Get your inflatable life jackets ready for the season

April 2015 Industry Web Exclusive

As boating season gets into full swing, we've been highlighting some of the things you should be doing to get your house--or boat--in order so you're prepared. Today we're sharing BoatUS's tips for making sure your inflatable life jackets are up to snuff.

  1. Open it up - Pretty simple one, here. Open her up and do an inspection. Make sure the buckles and straps are good shape and that there are no tears or abrasions.
  2. Remove the cartridge - Take it out to ensure it hasn't been used and check both the cartridge and the mechanism for signs of corrosion.
  3. Inflate it - Use the manual inflation valve and blow up the vest like a balloon. This is your backup if the CO2 cartridge fails, so make sure you know how it works.
  4. Leave it alone - Let the inflated jacket sit for 24 hours to ensure that it doesn't have any holes. Use this time to reflect on life, meditate, or, I guess you could work on other things on your boat, too.
  5. Final check - After the day is up, if your jacket still holds air, you're good to go. Follow the instructions on the inside flap on how to repack it and stow it in your boat in the appropriate place.

Once you've done this with all of your life jackets, you're ready for a safe season on the water. For more information about inflatables, visit BoatUS's page for some hands-on videos.

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