Passenger Capacity

Discussion in 'Sport Boats' started by Dave 205, Nov 14, 2011.

  1. Dave 205

    Dave 205 New Member

    449
    Mar 15, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    2006 205 Sport, Shorelander Trailer. Towed by 2012 Ford F-150 Supercrew 5.0 with factory tow package
    Mercruiser 5.0 220 HP Carb w/ Alpha 1 Drive
    My boat is rated to 8 people, or 1,120 lbs max person / weight. Since my family has five people, inviting another family tends to put us at 9 people. Five are usually kids, but two are in high school. Tubes and coolers add some weight as well.

    To be practical, I know we are over the weight limit. And, as the kids grow, it will be a bigger issue. Yet, the boat performed very well, there was never any hint of handling concern, sitting too low in the water, etc.

    The odd thing, when looking at boats, Sea Rays seem to be rated more conservatively than other brands. I've attached a Crownline ad rated to 12 people, with 20' length, and an 8'6" beam. My boat is 21' width and 8'0" beam. I've "heard" that ratings have generally been dropped in the past several years.

    I took the boat safety course, and they recommend the following capacity for unrated boats:

    # of people = vessel length (ft) x vessel width (ft) / 15.

    This calculation indicates 11.2 people @ 150 lbs each, or 1,680 lbs.

    So, outside of the obvious legal violation, am I taking a lot of risk with my 9 people and growing weight problem?



    http://omaha.craigslist.org/boa/2697738071.html
     
  2. andy k

    andy k Member

    401
    Feb 7, 2009
    Door County, Wisconsin
    1998 3075
    2 x Mercury 5.7 carb
    It is not legal to have over the posted limit. Which I think is BS because it is up to the manufacture specs. A good example is my dinghy it is rated for 10 HP and it is only 8' 6" long all other dingy my size are rated for under 5 HP.
     
  3. northern

    northern Active Member

    Jan 17, 2007
    West coast Vancouver to Alaska
    380 Aft Cabin 1989 GPS and Charts by Nobeltec
    Twin 454 strait shaft
    A Coast Gurd member once told me a story of an over loaded boat that had 4 adults in it and 8 children. They got into rough water. There was one life jacket on board the water temperature was 50F. The adults tied the children together and put the life jacket on the largest. The boat sank, no adults were found and all the children were found dead with the oldest just floating and the others attached. The last one they pulled up from the water was an baby. I was told load rating on a boat is for fair weather. I would never exceed that. I tend to keep the loads less than the sticker amount. Get a bigger boat or make two trips or leave some at home. A bigger boat is probably cheaper than a funeral for 9.
     
  4. jason78

    jason78 Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor SILVER Sponsor

    Sep 3, 2008
    Fort Mill, SC / Lake Wylie
    1997 20 Outrage
    200 Merc Offshore
    In regards to the Crownline 12 passenger seating; this was discussed here a while back.

    http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/...tal-palm-valley-boat-crash-terms-confidential



    CSR Thread-

    http://clubsearay.com/showthread.php/42336-Court-Rules-Bow-Riders-are-Unsafe-WHAT-THE-!-!-!-!-!
     
  5. Kreole Kid

    Kreole Kid Active Member

    May 25, 2009
    New Orleans, Louisiana
    2004 340 Sundancer,
    2008 Yamaha VX1100 Jet Ski
    8.1 Horizons, V-Drives
     
  6. Dave 205

    Dave 205 New Member

    449
    Mar 15, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    2006 205 Sport, Shorelander Trailer. Towed by 2012 Ford F-150 Supercrew 5.0 with factory tow package
    Mercruiser 5.0 220 HP Carb w/ Alpha 1 Drive
     
  7. blaster

    blaster Active Member SILVER Sponsor

    May 23, 2011
    potomac river
    2010 sea ray 205 sport
    F150 5.4 xlt 4x4
    Mercruiser 4.3 mpi alpha 1.62
    I don't like to have more than 6 people aboard child or adult. It gets too hectic and I no longer can enjoy myself. I see overloaded boats all the time and often it's while they are stopped by marine police or the coast guard. I can understand wanting to have a large crowd enjoy your boat but God forbid if something were to happen your fault or not you will be held neglegent. Think of this as your first boat. Hone your skills and then move up. Theese boats hold their value really well so you shouldn't have a problem when it's time to sell. If you want to take out 8 or more people you really need something in the 25 to 29 foot range.
     
  8. fasttoys7619

    fasttoys7619 New Member

    262
    Sep 25, 2011
    IL
    90
    one
    go bigger then 25 foot if you want more then 8 , my 1990 250 da says max 8 people , which on a calm day on the inland lakes here on the Chain I think that is way low , especially for the size of my boat, I think 10 would be great my buds Donzi does not have a plaque ,? why ? why does mine ? he bought it new , never came with one , my Wellcraft Nova never had one either , I dont get these boat manufactures
     
  9. Dave 205

    Dave 205 New Member

    449
    Mar 15, 2011
    Omaha, NE
    2006 205 Sport, Shorelander Trailer. Towed by 2012 Ford F-150 Supercrew 5.0 with factory tow package
    Mercruiser 5.0 220 HP Carb w/ Alpha 1 Drive
    All good comments. I usually err on caution, so I must be feeling some guilt putting up this post. From a comfort standpoint, 8-9 sounds worse than it is. With kids, sometimes just 4 adults are really on the boat conversing, while the kids are diving off the swim platform, or we've got 3 on a tube, etc. When we have lunch, some kids are usually up on the sunpad eating - or the tube, etc. There is a lot of room to spread out. We don't do any real distance cruising, so we don't have that issue with blocked vision, etc. I always make sure the field is clear. Jackets on, fair weather, etc. And, I know, we can all rationalize anything.....

