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How to Properly Choose a Life Jacket for Your New Boat

May 10, 2021
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Your life jacket is like a bike helmet: it might feel goofy and clunky, but it helps protect you! There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a life jacket. To start, the life jacket must be approved by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG). Just look for the USCG stamp inside the jacket to make sure it’s approved and you check that part off the list!

Now, let’s talk about style. Since you’ll be rocking the life jacket while you’re on your boat, you’ll want to feel comfortable!

Try on the life jacket before you buy it. Check the fit. The life jacket should be a snug fit while still letting you move freely: not too big, not too small, but just right for your weight and size!

In the try-on stage, fasten the life jacket, hold your arms over your head, and make sure you don’t have too much room above the arm openings. Ensure the jacket doesn’t ride up over your face or your chin either.

If you’re traveling to an area with inland water, a vest-type jacket would be your best bet. The vest-type life jacket can help you easily flip into a face-up position and stay afloat if you fall in the water.

If you’re venturing out to rough waters, it’s recommended that you choose an offshore life jacket. This style is bulkier than the vest-type and offers increased flotation.

Wherever you go, life jackets are easily accessible for any type of boater. Stay safe and pick up the right style to enjoy riding in your new boat! Then, share your photos with us @chaparralboats and tag #LoveWhereYouLake.

Looking for the right boat? Contact your Authorized Chaparral dealership for answers to your questions.