How Old is Your PFD?
People and boats get old and so do Personal Flotation Devices, or PFDs. Like anything else. It eventually gets old and worn and need to be replaced. So when do you need to replace you PFDs? Look for broken zippers and frayed webbings. Those are obvious indicators, but the less obvious parts of a PFD need to be examined as well, including the PFD fabric itself that can be weakened by exposure to sunlight.
The most popular PFDs are Type II near-shore buoyant vests and Type III flotation aids. They are economical, durable, resistant to rot caused by microbes and come in a wide range of colors for the fashion conscious Boater. Nylon and polyester are plastics, and like many plastics they can eventually break down after exposure to sunlight. Any PFD with damaged fabric cover should be replaced. A simple test is pinching the fabric and tries to tear it; if the fabric tears discarded the PFD. PFDs used every day in direct sunlight will probably have to be replaced more often than boats used for vacations, weekends, and evening cruises will obviously have a longer “shelf life”.
When the boat is being operated, PFDs should be worn by everyone on board. If they are not being worn, they should at least be readily available. When the boat is not in use, PFDs should be left to dry and then stowed out of the sun.
A well maintained PFD is essential for safe boating, but even more important is the condition of the boat. Protecting you boat with quality Canvas Covering from CMC Canvas LLC can ensure you won’t need to use your PFD that much, if all.