is always one or two that will ruin your day just because they are still pissed at the last guy they checked.

Re: life jacket legal question [Re: Michial Thompson] #2269021 05/15/08 09:06 PM
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Nice site.

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