spacer
Fishing & boating montage
spacer
County Guide - click for index
spacer
Regional Reports - click for index
spacer
Biologist Reports/Fisheries Management - click for index
 
PA Boating Handbook
CHAPTER 4 - OTHER WATER ACTIVITIES
Water-skiing & Similar Activities
Water-skiing includes conventional water-skiing, as well as anyone towed behind a boat on aquaplanes, kneeboards, inner tubes, air mattresses, parasails, kite skis or any similar device. Participants in all of these types of activities are required to wear a life jacket. Persons engaged in barefoot, jump or trick skiing may elect to wear, at their own risk, a wetsuit designed specifically for that activity. A USCG-approved life jacket must be carried in the boat for each skier electing to wear the special water-ski wetsuit. Inflatable life jackets are not acceptable for anyone towed behind a boat.
Water-skiing hand signals
In addition to the operator, a competent observer must be in the boat in a position to observe the progress of the person being towed. A competent observer is a person who has the ability to assess when a skier is in trouble, knows and understands the water-skiing hand signals and is capable of helping a skier.
  • To prevent propeller-related accidents, turn off your engine before picking up any skier.
  • Skiing is prohibited between sunset and sunrise.
  • Skiers are also considered passengers and count in the boat’s total capacity.
  • Personal watercraft are not permitted to tow more than one skier.
  • Skiers may start from the shore or dock if boat traffic permits. Skiers may not return to the shore or dock under power.
  • Installation of ski ramps and jumps requires a permit from the PA Fish & Boat Commission. Mooring or drifting within 100 feet of a ski ramp or jump while it is in use is prohibited.
  • Kite skiing and parasailing are permitted only on waters where unrestricted skiing is permitted.
  • It is legal to tow more than one skier except when locally prohibited. Ski tow ropes may not exceed the following lengths (as measured from the boat’s transom):
Conventional water-ski- 80 feet Parasails- 300 feet
Nonreleasable kite ski- 50 feet Releasable kite ski- 500 feet
  • It is unlawful to operate a motorboat at any speed with a person or persons sitting, riding or hanging on a swim platform (teak surfing) or swim ladder attached to the motorboat, except when launching, retrieving, docking or anchoring the motorboat.
  • It is unlawful to operate a motorboat at any speed when towing a person on water skis or other devices using a tow rope of 20 feet or less (as measured from the boat’s transom). The minimum tow rope length does not apply to wake surfing.
  • Boats engaged in the activity of wake surfing are limited to slow, no-wake speed when within 200 feet of the shoreline, docks, launch ramps, swimmers or downed skiers, persons wading in the water, anchored, moored or drifting boats and other marked areas.
  • Motorboats propelled by an outboard motor, inboard/outboard motor or water jet are prohibited from towing a person in or on the wake of the boat.
spacer
Previous Boating Handbook Table of Contents Next
Bottom navigation bar
Copyright Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
click for Commonwealth of PA website click for list of PA state agencies click for PA online services Get your fishing license Register/title a boat Web Policies Site Map Contact Us PFBC Home Page