Vermont PFD Requirements

Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs)

Personal Flotation Devices

The State of Vermont requires at least one U.S. Coast Guard approved Type IV PFD (ring buoy OR seat cushion) on all recreational boats that are 16 feet in length or longer, in ADDITION to the wearable PFD required for each person onboard all boats. Exceptions to this requirement include the following:

  • Personal Watercraft
  • Canoes and kayaks
  • Inflatable rafts
  • Someone being towed behind a vessel is considered to be onboard.
  • All PWC occupants must be wearing their PFD while underway.
  • Inflatable PFDs are not approved for children nor are they approved for use during high impact sports such as water skiing or operating a PWC.


All boaters under the age of 12 must wear an approved U.S. Coast Guard Type I, II or III life jacket while underway on an open deck of any vessel.

A person under 16 years of age aboard a sailboard must be wearing a Type I, II, or III U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device.

Education Requirement

Boater Education is required for all persons as of June 1st, 2009.

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