2015 New York Safe Boating - 14
To protect yourself and your passengers, there is certain
safety equipment that the law requires you to carry on
your boat. The equipment we will discuss will satisfy
both state and federal safety requirements for boats. But
more importantly, having the equipment we cover in this
section, and using it properly, may be vital to survival in an
emergency. See the checklist on page 81 to find out what
you need to carry on your boat.
boats 16 feet and greater in length also must carry a Type IV
US Coast Guard Approval
Effective for all waters, this type
of PFD provides the most buoyancy. They are designed to turn
unconscious wearers in the water
to a face-up position. There are two sizes: adult, with 22 lbs
of buoyancy; and the children's size with 11 lbs of buoyancy.
If you are going boating in areas where rescue may be delayed, this is the PFD to have.
Types of Personal
Off-Shore Life Jacket
(Type I PFD)
Throughout this chapter we will
reference safety equipment that is
"US Coast Guard Approved". The
purpose of approval is to confirm that
the safety equipment has been tested
and been found to meet the regulatory
requirements relating to performance,
construction and materials used at
the time of manufacture. Each approved device will be
marked by a label, or a stamp. This mark must be visible and
readable in order for the piece to be considered US Coast
Near-Shore Buoyant Vest (Type II PFD)
The near-shore buoyant vest is
intended for calm, inland water,
where there is a good chance of
a quick rescue. This type of PFD
may turn some wearers over to a
face-up position, but the turning
action is not as pronounced nor
as effective as the Type I device.
The adult vest provides 15.5 lbs.
of buoyancy, and the child's vest
It is no longer required to use type coding on a PFD.
However manufacturers will continue to use these codes
until newer labels are designed and approved. Current PFD
that have Type I-V on their labels will be legal to sell and
wear for the useful life of the jacket.
Flotation Aid (Type III PFD)
Good for calm, inland water,
where there is a good chance for
immediate rescue. These are designed for special recreational activities such as water skiing. The
Type III provides the same buoyancy as the Type II, but without any
turning ability, so wearers must
place themselves in the face up position. They come in many
colors and styles, and in general, are the most comfortable
type of PFDs available. There are PFD specifically designed for
various activities such as waterskiing, fishing and hunting.
Buoyancy is the force that
counteracts the gravitational forces
on a person in water. Most of
us don't have enough natural
buoyancy to keep afloat, so if we
fall in the water, we'll sink. In
order to stay afloat, we need
a personal floatation device,
or PFD. PFDs provide additional
buoyancy and used correctly, can keep a person
afloat for hours. The person using a properly sized PFD will be
able to keep their head above water to breathe without the
exertion of treading water. This can be the difference between
life and death in an emergency. Life jackets, life vests, and
throwable floatation devices are all versions of PFDs.
(Type IV Flotation
These PFDs are designed to
be thrown to a person in the
water, and grasped and held
until rescued. These devices
are not intended to be worn.
Every pleasure boat floating or sailing in New York State
waters must carry at least one wearable US Coast Guard
Approved PFD, for each person on board. This applies to all
boats, including canoes, kayaks and rowboats. In addition,