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Old     (robandrus)      Join Date: Feb 2002       07-12-2009, 7:40 AM Reply   
I never thought these things were legally binding.

Well I got a ticket for being over capacity the other day in my 2000 super air. Sucky thing is that the capacity is only 9 people or 1250lbs. Fist I always thought that was only a suggestion and second six of the people were little kids. (All wearing life jackets)

Second, if you added up the weight of everyone aboard we're under the 1250lbs. (Though not if you added up the ballast system, gear etc) thats what I'm going to argue when I go in.
Old     (robandrus)      Join Date: Feb 2002       07-12-2009, 8:03 AM Reply   
Old     (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-12-2009, 8:54 AM Reply   
I don't even have one of those on my boat.
Old     (loudontn)      Join Date: Feb 2005       07-12-2009, 8:57 AM Reply   
I think you can argue your point with success honestly, due to the "or 1250lbs". Did you not point this out to the officer?
Old     (2006maliblue)      Join Date: Mar 2009       07-12-2009, 9:23 AM Reply   
Well according to California there is no law at the state or federal level but all states are different.

"Single-hull motorboats less than 20 feet in length which are manufactured after 1972 must display capacity and safe horsepower information. The maximum weight in persons, gear and motors is offered as a guide to boaters, and should not be exceeded. It is not a violation of federal or California state law to exceed recommended maximums. However, other states may cite an operator who exceeds capacity and horsepower limitations. Some insurance companies will not insure craft exceeding horsepower maximums and some boat manufacturers will void any applicable warranties for the same reason"

This is straight from the state of California's Department of Boating and Waterways handout titled "ABCs of the California Boating Law 2009"

I have been stopped for to many people in the boat before, there main concern was enough life jackets which I always have, and once they asked me to transfer people to another boat and i was lower then the manafacturers tag in my boat? Now that I've read the law I thing I'll keep a print out of it in the boat with me so i can show it to them any time they decide to pull me over! I guess i'll have to train them!
Old     (nukepower)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-13-2009, 10:27 AM Reply   
Here is UT's law:

73-18-8.1. Capacity and certification label.
(1) Each vessel manufactured after November 1, 1972, which is less than 20 feet in
length, except a sailboat, canoe, kayak, inflatable vessel, or homemade motorboat
must have a United States Coast Guard capacity and certification label permanently
affixed to the vessel and clearly visible to the operator when boarding or operating the
vessel. The capacity and certification information may be combined together and
displayed on one label.
(2) No person shall operate, or give permission for the operation of, any vessel on the
waters of this state if it is loaded or powered in excess of the maximum capacity
information on the United States Coast Guard capacity label.
(3) No person shall alter, deface, or remove any United States Coast Guard capacity
or certification information label affixed to a vessel.
(4) No person shall operate, or give permission for the operation of, a vessel on the
waters of this state if the required United States Coast Guard capacity or certification
information label has been altered, defaced, or removed.

What I get from this, you could also argue that your boat is >20 feet and this plate is not even required.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-13-2009, 10:32 AM Reply   
If the plate is not required how would it negate points 2,3, and 4?
Old     (nukepower)      Join Date: Aug 2006       07-13-2009, 11:10 AM Reply   
seems to me, if the boat is over 20 feet, then no plate is required.....

If a capacity plate was never installed (because the boat is >20 feet), how could the DNR or whoever wrote the ticket have anything to base the ticket on?

That is where I was going with that. since it is >20ft do you need a capacity plate?? is it illegal to remove it?? probably another question to ask...
Old     (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       07-13-2009, 11:51 AM Reply   
In Washington State, the law is as simple as this... USCG capacity plates are not law -- they are advisory only. If the officer believes your boat to be overloaded, it is overloaded. Simple as that.

I could see fighting an overloading ticket as being pretty easy though... just have proof of all the correct safety equipment on board, and communicate to a judge that you educated your passengers about boating safety, location of life vests and fire extinquishers, and what to do in case of emergency situations -- before ever even leaving the dock.

