This Captain’s Report is sponsored by the good people at Allstate Insurance. They have been insuring boaters for over 40 years.
Whether you call them life jackets, personal floatation devices or simply PFDs, the U.S. Coast Guard enforces minimum requirements for you to have on your boat: one PFD that fits properly for each person onboard.
Minimum Requirements. The U.S. Coast Guard minimum requirements of one properly fitting PFD for each person onboard is just the minimum. It is recommended to carry more than the minimum just in case you invite more people to ride along at the spur of the moment. When boating, it is always best to be prepared.
There are five different types of PFDs, logically numbered I through V.
Shown above is a type II, and the most popular one. Of course, the best PFD is the one that gets worn, and that’s especially true for children.
If you’re not happy with that basic type II, there’s all kinds of alternatives. Some find an inflatable like the one shown above is more comfortable and right for them.
To keep children happy and in their PFD, they can have their favorite cartoon characters on their life vests.
There are also inflatable jackets. With so many choices, there really is no excuse for you not to wear a PFD at all times.
Now PFDs come in different sizes. So it’s important that you have the right size for the right fit. You should also bring extra because you never know when you’re going to have additional friends join you on your boat.
Type I PFDs are your heavy-duty offshore jackets. Type II PFDs were shown previously. Type III PFDs are ski vests, like the one shown above.
Type IV PFDs are your throwable devices. You need to keep these handy at all times.
These are used by putting your arms through the straps and hugging it while you are in the water.
It’s a Coast Guard requirement that you have these on board to use it; as soon as you have a person overboard, you send it out to them.
Type V PFDs are inflatables like the one shown above.
New life jackets often come wrapped up in plastic. They need to be readily accessible, and wrapped in plastic is not accessible. Before leaving the dock, take the plastic off.
Allstate knows the importance of boating safety. They handed out more than 75 hundred children’s life jackets last year during their safety weekends. They also know it’s important to be prepared, and the right boater’s insurance policy can help.