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.

Learn More Register for the Course

It is always wise to give sailboats a lot of space. Sailboats are usually the stand-on vessel.

Sailing has its own risks that require special care to avoid.

  • Small sailboats are prone to capsizing and swamping. Know how to right the sailboat if it capsizes, and carry a bailer on board.
  • Falling overboard is common. For that reason, sailors always should wear a life jacket (PFD).
  • Sailors should stay aware of the water temperature. Capsizing in the early spring, the fall, or the winter involves the risk of hypothermia.

Those interested in sailing should take a certified course from organizations like the American Sailing Association or the U.S. Sailing Association.

Tips for Safe Sailing

Here are some tips for safe sailing.

  • Stay off the water during storms or periods of high winds.
  • Carry a flashlight in case you remain on the water after dark. Shine the light on a sail to warn approaching vessels of your presence if you have no navigation lights or if another vessel does not see your navigation lights.
  • Remember that sailboats with an engine must have the red, green, and white navigation lights.
  • Remember that the mast can be a conductor for lightning. Be aware of masthead clearance when passing under power lines and bridges.