Life Vests / PFD requirements

Thread starter #1
I need to get my PFDs to be legal on the water, but I'm wondering what I should buy.

First, this is probably a stupid question, but I assume that we at the very least must have what all boats must have.... 1 PFD per crew and at least 1 throwable. Is that correct?

Second, in all the photos I see most everyone is wearing comfortable fitting PWC type jackets (I forget if those are Class I, II, or III) Is it a class rule that racers must wear their PFDs and therefore everyone is spending the money to get something that will be comfortable or am I just seeing people using good safety sense?
The rules depend on the state you live in. Here, each person has to have a Type I, II, III or V wearable PFD, and boats over 16 feet must have a throwable Type IV PFD easily at hand. While the type IV PFDs are not required here, I keep a couple on board for use as cushions for my wife and son, who usually start complaining about their seats after an hour or two. Besides that, when I’m at the lake, I never know when I might see somebody who needs assistance.

I initially tried the common sport/ski vest, but it was too bulky for my liking.

I then bought a Class III Extrasport ( vest that was designed for sailing and rowing. (It is listed in the rowing section, but inside the vest, it claims to be for rowing and sailing.) It fits well above the waist and has large armholes, which allows for an excellent range of movement. I found it at Academy by the rowing gear and canoes. The colors online only show yellow and black, but at Academy, they also had it in red and blue.

Sailing PFDs: