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Life Jacket Loaner Program
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Life Jacket Loaner Program Application Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in becoming a BoatUS Foundation Life Jacket Loaner site! Please read over these guidelines below for more information on the program. To find out when applications are next available, follow us on Facebook. Already have a life jacket loaner program established outside of the Foundation's program? Click here to complete a short survey to have your location listed on the Foundation's Life Jacket Loaner Location Map.

How the Program Works

Each group will receive a kit containing 12 lifejackets and a publicity kit. Here's how the program works:

  • At your waterfront marina, boat ramp, store, or restaurant, families can borrow a life jacket for the day or weekend through your Life Jacket Loaner site.
  • The borrowing family will provide your staff with basic information to borrow life jacket: name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, and anticipated return date (we’ll provide the form). There is no charge for the use of life jackets.
  • A staff member or volunteer will log their information and distribute the appropriate–sized life jacket.
  • The borrowing family returns the jacket. In the event they forget where to return it, the jacket has an attached return tag.

Designed to be a Partnering Program

The BoatU.S. Foundation advocates partnerships between volunteer organizations (i.e. U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, U.S. Power Squadrons or others) and boating businesses. The volunteer group provides personnel, experience, and dedication to service. The boating business attracts the boating public, provides set hours of operations, and the site for loaner program operation. Each of these contributions is critical to the success of the program. Partnerships are not mandatory for participation, but they are encouraged.


While the Foundation encourages all groups to apply for this program, groups that limit the usage to an exclusive membership or club, or that profit from the use of the life jackets, or are otherwise required to provide life jackets are not eligible for participation. The Foundation is looking for loaner sites that have regular hours for borrowers to pick up and drop of the life jackets. The life jackets must be available to the general boating public at staffed locations that can log out the life jackets and securely store the life jackets when they are not in use. This program is not intended for the funding of loaner boards or stocking patrol boats.

You’ll receive

  • All materials are provided to your organization free of charge.
  • 12 jackets in Infant, Child and Youth sizes with return identification tags attached.
  • Weather-resistant storage bin.
  • Promotional signs and flyers.
  • A log book to record loan information.
  • Sample press kit to aid in local promotion.

What You'll Provide

  • A highly visible location with regular hours for loaning life jackets such as a marina, ship’s store or fuel dock.
  • Personnel to distribute and collect life jackets and record loan information.
  • Local promotional efforts.
  • Feedback to BoatU.S. Foundation to help promote the site and the nationwide program on a quarterly basis such as survey responses, testimonials and stories or saves (video or pictures especially).
  • Signed contract stating you agree to the terms of the program.

About the BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water

The BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is an innovative leader promoting safe, clean and responsible boating. The Foundation provides educational outreach directly to boaters, and supports partner organizations nationwide. With millions of boaters on the water, our aim is to reduce accidents and fatalities, increase stewardship of our waterways and keep boating a safe and enjoyable pastime.

The BoatU.S. Foundation is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Our work is primarily funded by grants and individual donations.

Photo above left: courtesy HRM.

©2007, BoatU.S. Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water