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PA Boating Handbook
CHAPTER 2 - LEGAL REQUIREMENTS
Carburetor Backfire Flame Control / Noise Restrictions & Muffling Devices
CarburetorCARBURETOR BACKFIRE FLAME CONTROL

Gasoline engines, except outboards, must have an approved (USCG, SAE or UL) backfire flame control on the carburetor to prevent ignition of gasoline vapors in case the engine backfires. It should be maintained regularly and can be cleaned with hot, soapy water or a commercial cleaner.

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NOISE RESTRICTIONS AND MUFFLING DEVICES

Boat muffling illustrationBoat motors must be equipped with an efficient muffling system or device in good working order. Most boats and motors that come directly from the manufacturer are adequately muffled. It is illegal for a boat to be so loud that it is an extraordinary annoyance or distraction to persons in the vicinity of that boat. Boat exhaust systems may not be modified in any manner that will reduce or eliminate the effectiveness of the muffler or muffler system. Cutouts (muffler bypasses) are illegal in Pennsylvania. Boats without a muffler or muffling system must be backfitted before being operated.

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