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What’s the Best PFD?

Do you have the right PFD ‘s (personal floating device) on your boat?

Life JacketStop! Before you take your boat out make sure you have the the right PFDs. There are several different types and each one has a classification by the US Coast Guard (USCG). So when you head out for a day of boating, fishing, waterskiing, or other watersport make sure you have the right one.

Below is a list of the different types and descriptions of PFDs.



Life Jacket Classification Guide

Type I PFD – Off-Shore Life Jacket

  • All waters
  • Open ocean
  • Rough seas
  • or remote water, where rescue may be slow coming.

Type II PFD – Near-Shore Buoyancy Vest

  • Calm waters
  • Inland waters
  • or where there is a quick rescue possible.



Type III PFD – Flotation Aid

  • General Boating
  • Calm inland waters
  • Specialized activity, like water skiing, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and others.
  • or where there is a quick rescue possible.

Type IV PFD – Throwable Device

  • Calm, inland water with heavy boat traffic wear rescue is always possible.
  • Designed to be thrown to a conscious person in the water and to be held onto until rescued.
  • These devices include buoyant cushions, ring buoys and horseshoe buoys.

It’s always a good idea to practice safe boating.  Be sure to check the condition of your life jackets before heading out. And make sure you always have enough life jackets for everyone on board.

For more details about PFDs, United States Coast Guard


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