About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Boat Pennsylvania Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pennsylvania Boater Education Certificate.

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Length Overall

A vessel's length overall dictates the equipment the vessel must have to comply with federal and state laws. Length overall is measured from the tip of the bow in a straight line to the stern of the vessel. Bow sprits; rudders; outboard motors and motor brackets; handles; and other fittings, attachments, and extensions are not included in the measurement.

Measuring Vessel Length
Measuring outboard and inboard  length
Length Classes

Some states have laws that refer to vessel lengths as "classes." However, the U.S. Coast Guard no longer uses these designations to indicate length.

Class Length
Class A Less than 16 feet
Class 1 16 feet to less than 26 feet
Class 2 26 feet to less than 40 feet
Class 3 40 feet to less than 65 feet