How many life jackets are required on a boat

How many life jackets are required on a boat?

Your boat just isn’t complete without life jackets. They are required on all boats, and if you don’t have enough for everyone on board, it’s time to buy more. In the United States, a boat is required to have one life jacket for every person on board. That means that if you are going out with five friends and there are four lifejackets onboard, someone will be without one. Isn’t that terrible?

Life Jackets aren’t something you want to skimp on when it comes to boating safety. You can purchase them at your local sporting goods store or online from places like Amazon.

“The law is clear on this: “Each person onboard a boat must wear an approved life jacket.”

Life Jacket
Each person must have a wearable life jacket regardless of age

How many life jackets are required on a boat when a boat (16 ft) carries 6 adults and 2 children

If your boat carries 6 adults and 2 children, you will need 6 adult-size and 2 child-size jackets. That is 8 life jackets in total, and again you must have Type 4 throwable PFD on board for 16 ft. and above boats.

Kids life jacket
Child life jacket

It’s always a good idea to keep an extra life jacket handy. After all, if one were to suddenly spring a hole, you will have a replacement handy. In addition, it’s important to make sure that everyone has the right size PFD.

When boating with a large group of people, it’s always a good idea to make sure everyone is where they are supposed to be. This will help you avoid tragedy and ensure that your boat runs as smoothly as possible.

Life jacket storage ideas on boat

When storing life jackets in your boat, be sure they are durable and easy to find. A simple way to do this is by keeping them in a weatherproof bag or box that will easily fit in any corner aboard your vessel. You can also purchase a variety of life jacket storage bags that will keep the jackets out of site, while still making them quick and easy to grab in case of an emergency.

Life Jackets Storage Bag
Life Jackets Storage Bag

A life jacket holder would be a great addition to any boat. They are relatively inexpensive and help you organize your crew as well as keep everyone safe.

Log Kayak Rack For Life Jacket
Log Kayak Rack For Life Jacket

A dry, cool, dark place is where you want to keep your life jackets. This will help make sure that they are in tip-top shape when you need them.

Do not bend or roll them, and make sure they have plenty of airflow. Do not store your life jackets in the engine compartment or any other hot location where they may trap excess heat.

Do not place heavy objects on them, or they may be permanently deformed.

Do not store them in or around gasoline, oil, and other fuel sources.

Life jackets must be replaced every five years, so make sure that they are still within their expiration date. Check the tags for dates and replace them as necessary.

If you keep your life jackets clean and safe from harm, they will last a lifetime. So get out there and enjoy your boat.

When it comes to boating safety, you need to make sure that everyone has a life jacket on at all times. Remember, wearing a PFD is not only the law, it’s for your safety as well. These tips can help ensure that everyone on board is prepared for anything.

Life Jacket safety tips for you

Make sure you have the right size of a life jacket. And they are U.S. Coast Guard approved.

Some life jackets can only be used by children or adults, therefore read the instructions tag of a jacket before buying it for your loved ones.

Life jacket safety tips
Life jacket safety tips/ Image taken from BoatUS foundation

Make sure that all PFDs are in good condition. If they are not you have to replace them immediately otherwise you won’t be able to rely on them as well when called upon in an emergency. Keep PFDs clean and out of the sun.

It is necessary for the skipper to know where are all the life jackets stored on a boat. How many, and where were they put? They should know how to properly wear their PFDs.

Always have a spare life jacket in case of damage or when it was out of service then you can use this instead. It’s also good to always check their expiration date as well.

Life jacket inspection and maintenance are a must. How you take care of your PFD now will determine how well they work when needed in case of an emergency.


If you’re wondering how many life jackets are required on a boat, the answer is actually quite simple. Every person on board needs to have their own PFD that’s the right size for them and they need to be wearing it at all times while underway or when in an exposed area of your vessel. For those who are unfamiliar with what we mean by “the right size,” this refers to whether someone is wearing a child-sized life jacket or an adult-sized one. Your best bet would be to check out our blog post about how to pick the perfect personal flotation device.

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