Photo courtesy of John Potter, Severn Sailing Association,
Annapolis, Maryland.

What is the Teens Afloat Life Jacket Purchase Program for all about?

The BoatU.S. Foundation has found that teens are an underserved niche for life jacket programs. Through a grant from the Brunswick Public Foundation, the BoatU.S. Foundation is now able to offer a limited number of organizations the chance to purchase life jackets for their teen on-the-water education programs. This pilot program offers discounted adult-sized life jackets to organizations who regularly and frequently take teens on the water.

Who can apply?

Only non-profit organizations with 501 (c)(3) status may apply. No government organizations are eligible for this program.

What type of programs does my non-profit have to conduct?

Preference for life jacket purchases will be given to established organizations that will use the life jackets immediately and will continue to use them on a regular and frequent basis with teenagers. Organizations should already conduct frequent on-the-water programs, like educational boat trips or kayak excursions, for example. Organizations which also incorporate boating safety and clean water education into their programs will be favored

What kind of life jackets are available?

The Type III life jackets are all one size and will fit most kids and teens over 90 lbs. They are open-sided and adjustable for a chest size of 30 to 52”.

What do they look like?

The life jackets are a vest-style Type III. They are yellow with blue straps, silkscreened with a BoatU.S. Foundation logo. The jackets are good quality and sell for about $15.00 retail.

How much will the life jackets cost me?

Through the Foundation, life jackets are $5.00 each. They will only be sold in boxes of 10, at $50 per box. No shipping or tax will be charged.

How many jackets can I request?

You may order between 10 and 50 jackets, but only in increments of 10.

How will I pay for the jackets?

When you apply to purchase jackets, you must send in a check for the cost of all the jackets you wish to purchase. Please send in the exact amount; there is no tax charged on the jackets. Once we have selected the participating organizations, we will either cash your check if you are accepted, or we will return the check to you if you were not.

What if I need smaller or larger sized life jackets?

At this time, the only jackets available for sale at a reduced rate are the universal adult size. If you would like to purchase other sized jackets at a normal wholesale rate, please call the BoatU.S. Wholesale department at 1-800-365-9283. If you need smaller jackets for occasional use, consider becoming a “Life Jacket Loaner Program for Kids” participant in 2003 by visiting

When will I receive my jackets?

Qualified groups received their jackets at the end of August 2002.

So what’s the catch?

We want you to include some elements of boating safety and environmental education in your program. Maybe you already do this—if so, great! In case you need some more ideas, when you get your life jackets, we’ll also send you a list of ideas and suggestions about how you can better educate teens about boating safety and environmental issues. The inclusion of these topics in your programs is essential, so we encourage you to use the topics and techniques we provide, or get creative in developing your own innovative ways of educating teens!

In several months, we’ll be contacting you to find out how your programs are going. At this time, we’d like to get a one-page report detailing how you’ve worked boating safety and environmental education into your on-the-water programs. Additionally, we’d like a minimum of three photographs that show teens in your program enjoying activities on the water while wearing the life jackets we’ve provided you.

Thanks for your interest!


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