Life Jacket Types. A boat should have all the legal equipment required to keep the passengers safe. Recreational vessels should have the basic life jackets on board in the proper sizes; there should be one life jacket for every person on board. There are five types of life jackets, and before choosing one, you should know their specific purpose.
Also known as personal flotation devices (PFDs), the major difference between the life jackets is the size. If you have pets on board, keep life jackets for them too.
All life jackets keep the wearer upright in the water to hold their mouth and noise outside the line of water. There are two versions of life jackets, including semi-rigid foam and inflatable.
Let’s take a look at the different life jackets to find out which one is the best for choppy waters:
Life Jacket Classifications
This life jacket is made of foam. These types of flotation devices are durable and available in different sizes. They last longer than other life jackets.
This life jacket is compact and comfortable. Some are inflated manually, and others have air chambers, which inflate automatically in the water.
This design combines inflation and foam. The hybrid life jacket is available in different sizes and is very comfortable to wear.
Life Jacket Types
Offshore Life Jackets
- Adults: 22 lbs.
- Children: 11 lbs.
This life jacket is for remote and rough waters, where rescue might be a little late. It provides excellent buoyancy, is great for flotation, and keeps the face of an unconscious person out of the water.
- Adults: 15.5 lbs.
This life jacket is for calm waters, where rescue is quick. Though it is very buoyant, it does not keep the face of an unconscious person out of the water.
- Adults: 15.5 lbs.
This life jacket is for calm waters, where rescue is quick. It does not offer full safety in rough waters because it will not turn the wearer’s face up. If you like skiing, wakeboarding, or surfing, you should wear this life jacket.
- Ring Buoy: 16.5 lbs.
- Boat Cushion: 18 lbs.
A boat longer than 16 ft. must have a Type IV life jacket. This heavy life jacket is not meant to be worn because few people can hold on to it. It is usually thrown in the water during rescue so that survivors can support themselves on it.
- Adults: From 15.5 lbs. to 22 lbs.
Last is the Type V life jacket is customized for specific sports, like windsurfing, kayaking, wakeboarding, etc. You must use this life jacket according to the instructions written on its label.
In conclusion, a Type I life jacket is for rough and choppy waters. It will help you stay afloat until rescue arrives.
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