    Most often, we top at 5 or 6.

    The book I have indicates that capacity plates are only required for boats under 20 feet, obviously, mfg's are going beyond that. If a Donzi doesn't have a plate, it may have fallen off - mine did, and I had to glue it back recently. (And no, I wasn't hiding it, I had it on board the whole time it was down!)

    I was mostly curious why ballpark similar boats have such dramatic differences in capacity. And, it appears that the average passenger weight calculation is in the eye of the mfg. Apparently, a black art. I had looked at a 19.5 ft Bayliner new, with a 190 hp 4.3 that was rated at 9. Yet my 21 foot V-8 is at 8 (as is the lighter V-6 version). And a similar Crown is 12.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2011
  10. 280DA

    280DA New Member

    40
    Sep 11, 2011
    Lac St.-Jean Quebec CAN
    2001 Sundancer 280
    Twin 4.3 Alpha 1
    Here in Canada, this plaque (passengers capacity and max. Horsower)is mandatory for boats of 6 m or less (about 19 feet) . Above that, NO
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn New Member

    7
    Sep 15, 2011
    Oregon
    185 Sport, Wakeboard package
    4.3L
    I know that the gov't just readjusted the average persons weight from 150 to 185 just a week or so ago (saw it on the news). So us Americans are getting fatter but it will play on future ratings I am sure. I agree that pushing it is not in your best interest and they will ticket you if you exceed the count regardless of their weight. The logic behind that part is the weight can shift more easily with more people even if you are under the max weight. You need to go bigger I think.
     
  12. CV-23

    CV-23 New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Williamsport, PA
    1990 270 Sundancer, 2003 Ford Excursion 4x4 Limited
    454 merCruiser w/Bravo 1
    6 adults on my 270/290 is all I want and I'm the heaviest at 210/6'2". Average weight is 160 probably. Three couples or two couples with children works fine. With no capacity plate it's my call and I know the performance limits of my boat. I keep 10 life jackets on board and 4 are for children, Mike.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  13. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    39' x 14' / 15 = 36.4 passengers for my boat. :smt043
     
  14. CV-23

    CV-23 New Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    Williamsport, PA
    1990 270 Sundancer, 2003 Ford Excursion 4x4 Limited
    454 merCruiser w/Bravo 1

    Looks like U.S. Govt. Accounting to me!....Mike.
     
  15. electricaldoctor

    electricaldoctor Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor PLATINUM Sponsor

    May 14, 2008
    Thousand Islands, Rockport, Ontario.
    1988 390 EC
    454 Mercruiser Gassers
    39' x 14' / 15 = 36.4 passengers @ $20.00 each for a 2 hour boat ride ... I can get rich in a hurry!!! Mind you, I would have to lay out some extra boat bucks for a few extra PFD's.
     
  16. WazzuCMGrad

    WazzuCMGrad New Member

    225
    Oct 30, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    '08 205 Sport
    Merc 5.0L TKS 220HP; Alpha One
    Wouldn't a more practical approach be, don't exceed the number of true seats (that actually are seats, not the v-berths or other bunk-type spaces, and skipping any bowrider "seats") available top-side, with a possible exception of a dining table area for the larger craft?

    On my 180, this would be 5, which seems right.

    Any thoughts?
     
  17. Bob & Sue

    Bob & Sue New Member

    Jun 3, 2011
    Browns Point Tacoma WA
    Sold 1999 270DA Sundancer
    5.7l Mercuiser
    I had this explained to me when I had a voluntary USCG safety inspection done last June where they go over your complete boat from bilge to anchor compartment and place a USCG Safety Approved sticker in your port side window this lets local or USCG patrols know at least you've complied with all the regs ( might not board you over someone without one ) . His explanation was to forget about the total people allowed it is the total weight brought on board including all accessories you've added IE barbecue, dingy example 1000lbs or 6 people capacity would be 1000 - 400lbs of gear ice chest food = 600lbs of people ( 6 @ 100lbs or 2 @ 300lbs ). Sea Ray dealer explained their rated capacity is with boat fully loaded with fuel and water.
     
  18. Gunn

    Gunn Active Member TECHNICAL Contributor

    Oct 4, 2006
    Potomac River - MD
    2003 280DA and 1995 Sea Ray 175
    Twin 4.3l and 3.0l, all w/ AlphaI GenII drives
    Agreed. What makes most sense to me, albeit illegal or not, is to follow the maximum weight capacity and have seating for each on board. On my 175 bowrider, I had seating for 9 easily. And there were more than a couple occasions each year where I had 9 on my boat. In those cases, 5 were kids. So I was well under the weight limit, which was most important for me. Now on my 280DA, those same nine are not an issue anymore and I'm legal in every way.

    Oh, and of course each child was wearing a life jacket, and there were 7 other life jackets on board for the 5 adults, and three throwable cushions on board that I'd use as a seat bolster. Not excuse for not having enough life jackets...
     
  19. rcknecht

    rcknecht Active Member

    Mar 23, 2009
    toms river,nj
    340 Sundancer 2001
    T 454 MPI
    I was at a dock party where there was 42 very drunk people on a 36' Cruisers... I noticed that the swim platform was completely under water... The boat was at dock... My wife and I quickly staggered off, we feared if another person came on it would sink very quickly... Boats are designed with safety margins... You are more likely to get in trouble when you mix drinking and boating, than if you have one extra person on-board...
     

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