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Boating & Marine Accessories

What are the Six Types of Buoyancy Aids?

A life jacket should be selected to match the specific boating practice. A buoyancy limit of 7-12 pounds is practical for most adults.

Inflatable Life Jacket

Here are six of the most effective buoyancy aids in the market:

Offshore

An offshore life jacket is a reliable option for keeping the boater safe in open and rough waters. This style of life jacket is designed to automatically turn the wearer so their face is up while also providing a good 18-22 pounds of buoyancy. A heavy-duty safety aid of this nature is the preferred option for those sailing in remote locations that might need more time to wait for the rescue services.

Near shore

A near shore buoyancy vest is similar to the classic style of the life jacket and is a practical choice for those sailing in inland or calm waters. Plus, these adult or child size life jackets are more effective when fast rescue is likely. This is a much more cost-effective alternative of the offshore version and certain brands still have the ability to turn the person face-up if knocked unconscious.

Buoyancy aid

A versatile buoyancy aid is the most comfortable option and a practical choice for a variety of water sports and activities. This life jacket comes in several sizes and styles and best in situations that permit a fast rescue service. Also, the basic buoyancy aid isn’t able to help with turning the unconscious person.

Throwable

A throwable device (horseshoe buoys, ring buoys, and boat cushions) is made and designed to be easy to throw into the water to help a person that has fallen overboard. This type of device isn’t intended to be worn. Several of these throwable devices should be kept on board in the event of an emergency – but they aren’t a practical choice for the unconscious person, non-swimmers, or small children.

Specific use

A specific use device consists of the hybrid life jackets, inflatable life jacket w/ ORC/ISAF harness, work vests, pullover vests, deck suits, and boardsailing vests. Most of these wearable life jackets or vests are only practical for certain situations.

Inflatable

An inflatable life jacket comes with an inflatable chamber that is built to give the desired level of assistance once inflated. Prior to inflating the life jacket, it is significantly smaller in size compared to the more traditional life saving devices. This type of life jacket can provide a variety of functions. It can vary in relation to the inflation mechanism, in-water performance, and amount of buoyancy. By determining the details of the specific life jacket it is possible to determine the specific use of the device. Plus, for extra safety most of the inflatable life jackets come with a built-in back up system.

Each buoyancy device comes with an owners manual or jacket label which will clearly outline the specific use of the intended device.

In summary

A approve life jacket (at the appropriate size) is needed on board for each person to comply with current rules and regulations. Plus, a throwable devise should be included on boats at 16-ft or more.

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