What Should You Do With A Torn PFD

One of the security features unique to paddlers and kayakers is the Personal Flotation Device (PFD). PFDs, classified as safety equipment, has developed into one of the most widely used security years to keep the wearer afloat on the water, particularly in a vessel catastrophe or capsizing.

The Personal Flotation Device can be used from a variety of perspectives (PFD). You must also consider fabric wear and tear besides storing the equipment in a suitable climate.

Besides using the best waterproof walkie-talkies when with the family, you need your PFDs in the best condition. However, these personal flotation devices can get damaged, so it is vital to know how to deal with rips or tears.


Ultimately, replace the PFD, yet until that stage, you can use this guide and learn how to deal with a tear in the outer fabric of your life vest. While the PFD has a tear, can be used, there is nothing like patching it professionally or getting a new cool one, especially if it’s for your kids.

What Should You Do If a PFD Has a Tear In The Outer fabric Boat Ed?

Your PFD should be reviewed and inspected regularly for any flaws. It would help if you were on the lookout for the following problems with the PFD. You must replace it as soon as possible if it has any of these faults. (Read What Are Strainers On A River)

  • If your PFD’s webbing is torn, missing, or ripped, you’ll need to repair it.
  • Rotten material shows you should thoroughly inspect your jacket. Waterproof two-way radios can rub on shoulder fabric and loosen the straps.
  • If your jacket has large tears or rips, try to fix them as soon as possible.
  • Your PFD is no longer secure on water and can’t help you at this stage due to damaged or broken hardware. It is another area a waterproof radio can weaken the material or fixings.
  • Oil spills can cause a loss of buoyancy.

storing pfd

How To Store Your PFD

Using the above, you can see your PFD is wearing, or you have snagged your waterproof radios for kayaks on something that has damaged the material. What should you do if a personal flotation device has a tear in the outer fabric?

You can use this section as a lesson and keep your PFD from damage.

The best way to safeguard the safety of your PFD is by storing it properly. The following steps are you must take to keep your PFD from any potential damage:

  1. Always keep your PFD and best waterproof 2way radio or floating gear in a dry, cool location rather than a hot area.
  2. Ensure you use a well-ventilated area to prevent mold and the hardware or fabric from rotting.
  3. Don’t expose your PFDs to direct sunlight, as UV radiation will degrade the material quality.
  4. Hang the PFD rather than using a shelf.
  5. If you follow these steps, you can keep your PFD in perfect condition and have no problems while using it.

Can You Repair a Life Jacket?

There are 3 things you can do to fix your PFD if you see a tear on the fabric. Either you have to patch the tear with iron on a patch by a patchwork expert. Or, you have to use duct tape that actually covers the torn area, and the PFD becomes suitable for wearing again. Or you have to get rid of the Jacket and buy a new one (that’s the last stage).

Patching a PFD With an Iron on a patch

You should know that when a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric, it can only occur if the PFD is not stored properly. If the tear isn’t deep enough to cut the PFD, an expert can patch it together and fix a tear in the outer fabric. But it should be perfect, so it doesn’t affect the PFD’s performance. (Read How Much Weight Can A Kayak Hold)

Use Duct Tape On Your Personal Flotation Device

In this situation, changing your PFD is the best option because they are likely to become unreliable. If a PFD has a tear, fix the torn part with duct tape and let it dry. (Find the Best Kayak For Dogs)

Replace the PFD

If you’re still not convinced and wondering what to do if your PFD has a tear in the outer fabric, you should know that PFDs are required to be in perfect condition at all times by boating legislation. They should also be conveniently available, so if you keep them all wrapped up, you may end up in trouble. Replace your PFD, so this doesn’t happen.

When Properly Adjusted, A PFD Should?

A correctly fitted PFD will not ride above the wearer’s ears or mouth. It should be comfy to wear as well. Here’s a simple test to make a sure fit. Adjust your PFD’s straps to a snug fit.

Some tears are plainly visible, while others are buried. Here are some tips for finding PFD tears.

  • Large Tears: The Personal Flotation Device may occasionally have obvious tears that can be seen, even from a distance. Examine the tear to see if it can be repaired or if the PFD needs to be replaced.
  • Oil Spills: If there is an oil spill, your PFD will lose its buoyancy. As soon as you notice the oil spills, it would help if you began planning how and when to replace the equipment. Otherwise, it may let you down when you need it most.
  • Webbing Missing: Make a point of replacing or replacing the PFD webbing if it is torn or ribbed.

If you use your PFD in salt water, rinse it and dry it before storing it. Similarly, if your life jacket has mud, sand, or other dirt that could affect the material or hardware, so ensure you rinse and dry it thoroughly before storing it.

After cleaning your PFD, hang it out to dry and away from direct sunlight and heat. Direct sunlight can expose the fabric to UV rays.

It’s even more crucial to hang your life jacket out of the way if you have pets, and you never know what critters could decide to take up home in your PFD if you are leaving it in a pile.

If you have an approved inflatable, you can inflate this and check for any leaks to make sure it remains buoyant and afloat when you want it to.

child with pfd

Should a Child’s PFD Fit Loosely?

When it comes to fitting youngsters, the same basic rule applies to adults: the PFD should be secure but not excessively tight.

The Coast Guard uses the phrase “comfortably snug.” It’s too big if you can’t get the life jacket to fit snugly. It’s too tiny if you can’t comfortably put it on your child and tighten it.

Keep in mind that the best life jacket is the one that is used. The easier it is to get tiny kids to wear a PFD, the more pleasant it is for everyone.

Every PFD manufacturer has its own sizing scheme, so double-check sizing before buying any life jacket. To determine the size PFD your child will require, use the PFD manufacturer’s sizing chart.

Like with all the above, you need to inspect these for wear and tear as kids play and catch their PFD on something. Extra precautions should be taken, as they may be under swimming age and panic more should their personal flotation device fail.

A child’s life vest or PFD has a tear; it is more important to ensure it’s in good condition. You would need to fix a tear with patching rather than duct tape and not reduce any flotation performance or further tearing.

What Should You Do With A Torn PFD (2)