You do have to actually wear an inflatable to be "legal" but I'd rather have one on than see my "reachable" PFD float away after I've been unceremoniously turtled by some brainless skiboat driver.
One other option that executes two bushy birds in your hand: Replace or augment your 'yak seat with a boat cushion. Adds to your butt comfy level and provides a legal and throwable PFD as well.
YakCatcher Rod Holder
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