Water Rules and Regulations
I’m offering a few recommendations now that more people are steering the boat. Many of the rules that apply to driving a car apply to operating the boat. Combine driving proficiency with common sense and common courtesy, and you have a firm foundation for operating the boat. However, much that occurs on the river does not correlate well with on-land experience. I suggest that those who are learning to steer (or any team member, actually) read the TRRA safety manual and take the Pennsylvania state boating safety course.
The TRRA manual primarily covers navigation in the back channel. It deals with launching and docking protocol, entering and leaving the channel, practice pieces in the channel, etc. We often violate these rules, which isn’t an issue when other boats are not around. It can become an issue when either the docks and/or the channel are busy. I asked Jenn to send me an electronic copy of the manual and to post the manual on the TRRA website. I can send you a copy of the manual when I receive it.
The PA boating course covers, as one would expect, navigation and other general boating requirements. Some elements of the course are plain common sense, while other parts of the course are devoted to power boats, which is of little use to paddlers. Overall, it is worth taking. The online version of the course is located on the PA Fish and Boat Commission website: http://boat-ed.com/pa/pa_internet.htm. The course is periodically offered in the area. Bob and I took it at TRRA and had fun swamping canoes.