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Old    Eric Silva (getssum)      Join Date: Jul 2005       08-06-2012, 4:10 PM Reply   
Hi all:

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.

Thoughts?
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-06-2012, 4:19 PM Reply   
I think there is a lot of room for interpretation as far as being overloaded. I am not sure the plate actually means anything. If a cop thinks you are "overloaded" even if you are below the limit on the placard he can give you a ticket from the way the rules are written, at least in Washington.

Here is the law/rule from washington. Notice there is no mention of the placard and that if it "appears clearly to be overloaded"

:"Overloading or Overpowering a Vessel is putting too much equipment on a vessel or equipping it with an engine that is too large and powerful, either of which can cause the vessel to capsize or swamp and put people into cold water.

Remember that it is unsafe and a violation to:
Load your vessel with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying ability or to carry passengers in an unsafe manner, taking into consideration the weather and other existing conditions at the time of operation, such as traffic or tides.
Operate a vessel equipped with a motor that is overpowered beyond the vessel's ability to be operated safely. Safe operation includes factors such as the type and construction of the vessel, your boating activity, and other conditions like the weather.
If it appears to an enforcement officer that the vessel is clearly overloaded or overpowered beyond safe operation and is in a hazardous condition, the officer may direct the operator to return to shore and correct the condition before continuing the voyage."

Link http://www.boat-ed.com/wa/handbook/oper.htm
Old    Hate N Pain (hatepain)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-06-2012, 4:53 PM Reply   
I've had that happen to me. I was on my bouy playing some Bob Marley pretty loud and there was some complaints so the Sheriff came out and asked me to turn it down. They were actually pretty cool about, siad they liked the music and that if I was firing it away from shore that it wouldn't be a problem. Anyway, they could tell we were loading up a bunch of kids (it was my sons birthday) so one of them went about 200 yards down lake and waited for me to get underway. As soon as I did he pulls me over and does the usual how many vests, throwable,etc. Then asks me about my capacity plate. I told that I didn't have one and didn't need one as my boat is 21'6" he to argued with me about it and said that I needed to get one. I had actually already contacted my dealer about that previous to this happening and thats how I learned of the rule. At any rate he let me off. I'm not so sure they're overly informed with a lot of the baoting rules.

There is a suggested equation to determine a safe operating capacity. Length in feet x width in feet/15 this is assuming a 150lb average weight.
Old    9Drozd            08-06-2012, 6:01 PM Reply   
The NMMA plate is different than the capacity plate isn't it. A capacity plate all boats are required to have right? Thats the one that tells you how much weight and how many people the vessel can accommodate. I thought The NMMA certification thing is some third party glorified sticker.
Old     (superfluous)      Join Date: May 2012       08-06-2012, 6:06 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Drozd View Post
The NMMA plate is different than the capacity plate isn't it. A capacity plate all boats are required to have right?
No, not required for all boats.

http://coastguardaux.com/f9_11/Capacity%20Plates.pdf
Old    9Drozd            08-06-2012, 6:14 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfluous View Post
Minus a few small human or wind powered boats or older than a certain date. I know or 22ft air boat doesn't have a specific rating on weight or people but it at least has a plate that says its exempt.
Old     (superfluous)      Join Date: May 2012       08-06-2012, 6:23 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Drozd View Post
Minus a few small human or wind powered boats or older than a certain date. I know or 22ft air boat doesn't have a specific rating on weight or people but it at least has a plate that says its exempt.
Huh?

Which part of "Under the U.S. Coast Guard Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, mono-hull boats less than 20 feet powered with an inboard, outboard, or stern drive engine manufactured after November 1, 1972, must display a capacity plate defining the safe load limits." is confusing?
Old    9Drozd            08-06-2012, 6:37 PM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by superfluous View Post
Huh?

Which part of "Under the U.S. Coast Guard Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971, mono-hull boats less than 20 feet powered with an inboard, outboard, or stern drive engine manufactured after November 1, 1972, must display a capacity plate defining the safe load limits." is confusing?
I do know it is required for all specifics you listed for a less than 20ft boat. The few exceptions I listed are exemptions. Somewhere along the lines I was thinking it was required for bigger boats as well. IDK why, I guess tired from a long day and had a brain fart.
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       08-06-2012, 6:37 PM Reply   
There are plenty of poorly or under informed officers out there. Most of the problems occur when you get the sheriff deputy's on "water patrol". They are trained on police work and only a little additional marine training. When you get the state fish and wildlife guys or federal USFWS they understand the law a lot better as it's their job to know.

Being right is one thing, but getting in an argument with a LEO on the water (right or wrong) is stupid. Especially if the guy isn't writing you a ticket. Court is the time to argue your case and the law. As a past cop trust me when I say this, you are always going to lose on the scene. Push it to far and every state in the union has an obstruction law, which entitle you to shiny bracelets, a free ride, and one phone call!!!

