Was at Lake Don Pedro this weekend, going back to the ramp to drop off some people before heading back out and got stopped by the Sheriff because we looked "overloaded".
We were in a 2005 LSV Malibu with all 4 MLS tanks filled, 8 adults, two 2 year olds, and one 15 year old. So we were still under the "NMMA placard" limit of 1875 lbs unless we started adding up gear, then I suppose we'd be close, but not over.
Cop said he pulled us over because "the bow was riding low ( about 400 lbs of adults ) riding up front.
I'm of the opinion that the NMMA rating is in addition to any FACTORY installed ballast. The cop, of course, was not. My thinking was that NMMA goes off of a worst case scenario, and not a best. If that were the case, factory ballast of 1250 LBS doesn't leave much left for people!
I also asked him about what if your boat didn't come with a stupid NMMA plate. He, of course, being ill informed said that all boats after 1985 HAVE to have the plate. I told him, that no, if he actually reads the plate it is from a trade organization, and of course if you don't pay up, no plate. I further told him that USCG requirements state any boat under 20', and this boat was 23'.
Was a little suprised, (ok, not at all), that the cop took a "know it all, I've been to classes, blah blah blah) and didn't listen to a word I said. He also informed me that I should get a plate installed in my boat if it doesn't have one.
At the end of the day, no tickets were issued, and the cop just thought he was doing something nice for us to let us know we were close to overweight. I, of course, was a little irritated and want to have some USCG sections laminated, in case we get pulled over when we're running full surf ballast.