US Sailing announces partnership with MTI Life Jackets

BRISTOL, R.I. (February 5, 2020) – US Sailing and MTI, an industry leading lifejacket manufacturer, are working together on an exciting, new partnership. MTI is now an Official Partner of US Sailing and the Siebel Sailors Program.

The partnership also designates MTI as the Official Lifejacket of the Siebel Sailors Program, a new US Sailing youth program developed to increase diversity and opportunity in the sport of sailing by providing resources and support to youth sailors at public access sailing centers. MTI will be providing lifejackets for sailors and coaches at participating Siebel Centers around the nation.

“MTI’s innovative products encourage safe sailing practices and this new relationship will enhance our members time on the water, both from a fun and safety standpoint. We expect MTI will have a very positive impact on initiatives to grow sailing through education and safety for all.”

Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing

US Sailing and MTI will be working closely with certified US Sailing Instructor Trainers and subject matter experts on the development of an instructor lifejacket. Once developed, MTI will supply all certified US Sailing Instructor Trainers with a complimentary lifejacket.

“We are excited to be working closely with MTI on safety and we are grateful for their support of sailors and instructors participating in the Siebel Sailors Program,” said Jack Gierhart, CEO of US Sailing.

“Our three kids spent their summers at sailing school […] that’s why the opportunity to support the Siebel Sailors Programs means so much to us. It’s a way to give back to the sport of sailing by promoting the expansion and meaning of sailing education.”

Lili Colby, owner and Chief PFDiva at MTI Life Jackets

MTI owners, Lili and Gordon Colby, are passionate sailors and are excited about this new partnership with US Sailing as an opportunity to promote the brand to the wider sailing community and support youth development with the Siebel Sailors Program.

“Our three kids spent their summers at sailing school here in Plymouth, Mass. None of them ended up pursing racing, but all of them now have solid sailing skills and they love being on the water as much as we do,” said Lili. “I think that’s why the opportunity to support the Siebel Sailors Programs means so much to us. It’s a way to give back to the sport of sailing by promoting the expansion and meaning of sailing education.”

US Sailing Communications: Jake Fish,

View the full press release at:

9 Things I Learned About Florida

Bike-packing setup on a couple Kokopelli pack rafts in Wekiwa State Park.
Not shown: about fifty alligators.

By Emilie Colby


It is very, very hot, and very, very flat. It’s about as different from my adopted home of Colorado as it is possible to be while still being on the same continent. When I left Denver in the wee hours on a sales trip to visit MTI dealers, it was a balmy 32F/0C and my partner wondered why I wasn’t taking a coat on the trip. (“I’m going to Florida,” I stressed. “Right, but like, what if it rains?” he reasoned. “It’s Florida, it will still be 90 degrees,” I replied confidently, despite never having been to Florida.) 

Luckily for me, and my lack of coat, Florida stayed horrifyingly toasty for my entire visit. Over the ten day trip, I gained a new appreciation for air conditioning and Douglas Adams’ advice to always know where my towel is (so I can mop the sweat off).

Suncoast Aquatic Nature Center Associates (SANCA) at Nathan Benderson Park.
The facility is so gorgeous that I had to stop the car and ogle.

ONE: Air-conditioning and sunscreen are your friends. 

I don’t tolerate heat well. I never have. It’s why I try to live in places with snowy winters. -15F/-26C? No problem at all, just wear a coat. 90F/32C and 95% humidity? Let me die and ascend this human plane to one which doesn’t make me sweat so much. 

Florida, in case you were unaware, is very hot and very humid. Thankfully, it’s also very well air-conditioned. Entering any building is like climbing through the wardrobe into winter. Just don’t think about the energy use implications too much. 

View from the boardwalk at John D. MacArthur State Park.

TWO: Hungry? Go to Publix.

Nearly everyone I met said, “Have you tried the fried chicken at Publix?” I hadn’t. It wasn’t until day three of my trip that I found myself in the prepared foods section of the local chain, contemplating bone-in versus bone-out. I don’t want to suggest that grocery store fried chicken changed my life, but it definitely changed the way I feel about fried chicken. 

THREE: I can’t pronounce Kissimmee

I can’t, that’s all there is to it. Every time I tried, someone gently corrected me. No matter how many different ways I said it, none of them were right. Kih-SIM-ee? Kih-suh-MEE? Kuh-sim-ee?

