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CobslayerCobslayer Junior MemberJensen Beach, FLPosts: 16 Greenhorn
What is the deal with the capacity rule? I was told as long as you have life jackets for each person you can have a few over your boats limit. Is this true. It is a 22' pathfinder.


  • FastEddyFastEddy Member Posts: 103 Deckhand
    I could be wrong.....but I don't think boats over 20ft need to have a persons capacity plate.
    I also haven't heard of any law (federal or state) set in stone for exceeding what the manufacturers limit says.
    Anyone? Anyone?

    But really, I think you have to use your better judgement with this sort of stuff anyway.
    And I think the CG & LEO's are understanding about certain situations.
    Is there enough safe seating/space available?
    Are you weighing the draft down so much that it could be unsafe?
    I think if the Coast Guard or any LEO Agency wanted to ,they could deem a vessel unsafe and end your day/night swiftly if they think you are putting peoples lives at risk and probably find a away to fine you with some other law(like below).
    "Anyone who operates a vessel with willful disregard for the safety of persons or property will be cited for reckless operation (a first-degree misdemeanor)."
    All operators are responsible for operating their vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner with regard for other vessel traffic, posted restrictions, the presence of a divers-down flag, and other circumstances so as not to endanger people or property.
  • GreyRiderGreyRider Member State of FloridaPosts: 61 Deckhand
    F.S. 327.52:

    327.52 Maximum loading and horsepower.—
    (1) Except for sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats, this section applies to all monohull motorboats less than 20 feet in length that are: manufactured or used primarily for noncommercial use; leased, rented, or chartered to another for the latter’s noncommercial use; or engaged in the carrying of six or fewer passengers for hire.
    (2) No person shall sell or offer for sale any vessel described in subsection (1) unless said vessel displays the maximum capacity information as prescribed in 33 C.F.R. part 183. This shall not apply to resales, but it is the intent of this section to require dealers and manufacturers to furnish this information upon the original sale.
    (3) No person shall operate any vessel described in subsection (1) when said vessel exceeds the maximum weight capacity, maximum persons capacity, or maximum horsepower capacity. If no maximum capacity information is displayed, the capacities shall be calculated as provided in 33 C.F.R. part 183, subparts C and D. This subsection shall not preclude the finding of reckless operation under s. 327.33(1) when a vessel is operated in a grossly overloaded or overpowered condition.
    History.—s. 11, ch. 59-400; s. 17, ch. 63-105; s. 1, ch. 65-361; s. 2, ch. 97-16.
    Note.—Former s. 371.60.
  • Lobstercatcher229Lobstercatcher229 Senior Member Posts: 4,845 Captain
    Sometimes during mini season for lobsters it seems as if some folks really stretch the limit on capacity with their boats.
  • CobslayerCobslayer Junior Member Jensen Beach, FLPosts: 16 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the help!
  • CDill9CDill9 Senior Member MiamiPosts: 108 Officer
    If there is a capacity plate stick to it. It is there for a reason and you can be cited by the CG for negligent operations or if it is really overloaded grossly negligent operations, neither of which is cheap. By overloading it you are pushing the vessel to its limits and the chance of capsizing or other vessel failure is much much higher. You are just risking the lives of yourself and others by not following it.
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