46 CFR 160.077-15 - Construction and Performance - Recreational Hybrid PFD.

§ 160.077-15 Construction and Performance - Recreational Hybrid PFD.


(1) Each recreational hybrid PFD must be able to pass the tests in § 160.077-19.

(2) Each recreational hybrid PFD must -

(i) If second stage donning is required, have an obvious method for doing it;

(ii) If it is to be marked as Type II or Type V providing Type I or II performance, not require second stage donning to achieve that performance;

(iii) Be capable of being worn while inflated at 60 N (13 lb.) of buoyancy without significantly changing its appearance from, or making it significantly less comfortable than, the uninflated condition;

(iv) Not cause significant discomfort to the wearer during and after inflation; and

(v) If it has a manual or automatic inflation mechanism and can be put on inside out, not restrict breathing when donned inside out, adjusted to fit, and inflated.

(b)Construction; General. Each recreational hybrid PFD must -

(1) Have one or more inflation chambers;

(2) Have at least one oral means of inflation on each inflation chamber;

(3) Have at least one automatic inflation mechanism that inflates at least one chamber, if marked as providing Type I or II performance;

(4) Be constructed so that the intended method of donning is obvious to an untrained wearer;

(5) Not have a channel that can direct water to the wearer's face to any greater extent than that of the reference vest defined in § 160.077-3(j).

(6) Have a retainer for each adjustable closure to prevent any part of the closure from being easily removed from the PFD;

(7) If marked as universally sized for wearers weighing over 40 kg (90 pounds), have a chest size range of at least 76 to 120 cm (30 to 52 in.);

(8) Not have means of access to any inherently buoyant inserts;

(9) Not have edges, projections, or corners, either external or internal, that are sufficiently sharp to damage the PFD or cause injury to anyone using or maintaining the PFD;

(10) Be of first quality workmanship;

(11) Unless otherwise allowed by the approval certificate -

(i) Not incorporate means obviously intended for attaching the PFD to the vessel; and

(ii) Not have any instructions indicating that attachment is intended;

(12) Except as otherwise required by this section, meet UL Standard 1517, sections 6.14, 6.20, 7.1, 7.3, 7.8, 8.4, and 9; and

(13) Provide the minimum buoyancies specified in Table 160.077-15(b)(13).

Table 160.077-15(b)(13) - Buoyancy for Recreational Hybrid PFDs

Adult Youth Small child
Inherent buoyancy (deflated condition):
Type II 45 N (10 lb) 40 N (9 lb) 30 N (7 lb)
Type III 45 N (10 lb) 40 N (9 lb) N/A
Type V 33 N (7.5 lb) 34 N (7.5 lb) N/A
Total buoyancy (inflated condition):
Type II 100 N (22 lb) 67 N (15 lb) 53 N (12 lb)
Type III 100 N (22 lb) 67 N (15 lb) N/A
Type V 100 N (22 lb) 67 N (15 lb) N/A

(14) Meet any additional requirements that the Commandant may prescribe, if necessary, to approve unique or novel designs.

(c)Inflation mechanism.

(1) Each inflation mechanism on a recreational hybrid PFD must -

(i) Not require tools to activate it or replace its inflation medium cartridge or water sensitive element;

(ii) Have an intended method of operation that is obvious to an untrained wearer; and

(iii) Be located outside of its inflation chamber.

(2) Each oral inflation mechanism must -

(i) Be designed to operate without pulling on the mechanism;

(ii) Not be capable of locking in the open or closed position except that, a friction-fit dust cap that only locks in the closed position may be used; and

(iii) Have a non-toxic mouthpiece.

(3) Each automatic and manual inflation mechanism must -

(i) Have a simple method for replacing the inflation medium cartridge; and

(ii) Be in a ready-to-use condition or be conspicuously marked to indicate that the inflation mechanism is not in a ready-to-use condition and that the purchaser must assemble it.

(4) Each manual inflation mechanism must -

(i) Provide an easy means of inflation that requires only one deliberate action on the part of the wearer to actuate it; and

(ii) Be operated by pulling on an inflation handle that is marked “Jerk to Inflate” at two visible locations.

(5) Each automatic inflation mechanism must -

(i) Have an obvious method for indicating whether the mechanism has been activated; and

(ii) Be incapable of assembly without its water sensitive element.

(6) The marking required for the inflation handle of a manual inflation mechanism must be waterproof, permanent, and readable from a distance of 2.5 m (8 ft.).

(d)Deflation mechanism.

(1) Each inflation chamber must have its own deflation mechanism.

(2) Each deflation mechanism must -

(i) Be readily accessible to either hand when the PFD is worn while inflated;

(ii) Not require tools to operate it;

(iii) Have an intended method of operation that is obvious to an untrained wearer, and

(iv) Not be able to be locked in the open or closed position.

(3) The deflation mechanism may be the oral inflation mechanism.

(e)Sewn seams. Stitching used in each structural seam of a PFD must provide performance equal to or better than a Class 300 Lockstitch meeting Federal Standard No. 751.

[CGD 78-174, 50 FR 33928, Aug. 22, 1985, as amended by CGD 78-174A, 51 FR 4351, Feb. 4, 1986; CGD 78-174, 60 FR 2487, Jan. 9, 1995]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.

United States Code
Presidential Documents

Executive Order ... 12234

Title 46 published on 2015-12-02

The following are ALL rules, proposed rules, and notices (chronologically) published in the Federal Register relating to 46 CFR Part 160 after this date.

  • 2016-07-22; vol. 81 # 141 - Friday, July 22, 2016
    1. 81 FR 48220 - Harmonization of Standards for Fire Protection, Detection, and Extinguishing Equipment
      GPO FDSys XML | Text
      Final rule.
      This final rule is effective August 22, 2016. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register on August 22, 2016.
      33 CFR Parts 140, 145, 148, and 149