Beach at John D. MacArthur State Park.
Absolutely none of these prints are from me falling over.

FOUR: West Coast, Best Coast

The eastern coast of Florida is beautiful: mangroves, miles of beach, sailboats for days. But something about the Gulf of Mexico – a body of water I had never seen – with its wide swimming beaches, calm waves, and manatees is so unlike other ocean-adjacent places I’ve visited. 

FIVE: Jurassic Park is real and it’s just outside Orlando.

Have you paddled through Wekiwa State Park? It’s a jungle in there. A jungle that seems out of time with the 21st century. Huge, ancient trees hang over the water dangling vines that might also be snakes. Alligators, black and wet, lurk on the banks and you don’t know they’re there until you hear the splash of them moving. Don’t swim in water you can’t see through. 

It sucks when your phone rings on a paddle, but could you find a better office?

SIX: Miami has a mural garden.

I don’t know what I expected to find in Miami, but a mural garden wasn’t it. My traveling partner, a Miami native, stopped us at the Wynwood Walls to kill time during rush hour traffic. As someone who likes to think of themselves as an art buff, it was a jewel in an already beautiful city. We bopped around the outdoor murals and indoor installations, me stopping to take pictures every few minutes. 10/10 would recommend. 

This sculpture is awesomely macabre, like if Nessie and Skeletor had a kid.
Sculpture by Alexis Diaz.

SEVEN: All chicharrones are not created equal.

If you, like me, thought that chicharrones were fried pig skins with the consistency of a puffed rice cake, ordering them in south Florida will knock your socks off. Traditionally, chicharrones are deep fried pork belly and while they might send you into cardiac arrest, they are worth the risk.

EIGHT: Just because there are supposed to be alligators doesn’t mean you’ll see any. 

In an effort to see as many of the quintessential parts of Florida as I could, I drove across Route 41 between Miami and Tampa. The Tamiami Trail, as Route 41 is also known, runs right through Everglades National Park. Supposedly, this part of Florida is extra full of alligators, but I only saw one, in the parking area at the Miccosukee reservation. I was deeply disappointed by the lack of gators, but not by the multitudes of “don’t feed the alligators” signs. 

NINE: Just because you can’t see the alligators doesn’t mean they aren’t there. 

Seriously. Don’t swim in murky water.

Don’t forget to bring your towel! (And your PFD.)

Emilie Colby is the daughter of MTI owner Gordon Colby, and in that role has served the company on and off for most of her life as a gopher, brand ambassador, warehouse worker, sales and customer service extraordinaire, marketing whiz, and indentured servant. Easily spotted in a crowd thanks to her six-foot frame, variously colored and considerable quantity of hair, and balcony-reaching voice to go with a demeanor best described as not shy, some of you may know Emilie from the trade show circuit. This is her first blog for MTI, to go with her first sales trip. We’re pleased to say the trip was a success, in addition to introducing her to Publix fried chicken.

Ok, Boomer. Welcome to AORE.

By Jim Travers

MTI recently attended the annual conference and extravaganza of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, held this year in Spokane, Washington. 

For the benefit of the uninitiated, AORE is an organization for students, educators and professionals either involved in or pursuing a career in outdoor activities and organizations, and who are interested in introducing others to the same while also promoting conservation and environmental stewardship. 

As MTI’s Director of Sales, I have been fortunate enough to draw the biodegradable straw and attend the AORE conference the past couple of years, and as MTI’s resident Baby Boomer, I have to say it is one of my favorite business trips of the year. There are a few of reasons for this: 

  • First and foremost is simply that people drawn to the outdoors and to careers in it tend to be a pretty nice bunch overall, and that always makes for a more enjoyable stint in a trade show booth. 
  • Diet. These people eat pretty well. For better or worse, I can’t remember the last time I saw an afternoon snack table with nothing on it but apples. 
  • I learn something. AORE is a smart bunch, and whether it’s a lecture on local history or wilderness medicine, sneaking into a seminar or two can make me feel like a smarter guy. Never mind whether that’s true or not. 
  • Finally, here comes the OK Boomer part. it’s refreshing to sit in an auditorium full of people who are more interested in hearing what the speaker and each other have to say than they are in their own phones. It’s a little thing, perhaps, and I’m as guilty as most when it comes to spending too much time staring at the small screen. But I can’t remember being anyplace recently where the audience was so involved. I don’t know why that gives me hope, but it does. 

