PFD Has a Tear In The Outer Fabric? (3 Things To Do)

Fact Checked By James A Rockey | Post Updated On: October 9, 2020
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Personal Floatation devices are one of the best safety equipment which is designed to keep the wearer afloat on the water no matter what the condition is. They are one of the most reliable safety equipment for those who want to keep themselves safe while enjoying the water.
The PFD must be in the proper size and a suitable condition.

It is very important to note that PFDs work fine when appropriately stored and kept in good condition.

But still, there are some issues to keep in mind when you wear your stored PFD next time you plan for a kayak ride.

What should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric?

There are 3 things you can do to fix your PFD if you see a tear on the fabic. Either you have to patch the tear with iron on a patch by an patchwork expert. Or, you have to use a 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 (thats the last stage). 

Let’s explore each one of them in detail – 

1. Patching the PFD (Iron on a patch) : 

In case you are wondering what should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric , you should keep in mind that this can only happen if you have not taken care of storing the PFD the right way. If the tear is not deep enough to cut through the PFD, you can get an expert to do a patchwork on it. But it should be perfect so that it does not affect the performance of your PFD.

2. Use a Duct Tape: 

The best thing you can do in this condition is that you can change your PFD because they are likely to be unreliable from now on. Use a duct tape to fix the torn part and let it dry for next use. 

3. Get a new PFD (Replace the torned one): 

If you are still not convinced and you are still wondering what should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric , you should know that the boating laws state that the PFD should be in perfect condition all the time. Moreover, they should be easily accessible, which means that if you have kept them all wrapped up, there is a good chance that you might end up in trouble.

What should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric?
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How To Inspect Your PFD (The Right Way)

PFD is something that needs to be regularly checked and inspected for any faults. You must look for the following issues which might happen with the PFD. In case of any of these faults, you must change it immediately-

  • Torn, missing or ripped webbing: in this case you have to replace your PFD. 
  • Rotten material: its a sign you should take granted inspect your jacket thoroughly. 
  • Large tears or rips: repair your jacket if possible. 
  • Damaged or broken hardware: your pfd is not longer secured on water and can’t help you on this stage. So, lets get rid of it or hire an expert who can fix this for you. 
  • Oil spills, as it can affect buoyancy

How To Store Your PFD So That It Stays Untorned or Intact For Long? 

Now that you know your PFD is not in the perfect shape, and you are looking for answers to “ what should you do if a PFD has a tear in the outer fabric ?” You should take this as a lesson and take all the precautions to keep your PFD safe from any damage.

The best way to ensure the safety of PFD is by storing the PFD right way from now on. Given below are the steps you must take to keep your PFD away from any potential damage-

  • Always store the PFD and other floating devices in a dry area which is also cool.
  • Make sure that the place where they are stored has enough ventilation, as this will avoid the rotting of the hardware and other parts.
  • Never place them in direct sunlight as the UV rays can adversely affect the quality of the material.
  • Hang the PFD up as much as possible instead of putting them on a shelf or something.

By following these steps, you can keep your PFD perfect and never face any problem while using them.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How to care for your PFD? 

– Always avoid your PDF to be exposed to direct sun for so long as it damages the PFD surface slowly. 

– If it gets dirty with muds or salt-water, then after finishing your ride; clean it with soft water. 

What are the equipments you need to clean your PFD?

You must need a plastic bowl, cleaning brush, water hose and a drying rack (to make your PDF Dry for next use). 

What are the Life Jacket Rules and Approval laws? 

According to the U.S Coast Guard, your PFD must be USCG approved and should come with proper label where you will see required information like the size of the person will fit in that PFD, special care instructions and the use of the jacket. Besides, you always store a PFD on your boat for every member of your kayak or boat according to the size of their body. 

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