Life Jacket Loaner Program Application Guidelines

Thanks for your interest in becoming a BoatUS Foundation Life Jacket Loaner site! The application deadline for 2013 has passed. Applications will be available again in early 2015. Please read over the guidelines below for more information on the program.  To stay up to date with the program, follow us on Facebook.

Already have a life jacket loaner program established outside of the Foundation's program? You may complete a short survey and 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.

How to Apply

The application cycle for 2013 has closed. Applications will be available again in early 2015.

  • Only Applications submitted through the online form will be considered for the program.
  • Applications must include at least one image that will be displayed during public voting.
  • These images can include picture of the proposed site and/or your logo.
  • The best applications will move on to the voting page. Voting will begin in April.
  • Applicants should promote their project to their members, community and local media to encourage voting.
  • The applications with the most votes will be awarded life jacket loaner kits.
  • All applicants must agree to the Term and Conditions of the Program listed on the Application.


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 Will 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 Will 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