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Flotation Devices

By law, all canoes are required to have  at least one lifejacket or personal flotation device (PFD) for everyone onboard.  The inside label must read “Approved by Department of Transport Canada” or “Approved by Canadian Coast Guard, Department of  Fisheries and Oceans”. The only exception is if you are visiting from another country and you brought your own lifejacket.

Here we’ll give a description of the  different types of flotation devices.

Lifejacket PFDInflatable PFD


Lifejackets were designed to keep a person on their back. This would keep their face out of the water if they are unconscious allowing them to breathe.  Lifejackets come in two sizes. The first is for people who weigh more than 40 kg (88 lbs) and the second is for people who weigh less than 40 kg (88 lbs). In order …


They were created for recreational use.  They are made with foam panels that keep you afloat. They are less bulky and  more comfortable than lifejackets and come in many colours.  Unfortunately,  they have less flotation than lifejackets and are limited in their turning  capabilities. To wear a PFD properly, it needs to be done up reasonably tightly so  that …

Inflatable PFDs

Inflatable PFDs either automatically  inflate when immersed in water or are inflated by the wearer. They should only be worn if you are over 16 years old and weigh more than 36 kilograms. Inflation time can vary and you must make sure that there are no puncture holes. Therefore, if you are going to wear an inflatable …