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Pennsylvania eases tow-sports rules on boats used for wakesurfing

Pennsylvania revised its wakesurfing regulations to allow for innovations in the boating industry.

Pennsylvania revised its wakesurfing regulations to allow for innovations in the boating industry.

Pennsylvania is changing its rules around wakesurfing and tow boats to allow for innovations such as Volvo Penta’s forward-facing drive.

The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission recently approved a change to its tow-sports regulations that will allow wakesurfing behind boats powered by props or jets, but only if the propulsion system is designed for wakesurfing.

The state previously allowed wakesurfing only behind boats with direct drives, the National Marine Manufacturers Association said in its Currents newsletter.

In late 2015 Volvo Penta approached the commission about amending the regulations to permit boaters in Pennsylvania to use the company’s forward drive, the commission said.

The state was one of three that forbade wakesurfing behind sterndrive engines. After a review, the state amended its regulation to “allow for advancements within the boating industry to be used” in Pennsylvania waters.

The change will be effective early next year.


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