Boating Tips

Boating Tips: Lifejackets and PFDs

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The main difference between a lifejacket and a PFD is that a lifejacket is designed to turn a person from being face down in the water to face up in the water, allowing them to breathe. A PFD is used more typically for recreational boating and is generally smaller, less bulky and more comfortable than a lifejacket. Standard issue lifejackets must be orange, red or yellow in colour and have a whistle attached. Today, many PFDs are designed to suit specific sports such as fishing, skiing, kayaking, canoeing and rafting.


1. Does it have a large collar for head support?
2. Does it have a grab strap?
3. Does it fit properly?
4. Does it have reflective tape sewn into it and does it have a bright, highly visible colour?
5. Does it have a safety strap between the legs to prevent it from falling off?
6. Does the safety strap have a buckle to secure it?
7. Does it have a neck tie?
8. Does it have a sturdy rust-proof zip?
9. Is it an approved PFD and not just a cheap knockoff?
10. Does it have a waist tie or elastication on the front and back for a snug fit?


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