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Definitely.
I believe all the coast guard requires is a PFD, audible signal (whistle will do), white hand held light if in darkness.

Some states may require more or that PFD is worn or worn at certain times of the year.

Minimum requirements are pretty meaningless, you need to look at what you need for safety. Think seriously about what you are wearing.
 

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Thanks Weasel,

You're absolutely correct about the issue being truly about "real safety", not legal requirements. And that's on top of my mind as well and how I would most likely prepare for my outings.

But in addition, I just wanted to know the legal side to it all because I just hate being hassled and being ticketed and have the authority push the weight of their badge around recklessly...

The whole point of me going out on the water is to 'escape' from some of this city life & civilization madness...
 
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