Skip Navigation LinksHome > Boat > Boating Regulations > Boating Handbook

Pennsylvania Boating Handbook

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PDF versions of the PA Boating Handbook and its chapters are provided below.

Complete book (6 Mb)

CHAPTER 1: BOATING IN PENNSYLVANIA

Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission/Pennsylvania’s Boating Opportunities
Pennsylvania Water Trails
Boat Motors and Hull Types
Boat Terminology

CHAPTER 2: LEGAL REQUIREMENTS

Boat Operator Responsibilities
Boat Classification
Boat Operation Requirements
Homeland Security
Minimum Age of Operation/Mandatory Boating Education
Personal Flotation Devices
Boat Numbering and Registration
Launch Permits/Boat Titling
Capacity Plates/Hull Identification Number
Night Operation and Lights
Sound-producing Devices/Visual Distress Signals
Minimum Required Equipment/Recommended Equipment
Fire Extinguishers
Carburetor Backfire Flame Control/Noise Restrictions and Muffling Devices

CHAPTER 3: BOAT OPERATION

Pre-departure Checklist /Preventative Maintenance
Leave a Float Plan/Trailering
Launching and Retrieving/Boarding/Boat Trim/Boat Handling/Docking
Departing/Boat Navigation Rules/Aids to Navigation (ATON)
Rules for Power-driven Vessels Underway
Sound Signals
Other Important Rules of the Road
VHF Radio
Anchoring
Locks and Dams
Boat Theft

CHAPTER 4: OTHER WATER ACTIVITIES

Personal Watercraft
Paddlesports
Water-skiing and Similar Activities
Swimming and Diving
Sailing
Hunters and Anglers

CHAPTER 5: SAFETY AND RESCUE

Ventilation and Fueling/Carbon Monoxide
Fire Extinguisher Use
Running Aground
Water Hazards
Dams/Weather
Capsizing and Falls Overboard
Propeller Strikes
Rescue and Survival
Cold Water Shock/Hypothermia
Alcohol and Boating
Courtesy Vessel Safety Checks
Boating Accidents

CHAPTER 6: RESOURCE PROTECTION

Law Enforcement
PFBC Lakes and Access Areas
Permits
Marine Sanitation Devices (MSD)
Littering and Pollution
Aquatic Invasive Species