Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 51 Pa.B. 1118 (February 27, 2021).

58 Pa. Code § 95.3. Lights for boats.

§ 95.3. Lights for boats.

 (a)  General rule. The navigation lights requirements in this section shall be complied with in all weather from sunset to sunrise on the waters of this Commonwealth. During these times other lights may not be exhibited, except lights that cannot be mistaken for the lights specified in this section, lights that do not impair their visibility or distinctive character, or interfere with the keeping of a proper lookout. The lights prescribed in this section must, if carried, be exhibited from sunrise to sunset in restricted visibility and may be exhibited in all other circumstances when it is deemed necessary. The lights specified in this section must comply with United States Coast Guard specifications.

 (b)  Definitions. The following words and terms, when used in this section, have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

   All-round light—A light showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 360°.

   Docking light—A flood or spotlight type of light permanently installed or permanently mounted on a motorboat that is used to illuminate a boat’s forward course of travel.

   Flashing light—A light flashing at regular intervals at a frequency of 120 flashes or more per minute.

   Masthead light—A white light placed over the fore and aft centerline of the boat showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 225° and fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on either side of the boat, except that on a boat of less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length, the masthead light must be placed as nearly as practicable to the fore and aft centerline of the boat.

   Restricted visibility—A condition in which visibility is restricted by fog, mist, falling snow, heavy rainstorms, sandstorms or other similar causes.

   Sailboat—A boat under sail provided that propelling machinery, if fitted, is not being used.

   Sidelights—A green light on the starboard (right) side and a red light on the port (left) side, each showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 112.5° and fixed as to show the light from right ahead to 22.5° abaft the beam on its respective side. On a boat of less than 65.6 feet (20 meters) in length, the side lights may be combined in one lantern carried on the fore and aft centerline of the boat. On a boat of less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length, the sidelights when combined in one lantern must be placed as nearly as practicable to the fore and aft centerline of the boat.

   Special flashing light—A yellow light flashing at regular intervals at a frequency of 50 to 70 flashes per minute, placed as far forward and as nearly as practicable on the fore and aft centerline of the tow and showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of not less than 180° nor more than 225° and fixed as to show the light from right ahead to abeam and no more than 22.5° abaft the beam on either side of the boat.

   Sternlight—A white light placed as nearly as practicable at the stern showing an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 135° and fixed as to show the light 67.5° from right aft on each side of the boat.

   Underway—A boat that is not at anchor, made fast to the shore or aground.

 (c)  Visibility of lights.—The lights prescribed in this section must have an intensity as specified by the United States Coast Guard so as to be visible at the following minimum ranges:

   (1)  In a boat of 164 feet (50 meters) or more in length: a masthead light, 6 miles; a sidelight, 3 miles; a sternlight, 3 miles; a towing light, 3 miles; a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 3 miles; and a special flashing light, 2 miles.

   (2)  In a boat of 39.4 feet (12 meters) or more in length but less than 164 feet (50 meters) in length: a masthead light, 5 miles; except that when the length of the boat is less than 65.6 feet (20 meters), 3 miles; a sidelight, 2 miles; a sternlight, 2 miles; a towing light, 2 miles; a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles; and a special flashing light, 2 miles.

   (3)  In a boat of less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length: a masthead light, 2 miles; a sidelight, 1 mile; a sternlight, 2 miles; a towing light, 2 miles; a white, red, green or yellow all-round light, 2 miles; and a special flashing light, 2 miles.

   (4)  In an inconspicuous, partly submerged boat or object being towed: a white all-round light, 3 miles.

 (d)  Motorboats underway.

   (1)  A motorboat underway must exhibit the following lights:

     (i)   A masthead light forward.

     (ii)   A second masthead light abaft of and higher than the forward one. A boat of less than 164 feet (50 meters) in length may exhibit this light.

     (iii)   Sidelights.

     (iv)   A sternlight.

   (2)  An air-cushion boat when operating in the nondisplacement mode must, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (1), exhibit an all-round flashing yellow light where it can best be seen.

   (3)  A motorboat of less than 39.4 feet (12 meters) in length may, instead of the lights prescribed in paragraph (1), exhibit an all-round white light and sidelights.

 (e)  Sailboats underway and unpowered boats.

   (1)  A sailboat underway must exhibit the following lights:

     (i)   Sidelights.

     (ii)   A sternlight.

   (2)  In a sailboat of less than 65.6 feet (20 meters) in length, the lights prescribed in paragraph (1) may be combined in one lantern carried at or near the top of the mast where it can best be seen.

   (3)  A sailboat underway may, in addition to the lights prescribed in paragraph (1), exhibit at or near the top of the mast, where they can best be seen, two all-round lights in a vertical line, the upper being red and the lower green. These lights may not be exhibited in conjunction with the combined lantern permitted by paragraph (2).

   (4)  A sailboat of less than 23 feet (7 meters) in length must, if practicable, exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (1) or (2). If these lights are not exhibited, the sailboat must have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light that must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

   (5)  An unpowered boat may exhibit the lights prescribed in this subsection for sailboats. If these lights are not exhibited, the unpowered boat must have ready at hand an electric torch or lighted lantern showing a white light that must be exhibited in sufficient time to prevent collision.

 (f)  Anchored boats and boats aground.

   (1)  A boat at anchor must exhibit an all-round white light where it can best be seen:

     (i)   In the fore part.

     (ii)   At or near the stern and at a lower level than the light prescribed in subparagraph (i).

   (2)  A boat of less than 164 feet (50 meters) in length may exhibit an all-round white light where it can best be seen instead of the lights prescribed in paragraph (1).

   (3)  A boat aground must exhibit the lights prescribed in paragraph (1) where they can best be seen.

   (4)  A boat of less than 65.6 feet (20 meters) in length, when at anchor in a special anchorage area designated by the United States Coast Guard, is not required to exhibit the anchor lights and shapes required under this subsection.

 (g)  Boats being towed. When, for any sufficient cause, it is impracticable for a boat or object being towed to exhibit the lights prescribed in this section, all possible measures shall be taken to light the boat or object towed or at least to indicate the presence of the unlighted boat or object.

 (h)  Docking lights. It is unlawful for a boat operator to use docking lights while underway except when docking and the boat is traveling at slow, no wake speed and is within 100 feet of approaching a dock, a mooring buoy or the shoreline.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  95.3 amended under the Fish and Boat Code, 30 Pa.C.S. §  5123.

Source

   The provisions of this §  95.3 amended June 3, 1994, effective June 4, 1994, 24 Pa.B. 2795; amended April 19, 1996, effective April 20, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 1822; amended September 25, 1998, effective September 26, 1998, 28 Pa.B. 4789; amended May 13, 2011, effective May 14, 2011, 41 Pa.B. 2438; amended December 19, 2014, effective January 1, 2015, 44 Pa.B. 7872. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (356971) to (356973).

Cross References

   This section cited in 58 Pa. Code §  105.1 (relating to conditions requiring immediate corrective action).



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