You didn't say... how many people were actually on your boat?
Old     (drilldaddy78)      Join Date: Jul 2007       07-13-2009, 11:56 AM Reply   
So.... If youre over 20 feet you can fit as many as you can hold/have lifejackets for in Ca? Im actually curious to this one. I had 15 on my boat sunday a lot of kids.
Old     (dabell)      Join Date: Apr 2007       07-13-2009, 12:07 PM Reply   
My dealer said that if I have life jackets for everyone and they can all sit down on the seats, then it's okay. But, I am not totally sure that this is true so I stay within the limits of my sticker.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 12:09 PM Reply   
Cal, that's the impression I got here on Lake Sammamish when I was approached by an officer on a jet ski. I explained to him that my boat was 21 feet and did not have a capacity plate because it is not required for 20 feet or over. He made it seem like it was up to his discretion. I really think that a lot of the law enforcement don't even know of this rule because almost all boats have a capacity plate. I was polite and didn't get ticketed he even said "looks like you're right at capacity." That made me laugh because we were probably running 2000lbs+ in people and ballast for surfing.
Old     (ironcross25)      Join Date: Jul 2006       07-13-2009, 12:22 PM Reply   
I was with a buddy when we were stopped. we had 7 or 8 people in the boat and the office said we were over limit. we told him limit is 8. he proceeded to say its which ever we hit first. He didnt give us a ticket but he made us drop people off on shore. this was in ohio.
Old     (bcail)      Join Date: Aug 2007       07-13-2009, 12:30 PM Reply   
^ In AL it is whichever comes first......and the rider counts toward the total.
Old     (lettinit)      Join Date: Sep 2008       07-13-2009, 12:44 PM Reply   
you should have gotten a ticket for that shifter knob!
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-13-2009, 12:44 PM Reply   
The picture clearly shows that he has a capacity plate and it appears to be illegal in his state to alter or remove it so boat length seem irrelevant at this point. Does the ticket say how many were on board and do you think you or the officer has a photo proving you exceeded 9 on board?
Old    supraguy            07-13-2009, 12:51 PM Reply   
boy or boy I hate thinking I could get a ticket for being over loaded. My boat has 3000 of ballast than people. Wakeboarding would be lame if we fallowed those guide lines
Old     (wakeslife)      Join Date: Jul 2005       07-13-2009, 12:59 PM Reply   
Can't help with capacity, but where did you get that throttle knob? That is sick!
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 1:01 PM Reply   
I don't think Epic puts capacity plates on their but wouldn't it be funny to see a capacity plate like 12 people 5000 lbs. That would make it hard to get a ticket.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 1:03 PM Reply   
Now that I think about it does the capacity plate include factory ballast or not? It always says persons plus gear and I always imagined manufacturer's put them on 20'+ boats for liability reasons but some manufacturer's include factory ballast that would exceed the capacity.
Old     (michaelspsp)      Join Date: Sep 2007       07-13-2009, 1:17 PM Reply   
wellthe plate says 9 OR 1250lbs. so seems more than 9 peeps is a ticket. my lake is on 2 states,ny and both states the laws for everything are very vaque. wakesurfing ? illegal. you must be 75 ft,no more,no less from the back of the boat....
Old     (jason_b)      Join Date: Feb 2008       07-13-2009, 1:19 PM Reply   
Dipshhiit cop that gave me a speeding ticket was going to add one for not having a plate in my boat. He INSISTED that I removed it. WTH would I do that for?? These wawa popo ore turds man. They're the same *****s I used to punk around in high school and now they get some revenge...I knew I should have been nicer in school. lol
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 1:44 PM Reply   
Yeah the officer who talked to me was real surprised I didn't have a capacity plate from the factory. Should be easy to fight any overcapacity ticket because the burden is on them to prove you were but it is a hassel to go to court to fight it when the officers should know the laws to begin with.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 1:50 PM Reply   
That's the confusion Michael is that per the Coast Guard the capacity plate is only a legal binding requirement on boats less that 20 feet. Boats over are not bound to that requirement so the capacity plate on a 21' boat is a manufacturer requirement i.e. don't sue us if you sink the boat with 15 people on board. But I don't see where it is a law that you can get ticketed for. That's always been my understanding at least.
Old     (roverjohn)      Join Date: Dec 2007       07-13-2009, 1:58 PM Reply   
Ryan, Why do you think the +/- 20' stuff applies to anyone BUT the Mfg? Just wondering as that Utah stuff above appears to say the opposite of what you're saying. The OP bought a boat equipped with a plate and he exceeded the limits stated on that plate. Why would the ticket be invalid simply because the Mfg could have omitted it?
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 2:00 PM Reply

