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More Unlawful Operating Practices

Pennsylvania law states that it is unlawful to operate a vessel in a reckless, negligent, or dangerous manner. The following dangerous operating practices are illegal.

It is illegal to ride on the bow

Riding on Bow, Gunwales or Transom is allowing passengers to ride on a vessel not equipped with railings or other safeguards in places where there may be a chance of falling overboard while underway at greater than “slow, no wake speed.” This includes passengers riding on the bow decking, gunwales, transom, or motor cover.

Overloading is loading the vessel beyond the recommended capacity shown on the capacity plate installed by the vessel manufacturer.

Unsafe Condition is operating a vessel in a condition that causes a hazard to the occupants or others on the waterways. Waterways conservation officers may instruct the operator to immediately take corrective action or return to the nearest mooring for any of these problems.

  • There are insufficient personal flotation devices, fire extinguishers, backfire flame arrestors, ventilation systems, or navigation lights.
  • The boat is overloaded or overpowered.
  • The boat is leaking fuel.
  • The boat is operating near dams, reservoir structures, or discharges.
  • The boat is towing a skier without an observer on board.