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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Fluctuating water levels can cause special hazards for boaters. Water levels can change rapidly due to tides, flooding rivers, or water released through dams. Any of these conditions can cause boats to run aground in areas where navigation may have been safe earlier. Any change in water level also can affect docking to a fixed pier.

Boat Aground
Tides on Coastal Waters
  • Tides are created by the sun and moon exerting a pull on the earth. High tides and low tides are predictable, and each one normally occurs twice daily at approximately six-hour intervals.
  • Boat operators in coastal waters need to be mindful of the effect of tides. The rise and fall of tides can cause water levels to fluctuate by several feet and also can generate strong currents. Some tidal currents are strong enough that some boats cannot make headway against the current.
  • As a boat operator, you need knowledge of the tides in your boating area. It is a good idea to learn how to read the tide tables found in many newspapers in coastal areas. Tide schedules also can be found on weather radio channels.