Boating in Pittsburgh

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Updated on August 20, 2023

Pittsburgh, PA is a popular location for non-stop fishing and boating. Pennsylvania’s massive water line crisscrosses several areas in Pittsburgh, making it a boater’s dream destination. 

Boating in Pittsburgh is only possible when vessel operators meet certain local and federal requirements. Dozens of boat rentals in Pittsburgh are accessible to boaters with correct training and certificates or leisure seekers

Pittsburgh is home to so many registered pleasure boats accessible to qualified boaters. And with more than a dozen marinas, Pittsburgh is a perfect option for beginners and experienced boaters. 

There’s so much to explore while boating in Pittsburgh, that’s why this guide provides relevant details to getting started in boating in Pittsburgh.

Best Locations for Boating in Pittsburgh

The best locations for boating in Pittsburgh are along the Monongahela, Ohio, and Allegheny rivers. Most boating enthusiasts in Pittsburgh either dock or sail through several locations around these three locations. 

How Much Can I Rent a Boat in Pittsburgh?

Several boat rentals in Pittsburgh have different options to suit boaters’ budgets. 

Some boat rentals offer a small yacht and captain for just $180 per hour. Small yachts are usually spacious enough to accommodate seven (7) passengers. 

Luxury boating in Pittsburgh, as expected, costs much more. 

A luxury yacht with a captain and capacity to hold dozens of passengers usually costs $2,000  per day. Premium luxury boats with massive capacity could go for about $5,000 or more for one day. 

Most Pittsburgh boat rentals include the captain’s fees at whatever rate you’re charged. 

Can You Boat in the Allegheny River?

You can go boating in the Allegheny River, which provides a unique experience most boaters cherish. The Allegheny River has several marinas and offers boaters waterside services like boat maintenance, dining, and much more. 

Kayaks, pontoons, and other water vehicles also feature very much in the Allegheny River area. 

Where Can I Launch My Boat in Pittsburgh?

Top boat launches in Pittsburgh are scattered throughout Allegheny, Fayette, Clarion, Greene, Washington, Westmoreland, Beaver, and Armstrong Counties. 

The best boat launches in Allegheny are at Parker City, Templeton, Freeport, and Sharpsburg. Other great boat launches outside Pittsburgh are at Glenfield, Rochester, Midland (Ohioville), Mckeesport, New Eagle, Point Marion, and Rice’s Landing. 

All the counties in Pittsburgh have a combined total of forty-eight (48) boat launches and marinas open to the public. 

All boaters in Pittsburgh and several other locations in Pennsylvania must be up to 12 years old. Operators of personal watercraft below the age of 12 cannot control vessels in Pittsburgh and other adjoining areas.  

Special Certificate for Boating in Pittsburgh

All boaters in Pittsburgh must complete the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission-certified boating course. 

The course usually covers basic boating and water safety awareness. Several classroom courses are also available along with internet-based, distance learning modules. 

Boaters operating vehicles with performance ratings over 25HP must pass additional boater safety courses. Operators of over-25HP vessels will also need to carry a boater education card whenever on board their boat. 

The boating certificate usually takes within 30 to 40 days to complete. Boaters who successfully complete the Boating Safety Education Certificate enjoy its validity for life. 

For more information on how to get the Boating Safety Education Certificate, visit this site

Best Marinas and Boat Launches in Pittsburgh 

Top Marinas in Pittsburgh

1. Rosstown Eddy Marina

Located at 682 Ross Avenue Ford City, PA, Rosstown Eddy Marina is a top location for most Pittsburgh boaters. The location boasts some of PA’s finest add-on services along with access to many waterside locations. 

Boaters can contact Rosstown Eddy Marina by phone on 412-763-1202. 

2. Manni’s Lighthouse Landing Inc.

Boaters fancy docking at Manni’s Lighthouse Landing Inc. based on its easy access to several surrounding launches. Relevant boating services like boat maintenance, dining and more available at this marina. 

Manni’s Lighthouse Inc. is located at 799 Industrial Blvd., New Kensington, PA. You can get more information about this marina by dialing 412-763-1202. 

Top Boat Launches in Pittsburgh


You can find some of the best boat launches in Pittsburgh along Monongahela and its surrounding areas. Top boat launches in Monongahela are in South Side Park, Mckeesport, Elizabeth, Monesson (WML County) and Roscoe. 


Popular boat launches in Allegheny County are located in Parker City, Freeport, Sharpsburg, and Templeton. 

Common Boating Laws in Pittsburgh

The most common Pittsburgh boating laws revolve around regulations concerning alcohol use. 

Boaters in Pittsburgh are not allowed to operate water vessels when under the influence of alcohol. Kayaks, pontoons, inner tubes, and other vessels fall under this regulation too. 

Other laws also prohibit boaters from keeping vessels along undesignated areas in Pittsburgh.