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Course Outline

Montana law requires the following with respect to PFDs.

  • All vessels must carry one USCG–approved wearable PFD for each person on board.
  • In addition to the above PFDs, one USCG–approved throwable device must be on board vessels 16 feet or longer, except canoes and kayaks.
  • A throwable device may not be substituted for a wearable PFD.
  • Children under 12 years of age must wear a USCG–approved PFD at all times while on a vessel less than 26 feet long that is in motion.
  • Each person on board a PWC must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
  • Each person being towed behind a vessel must wear a USCG–approved PFD.
  • Sailboard operators younger than 15 must wear a PFD at all times. If two or more people occupy a sailboard, each person must wear a PFD.
  • A specialty/inflatable life jacket may be used in place of any life jacket if specifically approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for the activity in which the wearer is engaged. The inflatable life jacket must be worn at all times to be acceptable.
  • All PFDs must be in good and serviceable condition and must be readily accessible. The PFDs must be of the proper size for the intended wearer. Sizing for PFDs is based on body weight and chest size.
Person fitting a PFD on a child
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