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The Rule change applies from July 1st; off the beach cat sailors must wear:

- PFD Type 1 AS 1512 or AS 1499 Type 2 or AS 4758 level 100 or similar overseas standards approved by NSW Maritime

- Must be made in safety colours (red/ yellow)

- PFDs are to be worn at all times when afloat.

- It is recommended by YNSW that PFD’s are worn as the outermost garment (this does not appear to be included in sailing rules or marine regulations).

Not allowed:

- inflatable PFDs

- Type 3; not safety coloured

Yachting NSW info sheet: http://www.nsw.yachting.org.au/site/yachting/nsw/downloads/Safety/PFD%20YNSW%20Final.pdf

These new rules are incorporated into various state regulations. Eg: under the Marine Safety Act 1998 (NSW), Marine Safety (General) Amendment (Lifejackets) Regulation 2010, read at: http://www.maritime.nsw.gov.au/docs/policy/Reg2010-610.pdf

Each state may vary in the implementation of these Rules. This site indicates that Type 1 or 2 PFD is currently required in Victoria:


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i have been wearing the BURKE D2 jacket, but am now wearing my kayak paddling pfd2, i find they dont ride up at all. this is the one im wearing now (link)


you can get the identical pfd in a camo colour but it is classed as pfd3. due to safety reasons.HOWEVER!!!!! as tony pointed out, you risk DSQ if your NOT wearing a pfd2 or pfd1.

pretty much most people are wearing the same style, like the burke D2 $70


or gill pro racer etc. $90


i think the zhik do one also, a little more pricier tho. $130 (but is black!!! and they dont quote pfd1/2/3???)


the main thing is comfort and fit. remember, the PFD will save your life. dont buy cheap $hit.

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not explained clearly? Sorry, will try again.

Under Yachting Australia's 2009 Special Regulations, PFD Type 3 will not be acceptable after 07/2011.

The bottom line: need a Type 1 or Type 2, and not an inflatable one. But wait, there's more! PFD's are also being re-classified:

Level 150: inflatable off-shore yachting one

Level 100 (Type 1): has head support. Usually annoying as it flaps around and hits you in the head when going upwind

Level 50 (Type 2): is a vest, in red, yellow and sometimes with reflective stripes *Get one of these

Level 50S (Type 3): is a vest in other colours.

See: http://www.nmsc.gov.au/recreational_boating/index.php?MID=82&CID=77

Regards brands; there are plenty to choose from. I notice Gill also make PFD3 so don't choose by brand alone. Personally I recommend at least 2 adjustable side straps and adjustable shoulder straps; so can be the perfect fit.


Eg; leftthe Ultra Pinnacle, which has a built-on camel back that you're not allowed to use

and for the ladies right, the Ultra Rewa Ladies is shaped to fit around boobs better

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It looks like Standards Australia is not saying existing approved equipment needs to be replaced - just that all new equipment must meet the standard. This quote below is from the Maritime Safety Queensland website.

"New personal flotation device standard

Standards Australia has introduced a new standard, Australian Standard 4758, for personal flotation devices. From 1 February 2010 personal flotation devices made under this standard will be accepted for use in Queensland as part of your safety equipment requirement. You will start to see personal flotation devices made to the new standard appearing in retail outlets.

Personal flotation devices made to the standards Australian Standards 1512-1996, Australian Standard 1499-1996 and Australian Standard 2260-1996 are still acceptable for use as long as they are in good condition. You do not have to upgrade your current personal flotation device.

Australian Standard 4758 has a new rating system for personal flotation devices.

Here is how they compare with current types:

Current standard

Under standard AS 4758

Coastal life jacket

Level 275

Level 150

PFD type 1

Level 275

Level 150

Level 100

PFD type 2

Level 50

PFD type 3

Level 50 special purpose"

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Clarification: sailing rules & state regulations say NO Type 3; so it is time to replace the black PFD3.

Australian Standards apply to new manufactured products; so they'll be called 'Level 50' or whatever. You dont need to replace a Type 2 with a Level 50; they are the same thing.

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Interesting discussion - it seems a dog's breakfast.

NSW Maritime only require a PFD to be worn by off the beach boats in open(ocean) water. See below from FAQ on their site.

"Will the requirements for off-the-beach sailing vessels change?

Yes. An appropriate Lifejacket must be worn on board an off-the-beach vessel on open waters, alpine waters and when crossing a coastal bar. There is no requirement to wear a lifejacket on off-the-beach sailing vessels on enclosed waters. An example of an off-the-beach vessel is a laser, hobie cat or similar centerboard or catamaran boats."

However, YA requires it and I certainly do myself when sailing in any puddle.

Maritime NSW also list what standards have to be met in their FAQ's for Type 2. It includes the European Standard EN 393. I have a Helly Hansen PFD meeting that standard and it is black - what the????

The colour thing seems a moot point anyway as a lot of sailors put a jacket, the trap harness or a lycra sun top on the outside anyway. So for visibility purposes the colour of that garment would be the important thing, not the PFD. Anyone who sails particularly a trapeze boat will confirm that it is much safer to not have clips, buckles, webbing and exposed armholes able to catch on things on the boat and potentially entangle in a capsize. Have a look at how most Olympic and World title winning trapeze boat sailors set up their gear. Certainly don't put their PFD on the outside! Silly recommendation by YA.

I don't think we'll have PRO's lifting our kit to look at the colour of our undies (PFD's) any time soon!

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Reply from Zhik

Hello Ron & Sue,

Thank you for your email. It is very timely and we have been receiving many similar questions.

Yes the Zhik Red PFD complies with this new ruling 100% however the latest YA NSW Press Release has created much unnecessary confusion in the marketplace about EN393 50N PFD’s which comply with the new ruling as long as more than 60% of the garment is in a hi-vis colourway- Which the Red Zhik PFD is….and other PFD’s of the same type from other brands.

We will be issuing a press release shortly to clarify this, however in the meantime thank you for your inquiry and please spread the word out there that the Red Zhik PFD complies!

Best Regards


Pat Langley

Sales Manager

Office: +61 2 9420 9355

Mobile: +61 406 384 170

Skype: patlangley77

w w w . z h i k . c o m

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