So ok, boomer. There. I said it first. 

MTI campaigns to Save Boundary Waters

MTI in the news! Excerpts below from SGB’s website. It was nice for little MTI to be on the stage with the likes of Patagonia at the Industry Breakfast at OR!

“The Together We Are a Force is about celebrating and recognizing our industry’s unique and powerful ability to collaborate on issues large and small,” said Amy Roberts, executive director of OIA. “Congratulations to our first Together We Are a Force Awards winners, and thank you to all who applied and made the first year of the awards a success.”

Policy winner:
Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness (NMW) for their Save The Boundary Waters campaign. Together with OIA member companies Piragis Northwoods Company, MTI Adventurewear and Patagonia, NMW launched and supported what became a three-part, three-year adventure advocacy campaign to bring awareness of the Boundary Waters Wilderness to a broad audience.

“The most effective way to drive positive change is to work with great partners who inspire you,” said Sam Chadwick, deputy campaign manager for the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.

“Working with adventurers Amy and Dave Freeman, MTI Life Jackets, Piragis Northwoods Company, Patagonia and other supporters to bring the issue to life through canoeing, paddling and biking expeditions has helped people see and feel the immediacy of the need to protect the Wilderness. We’re so proud to be able to receive this award with them.”

We were proud too!


MTI supports #SUP4WATER


Thank you again for your support of our work at GWC and specifically with helping support our #SUP4WATER Adventure fundraising project this past summer! Your PFD’s were awesome! Not one rub anywhere the entire month by anyone on the team! Go Vibe!!

Below is the video that we have submitted to the global “Reel Paddling Film Festival” showcasing our trip this summer: We are excited about this film and will use it in promoting our event in many other venues.

We are speaking at the Midwest Adventure Summit and hopefully will be speaking at Canoecopia!

Again, thank you for your partnership and we look forward to raising the $126,540 so that we can go and do more work helping humanity!

Thanks again!

Pete and the #SUP4WATER Team

Press Release – MTI to launch Camo Cod Series at ICAST 2016

Plympton, MA— April 1, 2016 Following last year’s introduction of the UNDERCOD vest for commercial fishing, MTI Adventurewear plans to expand the product line to the Sportfishing market at the upcoming ICAST show in July with the CAMO COD SERIES.  Based on the bestselling UNDERDOG life vest for pets, the UNDERCOD was developed to address the sinking Cod Fish population in the North Atlantic. Continue reading



This video by STANDUP. PADDLING.NET and Jimmy Blakeney of BIC Board describes essential gear including the MTI FLUID Belt Pack inflatable PFDs, paddle leashes and paddles as well as looking at the basic anatomy of your SUP board.

“So gear wise, you’re going to want to have a PFD. This is a personal flotation device. If you’re outside the surf zone, meaning not surfing the board in waves, then you definitely want to have a PFD because the Coast Guard requires it. If you don’t have one on, you can get a ticket if you’re out there on the water without it. This is a nice option because it’s low profile. It’s an inflatable PFD. It goes around your waist like a fanny pack, and you inflate it if you need it. If not, it’s out of the way and low profile. “

Nice job, Jimmy! Thanks for helping to spread the SAFE SUP message.


Cold Water Boot Camp Video – watching this could save your life!

The 2nd most common reason people say that they don’t wear a life jacket is because they consider themselves a good swimmer. If that is you, take a look at this. COLD WATER BOOT CAMP is a pretty powerful video showing how a GOOD SWIMMER could quickly be overcome in cold water. It is NO SHAME to wear a life jacket!

Getting ready for OUTDOOR RETAILER 2011

It’s all go at MTI central as our sales, marketing, and design team get ready for our biggest trade show of the year: OUTDOOR RETAILER. We’ll be debuting the 2012 MTI Collection to our dealer partners, the press, and the product reviewers.

JEFF MULLER and GORDON COLBY have been busy this past year, bringing 10 new models to the MTI line for 2012!
* Whitewater
* Professional
* Kids
*Kayak Fishing
* Women Specific
* Versatile Recreational    * and even a new color for the underDOG


Love to SUP-it!