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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In addition to adhering to all boating laws, personal watercraft (PWC) operators have requirements specific to their vessel.

PWC riders on the water
  • You must have a Boating Safety Education Certificate to operate a PWC legally.
  • Everyone on board a PWC must wear a U.S. Coast Guard–approved Type I, II, III, or V personal flotation device (PFD) at all times. Inflatable PFDs are not acceptable on a PWC. Type III PFDs are recommended.
  • An operator of a PWC equipped with a lanyard-type ignition safety switch must attach the lanyard to his or her person, clothing, or PFD.
  • PWC operators must carry on board a fully charged fire extinguisher and a sound-producing device.
  • PWCs may be operated during daylight hours only (sunrise to sunset).
  • PWCs must be operated in a responsible manner. It is illegal to:
    • Weave your PWC through congested waterway traffic or swerve at the last possible moment in order to avoid collision.
    • Operate a PWC at greater than “slow, no wake speed if within 100 feet of a shoreline, docks, or launch ramps; swimmers, downed skiers, or persons wading in the water; or anchored, moored, or drifting vessels or floats.
    • Cause a PWC to become airborne while crossing another vessel’s wake when within 100 feet of the vessel creating the wake.
    • Operate at faster than “slow, no wake speed”within 100 feet to the rear of or 50 feet to the side of another vessel that is underway (unless in a narrow channel).
    • Operate within 100 feet of anyone being towed behind another vessel.