Home Ask the Law!

Max HP rating and Florida Law

cslascrocslascro Posts: 129 Deckhand
I'm hoping that someone with law enforcement can help with this question as my searches just end with opinions and shady facts:

According to Florida law, is there a problem with exceeding the max HP rating listed on my boat's CG plate?

Specifically, here's the deal:

I have a 2005 Carolina Skiff J-16. The max HP rating with remote steering is 30 HP. In earlier model years, the max HP was higher. Dealers sold them with 40 and 50 HP outboards. I was told that due to accidents caused by side-slipping (flat bottom boat), the rating was dropped for the 2005 model year. The boat really needs the extra horsepower as WOT is required to get it on plane. Loaded with one passenger, full fuel tank and trolling motor, the boat will only stay on plane at WOT and runs at about 16 mph. I really don't like having to run the thing at WOT all the time. With more HP, I'd be able to run the engine at cruising speed, reducing wear and tear.

Most of the center console J-16 boats I see have a 40 or 50 on the back. I'd like to bump up to that kind of power, but that pesky CG plate disagrees. Does Florida law prohibit me from increasing the power on my boat?
Angler for fun | Copywriter for hire
www.RussChiodoWriting.com
[email protected]

Replies

  • cslascrocslascro Posts: 129 Deckhand
    --UPDATE--

    I contacted Carolina Skiff. Since the current J 16 hull has not changed, and it's currently rated at 40HP, they can send me a new capacity plate with the current ratings.

    Anyone dealing with this issue can now have it resolved by contacting the manufacturer, apparently.
    Angler for fun | Copywriter for hire
    www.RussChiodoWriting.com
    [email protected]
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    With a 30 horse motor your boat only ran 16 MPH? You sure it's not water logged or that you don't have motor issues?
  • 9ball9ball Posts: 694 Officer
    I have a J16 with a 25hp tiller and it is plenty fast with two people and gear. Certainly don't have to WOT to get on plane. I believe you have something going on if you are only getting 16 mph. I agree that a 40 would be fine but you should be getting better performance than you are with a 30hp.
    “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin
  • cslascrocslascro Posts: 129 Deckhand
    9ball wrote: »
    I have a J16 with a 25hp tiller and it is plenty fast with two people and gear. Certainly don't have to WOT to get on plane. I believe you have something going on if you are only getting 16 mph. I agree that a 40 would be fine but you should be getting better performance than you are with a 30hp.

    Yes, my first action before repowering is to work with what I have. I need
    to get a tiny tach first to see if I'm in the right RPM range. I have a 15 pitch prop now, which is the highest pitch I can get through West Marine. I'm pretty sure it's not a waterlogged problem because the boat's been like this from day 1.
    Angler for fun | Copywriter for hire
    www.RussChiodoWriting.com
    [email protected]
  • spinfreakspinfreak Posts: 5,204 Admiral
    Sounds like at least 1 of 3 possibilities.....
    1) engine not getting up to correct rpms (wrong prop, throttle cable needs adjusting, etc)
    2) you've got a lot weight in the boat (too much gear, waterlogged, live well, etc)
    3) you've got major drag issues (engine mounted too low, maybe?)
    Exiled Dungeon Master of The Freakshow :cool:
    YOU NEED PROFESSIONAL HELP! Seriously. Do it for yourself and loved ones. You have issues
  • shempshemp Posts: 617 Officer
    maybe low compression?

    Trim Tabs, and bracket/jack the motor higher

    I had a 16' skiff (not carolina, though) and went from a 40 to a 30...i could no longer run fast with three grown men and gear, but it did great with two guys or three kids/women and gear, plus it didn't porpoise when i ran it by myself (40 did)...these were tiller motors.

    maybe the prop seal is bad and it's almost spun?
  • GreyRiderGreyRider Posts: 61 Deckhand
    cslascro wrote: »
    I'm hoping that someone with law enforcement can help with this question as my searches just end with opinions and shady facts:

    According to Florida law, is there a problem with exceeding the max HP rating listed on my boat's CG plate?

    Specifically, here's the deal:

    I have a 2005 Carolina Skiff J-16. The max HP rating with remote steering is 30 HP. In earlier model years, the max HP was higher. Dealers sold them with 40 and 50 HP outboards. I was told that due to accidents caused by side-slipping (flat bottom boat), the rating was dropped for the 2005 model year. The boat really needs the extra horsepower as WOT is required to get it on plane. Loaded with one passenger, full fuel tank and trolling motor, the boat will only stay on plane at WOT and runs at about 16 mph. I really don't like having to run the thing at WOT all the time. With more HP, I'd be able to run the engine at cruising speed, reducing wear and tear.

    Most of the center console J-16 boats I see have a 40 or 50 on the back. I'd like to bump up to that kind of power, but that pesky CG plate disagrees. Does Florida law prohibit me from increasing the power on my boat?

    Based on your original question yes:

    F.S. 327.52 (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.

    Section (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.



    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=0300-0399/0327/Sections/0327.52.html
  • cslascrocslascro Posts: 129 Deckhand
    Thanks for answering, Grey Rider.

    UPDATE

    I took a look at the throttle control cable and found it wasn't adjusted
    quite right. I did a little work on the control box a while back. Now I'm finally getting full throttle. The boat ran WOT @ 30 mph yesterday, and cruises comfortably at about 22 while fully loaded. That suits me just fine--especially at just 6 gallons on an all day fishing trip!
    Angler for fun | Copywriter for hire
    www.RussChiodoWriting.com
    [email protected]
Sign In or Register to comment.