PFDs: It’s Not About Style
The U.S. Coast Guard requires that there must always have an approved Personal Floatation Device, or PFD, on any recreational boat. The number and type depends on the people on board, the size and type of boat, and the type of boating done. A simple rule of thumb (and basic common sense) says that all boats, regardless of size and length, must have enough lifejackets for each person aboard. Boats 16 feet and over must also a “throwable” LifeSaver on board.
There are three kinds of U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets for use.
Inherently Buoyant – the basic foam PFD recommended for adults and children; rugged and easy to maintain.
Inflatable PFD –The air chamber inflates either automatically or manually upon submersion, and can automatically turn an unconscious person face up. But it is not suitable for children, and requires regular maintenance and Coast Guard inspected and approved.
Hybrid PFD – Combines both foam and inflation. Good for adults and children and for both swimmers and non-swimmers.
There are four basic types Life Jackets:
Type I – recommended for use in offshore or rough waters where rescue may be delayed. It can turn an unconscious person over to their back.
Type II – recommended for near shore boating activities where quick rescue is available.
Type III – floatation aid for use in calm waters in areas where fast rescue is “possible”.
Type IV – a ”throwable” PFD required on boats 16 feet or longer; available in “cushion” or “life ring” style; and with different “weights” of buoyancy.
Basically, the safety of your crew and passengers is based on the condition of the boat they’re on. A well-maintained and protected boat means that those PFD’s won’t be needed very often.
CMC Canvas LLC provides high quality protection for the owner’s boat, as well as protecting the owner’s investment as well.