Small Watercraft

ORS 830.215
Personal flotation devices

  • rules


All boats must carry at least one United States Coast Guard approved personal flotation device in good and serviceable condition for each person on board. Each device must be of an appropriate size for the person for whom it is intended and must be readily accessible whenever the boat is in use. As used in this subsection, a personal flotation device is not “readily accessible” if it is stowed in a locked compartment or locker or is otherwise not immediately, physically available to persons on board the boat in case of an emergency.


The State Marine Board by rule shall classify types of personal flotation devices and specify which types are approved for various classes of vessels. The rules must be consistent with, but may not exceed those regulations promulgated by the United States Coast Guard.


Notwithstanding the classification by the State Marine Board of the types of personal flotation devices approved for various classes of vessels pursuant to subsection (2) of this section, a person operating a boat on any section of waters rated class III or higher on a commonly accepted scale of river difficulty, and all passengers in the boat, shall wear a properly secured personal flotation device. The personal flotation device must be of a type prescribed by rules adopted by the State Marine Board. [Formerly 488.031; 2009 c.85 §1]

See also annotations under ORS 488.031 in permanent edition.

Attorney General Opinions

Water skier as “person on board” under this section, (1971) Vol 35, p 800


Last accessed
Mar. 11, 2023