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WakeWorld Discussion Board » >> Boats, Accessories & Tow Vehicles Archive » Archive through January 14, 2005 » CGA Max People rating « Previous Next »
By Jeff Rutherford (jeff206) on Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 12:16 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Is it illegal to have more people in your boat than the CGA says? I'm guessing it's different for different areas, so does anybody know the rules around seattle? Or generally what's the deal.
By Patt Smulsky (p_e_ski) on Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 6:08 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
the label in your boat will say something like "MAX 10 people or 1200 lbs.".. I was told that the label really means that if your boat becomes swamped, it will still support 10 people or 1200 lbs. don't know if that is right or not, but that is what I am told. we regularly have more than 1250 lbs in the boat. but just don't have any more room for more than 9.
By Jeff Rutherford (jeff206) on Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 6:13 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
i'm just asking about the lagality of having more people...
By Bobby Mucic (bobbymucic) on Thursday, December 16, 2004 - 10:32 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
I think that I've head that for non-commerical boats, over 26 feet, it is just a reccomendation.

If your search the web..
"A Capacity Plate is only required on monohull boats less that 20 feet in length (except sail boats, canoes, kayaks and inflatable boats) for which construction began on or after 01NOV72. This is a Federal Requirement. The capacity information is to be supplied by the boat manufacturer. Also, it must be posted so it is visible by all passengers."

this link says you must obey the plate


"While it is not a Federal violation for a boat owner to exceed the listed capacities, many states do have statutes prohibiting the carriage of people and gear in excess of the stated capacity, or the installation of a motor that exceeds the recommended horse powerlimit. Also, you may void your insurance policy if you are found to have exceeded the limits."

Best bet is ask the patrollers.

By Jeff Rutherford (jeff206) on Friday, December 17, 2004 - 12:25 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
sweet, thanks for the great response bobby
By Cal (villageidiot) on Monday, December 20, 2004 - 5:41 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post

I've read through the law about this for Washington state, and I think we discussed it some on this forum last might want to search it (I would do it for you, but my computer sucks).

As I understood it, in Washington, coast guard ratings are only legally binding for boats under 20 feet. For boats over 20 feet, the ratings are only a recommendation.

BUT- the state law leaves it up to the local police group that pulls you over (whether it's city of Seattle PD, Mercer Island PD, etc.) to make the decision on whether your boat is over capacity for the conditions.

Since the Coast Guard label is right there, it's pretty easy for them to make the call based on the sticker's ratings.

But it is open-ended.

It's probably challengeable, but I haven't tested it yet... I'd rather just stay under recommended CG capacity than hassle with it.

By WakeShoe (wakeshoe) on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 12:33 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Just a clarification of the CGA weight limit plate on your boat. The weight limit is determined mathematically - it is purely a formula based on length of the hull in feet multiplied by width of the hull in feet, divided by 15, which gives you the number of 150 lb passengers as a safe load. Multiply the number of passengers by 150lbs, and that's the safe load number on the sticker.
By Cal (villageidiot) on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 1:17 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Hey Wakeshoe, I'm not sure it's that simple. The reason I say that is that my 21'8" Toyota Epic X22, with a wide-beam for a ski boat, only has a 9-person capacity, but my buddies Mastercraft X-2 is slightly shorter and narrower, but has an 11 or 12-person (don't remember which) capacity.

I think it comes down more to the money they spend on certification...? But really, I don't know...I'm just guessing. For whatever reason, the CGA ratings seem to be all over the board.

By 2005 MC 205V (charliep) on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 8:01 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Interesting discussion. I think Mastercraft decreased the qty of people for the same hull made in different years or atleast has mismatches in printed literature and actual boat plates. The X2 actually has a higher person count than a 210 yet it is a narrower boat so there are definitely other factors probably depending on the buoyancy. I always assumed it was a hard rule, but will now check out GA and NC laws because I've made two trips before to stay under the limit.

By Salmon Tacos (salmon_tacos) on Tuesday, December 28, 2004 - 9:49 pm:    Edit Post Delete Post
Actual data from my boat:

18.75' x 7.34 / 15 = 9.17 people.

Actual CGA capacity is listed as 6.
Even 18 x 7 / 15 is greater than 8.

One thing nobody has mentioned is that the USCG weight limit is probably meant as a guideline for a wide variety of water conditions. If you're out on calm water with fair weather (typical wakeboarding conditions), then an overweight boat could be just as safe as a boat at the weight limit in rough conditions. If the weather/waves were to kick up, you could just empty the ballast.

At least that's what I'd say if I went to court over a ticket based on too much weight. Here in Texas at least, I could not find any specific law mentioning the capacity plate. Given that, it seems like a "negligent operation" ticket based on weight would be a judgement call and I think the argument that more temporary water weight for ideal conditions is perfectly safe, is a good one. Add to that the fact that they wouldn't have any hard numbers, and I think you'd have a pretty good chance at a dismissal.

By derek boyer (toyotafreak) on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 9:17 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
Maybe the formula has changed over the years?
By Joe (joe_788) on Wednesday, December 29, 2004 - 9:37 am:    Edit Post Delete Post
We usually run about triple the posted weight limit in my X2 by the time the ballast and people are all added up.

We see the Sheriff almost every weekend, and have not been hassled yet (even though the ski deck is 4 inches underwater).

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