As far as ballast, that is a gray area in many states as it's a fairly new thing. On one hand if the boat swamps it becomes neutral as it's water, where on the other it will swamp the boat just like lead. Here in Minnesota it's going back and forth and you better talk to your specific local LEO's as to their take on it. I just got off the phone with a buddy who is a Minnesota State DNR officer, per him the capacity plate is LAW as to passengers and capacity. Also backed up the above posters that over 22 they are not required.
Old    Drew Richardson (surffresh)      Join Date: Jun 2010       08-06-2012, 7:42 PM Reply   
been there / done that, no talking to the guy that pulled me over and it all came around to it was "his opinion" he is the law and I was a moron and we had to either dump ballast or go to jail, I got the last laugh through NWSIA
Old    David Langston (rdlangston13)      Join Date: Feb 2011       08-06-2012, 8:31 PM Reply   
In any case requires or not I know on my möbius LSV the plate cleat defines the weight as including people, ballast, fuel, and gear


Sent from my iPhone newtys droid killer using Tapatalk
Old    RB (boardman74)      Join Date: Jul 2012       08-06-2012, 8:43 PM Reply   
If it says that and I know at least on the Moomba it does(just looked at one), you would have a hard time arguing your not overloaded with a bunch of ballast. The more I read and talk to people about it I really think most LEO's and courts are going to include ballast in the capacity. So if you have the plate to be legal your going to have to weight accordingly. Most people are going to take their chances. It's kind of a loop hole as ballast is really a pretty new thing from just the mid to late 90's. I think most states will have legislation to close the loophole in the near future.
Old    Rob (DealsGapCobra)      Join Date: May 2010       08-07-2012, 5:59 AM Reply   
Boats over 20' don't need a capacity plate. However, if your boat was delivered with one, you are not allowed to remove it. The interesting addition to this is that if the plate fades, falls off or is stolen (boats over 20') it is not a requirement to replace it. :-)

Years ago were were playing a "last man standing" game behind the boat and had 8 people in the water and two in the boat. We were pulled over and cited for exceeding the 8 passenger capacity of the boat. The next weekend we showed up with a 21' boat and continued our game...boy were the officers ticked off when they came over, so excited, ticket pad in hand, and found out that were were not over capacity. That was fun! Funny, from that day on, we were on their **** list.
Old    Michael Hunter (mhunter)      Join Date: Mar 2008       08-07-2012, 6:24 AM Reply   
You were pulled over twice in two weeks? Sounds like a highly regulated lake.
Old    Todd (antoddio)      Join Date: Dec 2006       08-07-2012, 6:50 AM Reply   
There's no plate on my Supreme V232. I'm not complaining.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       08-07-2012, 7:44 AM Reply   
I hate the tell it to the judge mentality its a penalty all by itself. Dealing with the court system is a pain. The cop is getting paid for their time, by the time the average joe is in front of the judge they have already been put out enough just by the process.

You go through all the paperwork to figure out the process, do some research, stress about your presentation, take time from work, travel to the court house, pay for parking and wait for the legal system to accommodate the lawyers just to get slapped with fees for the privilege to be found not guilty. If there is any value to your time, this is one of those things where you need to be fighting on principle because it often makes no sense.

If a cop is hell bent on writing the ticket I'm going to nicely explain my feelings and get a little mental therapy for the check I'm about to write...
Old    Scott (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-07-2012, 8:29 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by rdlangston13 View Post
In any case requires or not I know on my möbius LSV the plate cleat defines the weight as including people, ballast, fuel, and gear


Sent from my iPhone newtys droid killer using Tapatalk
My Supra also defines weight as people, gear and ballast.
Old    Brett Yates (polarbill)      Join Date: Jun 2003       08-07-2012, 8:34 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by scotthons View Post
My Supra also defines weight as people, gear and ballast.
I wonder if they rate it differently if the boat has bag ballast above the floor(moomba, supra, older boats) or udner the floor hard tanks(everybody else)?

Again, though the way I read it is the plate doesn't mean squat. It is just a "guidline" that manufacturer's who want to pay for NMMA certification put on their boats. Sure a lot of cops are going to use that as a way to judge a boat being overloaded or not but they don't have to follow it. They can still give you an overloaded ticket, even if you are under the weight/person limits on the plate, if they feel like you are overloaded or jsut feel like being a dick.
Old    Scott (scotthons)      Join Date: Mar 2010       08-07-2012, 8:59 AM Reply   
I always thought the limits it gave was a joke. We are over the limit on ballast alone and I don't exactly "slam" the boat either.
Old    "G" (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       08-07-2012, 11:25 AM Reply   
Dosent mater what numbers "your plaquard" says you can put in your boat. If Ur boat is riding low it's easy to spot. You can point at some numbers on the side of the dash till Ur blue in the face it dosent change the fact if your boat is 5inches from the rub rail. Now if your boat is sitting high in the water and your at the limit then yea I can understand you trying to educate the water cops. But from what I have found out its best not to try and School the cops even if your right. Just say thanks and go on. If the ticket book comes out then that's another story.
Bottom line you might have 3 k in lead ballast hidden threw out Ur boat. Then you have it maxed out with people buy the law you can point at the plaquard and say "look it says max 10 people and we have 10 people" but Ur boats still riding low.
Have fun know the rules and work with in them and have fun
Old    Adam (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       08-07-2012, 12:29 PM Reply   
My Nautique clearly states on the placard that the boat was designed and built with ballast and that should not be considered into the capacity. It goes on to state that any non-factory ballast that is added does need to be counted.

Seems like some companies count factory ballast and some don't.
Old    Train (ttrigo)      Join Date: Dec 2004       08-07-2012, 2:34 PM Reply   
"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."

sounds like a win win kinda day. he really was probably just being careful. I dont blame cops for pulling boats over if they look overloaded. how many times have you seen some deuschbag on the water who was clearly overloaded, and operating his boat unsafely? how many times have you said that you wished a cop was there at that moment? cops doing preventitive police work are alright by me.
glad to hear you went ticket free.
Old    Patrick (jetskiprosx)      Join Date: Aug 2004       08-07-2012, 5:03 PM Reply   
Around here the water cops are the worst! They are usually volunteer sheriffs trying to get on the force by working their summers for free. They don't know squat, but usually leave us well alone and hassle the jet skiers

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