Kayak Guidance logo

What Safety Equipment

is Required on a Kayak in Florida?

Published August 15, 2022

This is where you’re going to insert the introduction, so need to remove the image above, just leave it, and insert the introduction here. Just duplicate the image carousel, star rating, and check price button for each product. Don’t delete the author bio at the bottom. If you have any questions or issues, make sure to let me know. 

What Safety Equipment is Required on a Kayak in Florida?​ Summary

What Safety Equipment is Required on a Kayak in Florida?

There is not a huge list of equipment that you are required on a kayak in Florida. But still, there are some things that are essential for you to have on your kayak if you want to enjoy your trip on Florida’s water.

So, here is a list of equipment that your kayak should have in Florida.

  • PFD (Personal Floatation Device) or every person on Kayak
  • Throwable Type PFD
  • Proper Ventilation System on your Kayak
  • Backfire Flame Control Equipment
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Visual Distress Signal Device
  • Sound Producing Device
  • Lightning Equipment

So, these are some essentials or equipment that you are required to kayak in Florida. You don’t have to have all of them on your kayak, but most of the items in this list are required for different types of kayaks and situations.

In order to understand this, let’s discuss why you need these items on your kayak and who should have them.

Personal Flotation Device:

life vest for kayaking

You are required to have PFD or Personal Flotation Device for everyone on the boat. It is the most important piece of equipment you should have on your kayak because it can save your life. PFDs are available in different sizes and shapes, so you should choose one that fits your body type perfectly.

But remember, it should be comfortable, snug but not too tight, and easily adjustable as well. PFD will keep you afloat and helps protect your head and neck from injury if you fall out of your kayak. You can find many options when choosing a PFD, so get the one that fits you well and is approved by US Coast Guard.

Throwable Type PFD:

throwable PFD for kayak

For kayaks greater than 16 feet in length, it is highly recommended to have a throwable type PFD. This type of PFD will allow you to quickly throw it in the water when someone falls out of the kayak, which will help them stay afloat in an emergency. These are designed to be thrown directly at the person who has fallen out of their boat. They are also good for kayaks with small cockpits and limited storage space.

You can also use it as a life jacket or flotation device in case of emergencies. It is also ideal for kayakers who like to go on the water alone. Besides, throwable PFDs are very light and portable, so you can easily carry them around.

Fire Extinguisher:

A fire extinguisher is a must-have for big kayaks in Florida. It can be used to put out small fires that may occur while you are out on the water. Fire extinguishers are also good for putting out campfires and other types of open flames that could start a forest fire if not taken care of properly.

So, a fire extinguisher is a great accessory for your kayak. It can put out a small fire or prevent it from spreading. You should get an ABC-rated fire extinguisher that is US Coast Guard approved and will work on any type of flammable liquid, fuel, or oil. This will ensure that your fire extinguisher is able to put out fires on boats and in the water safely.

Visual Distress Signal Device:

Visual Distress Signal Device for kayaks

It is important that you have a visual distress signal device with you while kayaking in Florida. This will help you get the attention of other boats or people on shore if you need assistance.

While kayaking in high sea and coastal waters, you will not likely see many boats. That means if something happens to you and you need help, it may take some time for someone to notice. A visual distress signal device is a great way to let people know that you need assistance without having to yell or wave at them.

There are many hazards that can cause you to become stranded. You may get caught in a storm and be blown off course, or your kayak could capsize and leave you floating out at sea. A visual distress signal device will help people find you if this happens.

While it’s a good practice to have a Visual Distress Signal Device on all kayaks, but only those kayaks required to have it who are going in high sea and coastal waters.

Sound Producing Device:

One of the most important pieces of safety equipment that you are required to have on a kayak is a sound-producing device while being in Florida. This could be anything from a horn, whistle, or bell to an electronic siren.

It may be difficult for people on shore to see your distress signal, especially if you are far out at sea. A sound-producing device can help get their attention in this situation. Besides, when there are other boats around, it is important that you can communicate with them so that they know where you are and what your intentions are. That is why you need a sound-producing device on your kayak.

They are an important part of your boat safety equipment. You should have at least one loud sound-producing device that can be heard at a distance and in different conditions (day or night, calm or rough waters).

Backfire Flame Control Equipment:

Backfire flame control equipment is also required on Kayaks in Florida, which is an important part of your boat safety equipment. Because it helps you to control fire and keep it from spreading. You should have at least one suitable portable fire extinguisher on board and spare extinguishers as needed.

Not all kayaks need to have them, only big kayaks or those kayaks that have cooking equipment. So, if you go kayak camping in Florida, you must backfire element control equipment with you.

Ventilation System on the Kayak:

You should have a ventilation system on your kayak while being in Florida. This will help you keep the boat cool and prevent fires from starting. It is not required for all kayaks but for those who are engine or gas operated.

Besides, it’s a good practice to keep the engine well-ventilated and regularly check for fumes in the area around your boat when it is running.

Lightning Equipment: (only on Big Kayaks and Boats)

Lightning equipment is also required on big kayaks that are in the sea, especially in bad weather conditions. So, if you plan to go boating in a thunderstorm, you should have your boat fitted with lightning rods and a grounding system. If you are sailing on a boat exposed to the elements, it’s important to have proper lightning protection. This includes installing an adequate lightning rod system and grounding wires on your boat.

Are Life Jackets Required on Kayaks in Florida?

In Florida, life jackets are required for all passengers on a boat. This includes kayaks and canoes. So, if you are planning to go kayaking in the Sunshine State, ensure that everyone is wearing a proper life jacket. Otherwise, you will face a huge fan, and there will always be a safety risk for everyone on board. So, wearing a life jacket is one of the most beneficial things you can do.

Do all Kayaks Needs Fire extinguishers in Florida?

Fire Extinguisher is mandatory on kayaks in Florida, but not all kayaks should have them. Only big kayaks and those who have cooking equipment on the board are required to have it. So, if you plan to go on a kayak camping trip where you will be cooking for yourself, taking a Fire Extinguisher with you is the most beneficial thing you can do.

Do I Must have Lightning Equipment in my Kayak while Kayaking in Florida?

If you have a big motorized kayak and planning to go kayaking in Florida, then you must have lightning equipment.

You are likely to be out in the ocean or lake for several hours, so it is important that you are prepared for any weather condition, especially if there is lightning. You should carry a suitable size of lightning protection system with you at all times by installing properly on your kayak.


So these are the safety equipment that are required on a kayak in Florida. You must carry them according to the situation and the kayak you own. All of the things are important, but the most important thing is Personal Floatation Device or Life Jacket because anything can happen while you are out on the water, and keeping yourself ready is a must.

Jay Schwartz author of Kayak Guidance

About the Author - Jay Schwartz:

Hey there kayak lovers! I’m Jay Schwartz, the author here at Kayak Guidance! You know water sports – you know me! My life is all about it. Kayaking, Paddleboarding, Fishing, Snorkeling and so much more. I love to share my passion and knowledge with all of you. 

More to Learn About Kayaks!