Personal Floatation Devices (PFD) Cheat Sheet by Davidpol
About the different classes of PFD devices
safety personal guidelines devices recreation floatation pfd boating
The ideal PFD is one that you will wear. It should be comfortable, provide a secure fit, and offer maximum freedom of movement. All PFDs have advantages and disadvantages. You should consider the type of boating you do and your boating area, the temperature of the water, the probability of quick rescue, and whether or not you are going to wear the PFD every time you board your boat.
Tyoe I PFDS / Off-Shore Life Jackets
Best for all waters, open ocean, rough seas, or remote water, where rescue may be slow coming. Abandon-ship lifejacket for commercial vessels and all vessels carrying passengers for hire:
Inherently Buoyant Type I PFDs - SOLAS Service
Inherently Buoyant Type I PFDs - U.S. Service
Inflatable Type I PFDs - SOLAS and Domestic
Hybrid Type I PFDs - US Services
TYPE II PFDS / NEAR-SHORE BUOYANT VESTS
For general boating activities. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue.
Inherently Buoyant Type II PFDs
Inflatable Type II PFDs
Hybrid Type II PFDs
TYPE III PFDS / FLOTATION AIDS
For general boating or the specialized activity that is marked on the device such as water skiing, hunting, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and others. Good for calm, inland waters, or where there is a good chance for fast rescue. Designed so that wearing it will complement your boating activities:
Inherently Buoyant Type III PFDs
Inflatable Type III PFDs
Hybrid Type III PFDs
Type V PFDs / Special Use Devices
Only for special uses or conditions. See label for limits of use:
Hybrid Inflatable PFDs
Work Vests for Commercial Vessels
Commercial Whitewater Vests
Man-Overboard Rescue Devices
Law Enforcement Flotation Devices
Minimum Adult Buoyancy in Pounds (Newtons)
I - Inflatable
I - Buoyant Foam or Kapok
II - Inflatable
II - Buoyant Foam or Kapok
III - Inflatable
III - Buoyant Foam
IV - Ring Buoys
IV - Boat Cushions
V - Hybrid Inflatables
22.0 (Fully inflated) (100)
7.5 (Deflated) (34)
V - Special Use Device - Inflatable
22.0 to 34.0 (100 to 155)
V - Special Use Device - Buoyant Foam
15.5 to 22.0 (70 to 100)
Caring for Your PFD
Follow these points to be sure your PFD stays in good condition:
1. Don't alter your PFD. If yours doesn't fit, get one that does. Play it safe. An altered PFD may not save your life.
2. Don't put heavy objects on your PFD or use it for a kneeling pad or boat fender. PFDs lose buoyancy when crushed.
3. Let your PFD drip dry thoroughly before putting it away. Always stow it in a well-ventilated place.
4. Don't leave your PFD on board for long periods when the boat is not in use.
5. Never dry your PFD on a radiator, heater, or any other direct heat source.
6. Put your name on your PFD if you're the only wearer.
7. Practice throwing your Type IV PFD. Cushions throw best underhand.
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