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Author Topic:   Overpowering based on Capacity Plate
Ranjr13 posted 10-09-2007 03:14 PM ET (US)   Profile for Ranjr13   Send Email to Ranjr13  
There have been previous "side" discussions on several threads that have discussed whether or not a boat can have a larger hp motor than what the manufacturer's capacity plate limits. I responded with our FD Rescue Boat to a boat accident this past Saturday (a hydroplane). There was no alcohol involved, and the cause of the accident was the boat pitch poling into a larger boat's wake.

The operator of the speedboat was arrested on two counts of reckless operation - one count for the two passengers who's lives were endangered by having an outboard that was 25 or 50hp greater than the capacity plate indicates. In talking with the State DEP officers, there is absolutely no wiggle room in their not writing a summons for overpowering a boat.

Thus if you're considering putting a 50 on a Classic 13, or a 25 on a classic 11 and their capacity plates are 40hp/20hp respectively, plan on a heavy hitting charge of reckless operation - even if you operate the vessel within the law.


skiprobinson posted 10-09-2007 05:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for skiprobinson  Send Email to skiprobinson     
Gee Bob
Thanks for being the new law in 15' is 20HP overpowered and legally insured and registered....please come write me a ticket...if you can catch me.
Sal DiMercurio posted 10-09-2007 06:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
I don't buy it.
No one can site you for driving a car at 20 mph, but having a 2,000 hp engine.
In order to cite anyone for reckless operation, you must be operating the machine recklessly, not because it has a big engine.
There are no CG [ federal ] laws that spell that out.
Maybe a state law in certain states, but I dodn't know of any.
There is a huge difference, between having a boat with an engine thats bigger than the plate says, & operating that boat recklessly.
Do you really think a judge or jury would uphold that ticket if the operator was idling at 3 mph?
an86carrera posted 10-09-2007 09:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
As we all are led down the ever narrowing hallway eventually in single file...

Boating, the last frontier, until guys like this get to be in charge in Florida. I'll be running without hp markings on the engine when they do.

They don't have open water speed limits in Connecticut yet, do they?? At least he did not get a ticket for endangering himself. Can the passengers drop the charges if they wish to then?

Does this make you proud???


Fishcop posted 10-09-2007 10:45 PM ET (US)     Profile for Fishcop  Send Email to Fishcop     
Here is my former 15' CC.

Note the 90hp Yamaha.

I know of no law, State or Federal that allows for a citation to be issued based on overpowering a boat alone. But I am always learning...Any chance we could get a look at the summons or the section violated?

Responsible boating is the key.

Be safe out there.

Tom W Clark posted 10-09-2007 10:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     

What state are you referring to?

What is a "DEP officer"?

Washington state has no law against overpowering a boat. Oregon and California has no such law. There is no federal law against overpowering a boat. I believe Michigan may have such a law.

Overpowering of Whalers is very common, and rather unremarkable. Boston Whaler has even published photographs of the Sport 11 "overpowered" with a 25 HP motor.

jimh posted 10-09-2007 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I don't know about side discussions on the topic of powering a classic Boston Whaler boat with an engine that exceeds the rated horsepower on the capacity plate, but I do know of a REFERENCE ARTICLE on the topic:

Maximum Rated Horsepower

As for the State of Connecticut, I used to live there. I found it really weird that roads that I drove on every day were legally closed. Connecticut used to post notices (signs on posts) that a road was legally closed, yet it was still open and in use by everyone. The first time I came across this I did not know what to do. Then a local explained how it was just a legal formality, a way of the State being able to cop-out on any liability due to the poor pavement.

Now they're going after some guy who has a hydroplane with an engine they think it too big. It seems a bit hypocritical. Well, post the exact regulation being violated, if you please. It may help some Whaler owner avoid being prosecuted for having an engine that is too big.

jenkinsph posted 10-09-2007 11:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for jenkinsph  Send Email to jenkinsph     
I am thinking about a 90 Yamaha 2 stroke for my 150 Sport
since my altitude is 4200 ft. I have done the research in my state (New Mexico) and can not find any laws against it.


Fishcop posted 10-10-2007 12:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Fishcop  Send Email to Fishcop     

Connecticut "DEP" = Department of Environmental Protection.

Still can't find any violation for exceeding the HP on the capacity plate in Connecticut.

I will keep looking....

SpinalTap posted 10-10-2007 11:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpinalTap  Send Email to SpinalTap     
Some activities considered negligent or reckless operation in New Mexico:

* Operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
* Speeding in no-wake zones or boating in areas marked as restricted.
* Operating at greater than no-wake speed within 150 feet of a swimmer, water skier, fishermen, divers down flag and others not engaged in the same activity.
* Weaving through congested waterways and other boat traffic or failure to follow the navigation rules.
* Operating your ski boat in a reckless manner or such that that a person being towed crosses another boat, another skier or between another vessel and its tow.
* Exceeding the weight or number of persons on board or overpowering the craft with an engine larger than designated as listed on the capacity plate.
* Allowing a passenger to ride on the gunwale, bow, transom or in any other position obviously dangerous.

SpinalTap posted 10-10-2007 11:38 AM ET (US)     Profile for SpinalTap  Send Email to SpinalTap     
For those in FL


No person may operate a monohull boat of less than 20 feet in length while exceeding the maximum weight, persons, or horsepower capacity as displayed on the manufacturer’s capacity plate.