FYI no Coast Guard regulations against exceeding the capacity of the boat however the Coast Guard boarding officer can send the boat back to shore with no fine. State or local regulations may be more strict I have yet to find any in Washington though.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 2:09 PM Reply

Utah's boating laws mirror the USCG and don't require capacity labels over 20'. They do state that it is against the law to operate a boat over the capacity requirements however I'm no lawyer but this should be argued that it applies to boats 20' and under I would think.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 2:13 PM Reply

After a little bit more research it appears the great state of Washington does leave it up to the officer to determine if a boat is overloaded. Grr...
Old     (robandrus)      Join Date: Feb 2002       07-13-2009, 2:14 PM Reply   
We had 12 people on board. Six adults, Six little kids.
Me -230
Gramps - 200
Wife -125
Dave - 165
Daves bro - 165
Daves Wife - 120
Kaela (10) - 60
Serena (8) - 52
Autumn (4) - 35
Scott (2) - 28
Simeon (5) - 40
Brigham (2) - 25

Grand Total = 1245lbs....I didn't realize we were that close. I plan on taking pictures of everyone and having them sign something as proof.

Boat is 21' so the plate isn't required. I didn't argue too much as the boat is still registered in Cali and not insured, we didn't have a fire extinguisher and we were short one life jacket.--Didn't know Dave was inviting his brother--

The ticket was written up for the over capacity and short one life jacket. Probably the most annoying part is the way they do the tickets first over capacity was $110 + $40 processing fee. Then the life jacket was $150 + $40 processing fee. Of course they don't print the amounts on the ticket anymore so that you don't get mad till a couple days later when you call and find out how much you have to pay. I was glad the officer let me off on some stuff but still want to get out of as much of it as I can.

Oh and I got the shifter at Autozone for $12. I think its sick.
Old     (airrantz)      Join Date: Jun 2004       07-13-2009, 2:18 PM Reply   
Watch out Rob the 1250lbs is people plus gear so you'd be over the capacity based on your calcs. Might want to fudge the numbers a bit. I still would make an argument that your boat is exempt because it's over 20' and see where that gets you.
Old     (aaudii5150)      Join Date: Jun 2009       07-13-2009, 3:43 PM Reply   
I looked up the laws for Washington state and it is illegal to go over what is marked on the boat....
Old     (phenom_1819)      Join Date: Jan 2008       07-13-2009, 3:50 PM Reply   
Brett, actually Ryan's link above states it pretty clearly for WA State -- it is ultimately up to the officer. The boat's capacity plate is the USCG recommended capacities, which state laws need not follow... I have my OUPV captain's license and this was a point of discussion during the course.
Old     (aaudii5150)      Join Date: Jun 2009       07-13-2009, 3:55 PM Reply   
Cal, thanks for the info... I didn't look up the RCW but looked through the PDF guide for Washington.... I'll print this off and keep it with the teeking law.
I know if it's up to one of the officers around here he'd write me a ticket for waving at him.... Already stopped this year when floating fully loaded and they we OK to deal with but itching to write me up....
Old     (2006maliblue)      Join Date: Mar 2009       07-13-2009, 8:04 PM Reply   
What if we made new capacity plates that said 15 people and 5,000 pounds of gear? I like that idea! Think I might just do that and see what happens! lol


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