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.
- 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 not equipped with railings or other safeguards at greater than slow, no-wake 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.