In Pennsylvania, it is illegal to...
- Operate a watercraft in a reckless, negligent or dangerous manner. Boats must be operated at a rate of speed that does not endanger the life or property of any person.
- Operate a boat at greater than slow, no-wake speed within 100 feet of the shoreline, docks, launch ramps, swimmers or downed skiers, persons wading in the water, anchored, moored or drifting boats and floats. Slow, no-wake speed is the slowest possible speed of a motorboat required to maintain maneuverability so that the wake or wash created by the motorboat on the surface is minimal. (The slow, no-wake zone for wake surfing activity is 200 feet. See Water-skiing & Similar Activities.section.)
- Operate a motorboat less than 20 feet in length at greater than slow no-wake while a person is standing on or in the boat.
- Operate a motorboat at greater than slow, no-wake speed with a person riding outside of the passenger carrying area or while a person is riding on the bow decking, gunwales, transom or motor covers.
- Cause a boat to become airborne or to leave the water completely while crossing another boat’s wake when within 100 feet of the boat creating the wake.
- Weave through congested traffic.
- Operate faster than slow, no-wake when within 100 feet to the rear or 50 feet to the side of another boat that is underway, unless in a narrow channel.
- Operate within 100 feet of anyone towed behind another boat.
- Operate a pontoon boat while a person is riding outside the passenger-carrying area.
- Operate a motorboat with anyone sitting, riding or hanging on a swim platform or swim ladder attached to the boat.
Many waterways in Pennsylvania have special regulations such as electric only or horsepower restrictions.