Plotman posted 10-10-2007 11:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for Plotman  Send Email to Plotman     
That is simple then. Remove the capacity plat from the boat. They are required to be installed by the manufacturer on boats under 20 feet (this is why many bass boats are 20 feet 1 inch long) but nothing says I have to leave it on the boat.
Marsh posted 10-10-2007 02:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
One could simply do Plotman says, and remove the plate, or maybe just alter the plate such that the engine being used is within spec.

"90 HP" becomes "190HP".

Not that I would ever suggest that, mind you.


SpinalTap posted 10-10-2007 05:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for SpinalTap  Send Email to SpinalTap     
Check State Laws......Some specifically Prohibit operation without a capacity plate and strictly prohibit altering it. PA for example

§ 99.7. Prohibited acts.

(a) A person may not tamper with or remove a capacity plate or any of the information shown.

(b) A person may not sell or otherwise transfer ownership of a boat subject to this chapter that does not comply with this chapter.

(c) A person may not furnish a false or fraudulent statement on an application for a capacity plate.

(d) A person may not operate a boat displaying an illegible capacity plate. Owners of these boats shall apply for a replacement plate as provided in § 99.3 (relating to persons affixing plates).

(e) A person may not operate a boat for which a capacity plate is required unless the boat displays the capacity plate.

(f) A manufacturer, dealer or other person may not offer a boat for sale for which a capacity plate is required unless a capacity plate is properly affixed.

BTW, I am just searching as questions come up. I could personally care less what people do as long as they act responsibly. Capacity plates can't fix Stupid!

Rob Pirie posted 10-10-2007 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for Rob Pirie  Send Email to Rob Pirie     
We have similar regulations here in Australia, you won't be booked for overloading or overpowering your boat in general use.....but if you have a marine incident all onus comes back to the driver of the boat and you will be seen as being deliberately negligent for the safety of your passengers which makes matters very serious.


blackdog54 posted 10-11-2007 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
I am not sure why people are digging into Ranjr13 for his account of what happened. I am sure he is not responsible for the legislation that permitted the writing of the ticket.

I will tell you in San Diego, CA several years ago, an aquaintance of mine (John) was at the helm of a "speed boat". I am not sure how to define it further other than there was almost no "V" to the hull at all. He had it overpowered. He was in Mission Bay tearing it up. He flipped the boat. A female passenger died and he was left paraplegic, after many months in our ICU, which is where I ran into him. Alcohol was a contributing factor (per his account to me).

He was cited for overpowering the boat. The mechanic who installed the motor was found civilly liable in the woman's death, as was John. He received multiple citations and did a short jail stint.

So, I don't know if it was CA law that permitted these tickets to be issued, or if was some other law. But I can tell you personally, he was charged and paid a price.

towboater posted 10-19-2007 06:36 AM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Capacity plates are legal references for your Liability Carrier to consider. Basically, it represents a SURVEY.
Commercial vessels are surveyed and inspected anually...these reports are sent to the Underwriter and they are expensive.
OEM capacity plates expedite all that.

It is my understanding, if you exceed documented OEM capacity limits or a commercial vessel has undesirable issues, Underwriters can refuse to insure you.
Pick you poisen.
Play safe.


Louie Kokinis posted 10-22-2007 11:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    
My understanding is that overpowering will

-Have a negative effect on handling
-Have a negative impact level floatation (the power head will probably not stay above the waterline)
-Potentially crack the transom
-Void most insurance policies
-Void the warrantee


Tohsgib posted 10-22-2007 11:50 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Sorry Louie but not usually the case. Many engines weigh the same with more hp added so #1 & 2 are not effected if the 150 and 225 weigh the same. Insurance WILL take you if you do not try and defraud them. Anotherwords tell them you are overpowered to begin with. HP can stress transoms but I have seen stressed transoms with light hp as well, weight is also a factor but not as much as driving habits. Anotherwords, you can have 200hp on a montauk but if you drive conservatively it will never stress the transom. Water skiing is probably the most stress a transom can handle, hard starts and a negative force trying to pull the boat backwards, etc. Warantee however will "usually" be voided if they "know" you are overpowered. Some have had warranty work done on a Whaler even though it was overpowered(guy in Europe with 90 Yammie on a 15 alert).
TexasWhaler posted 10-22-2007 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for TexasWhaler  Send Email to TexasWhaler     
Here's a hypothetical situation: say a person has a classic 18' Outrage with a 200hp motor on it. It's obviously way over the 150hp limit for that hull, but the person is still able to get coverage, thanks to the insurance agent "allowing" it, even though it's not by the letter of the law.

The person is out cruising on the water one weekend, when something with the steering system breaks, and the boat cuts sharply to one direction, t-boning a 10 million dollar yacht.
Fortunately, no one is hurt. However on impact, the strong Whaler hull actually punched a 4 foot hole in the side of the yacht, at the waterline.

The yacht began to take on water, and the occupants of the yacht took refuge on the Outrage. Within 10 minutes, the yacht had sunk.

Obviously, the Outrage's insurance provider is going to be liable for the yacht. The insurance company is going to send investigators to determine why this happened, and the resulting damage.
The investigator's quickly realize the motor on the Whaler, is not within the legal specs.

Now here's the question. Knowing how some insurance companies work, one of the following is going to happen:
- the insurance company is going to say "no big deal about the Whaler being illegally powered, let's go ahead and pay for the 10 million dollar yacht that's a total loss"
- the insurance company is going to say "the agent did "technically" give him coverage, so let's pay for the yacht, and then fire, and sue the agent
- the insurance company is going to say "that's boat's not legally configured, we don't care if the agent said they'd cover it, we're not paying a dime"
- when the agent is confronted by the company for wanting to know why an illegally powered boat was given coverage to begin with, the agent, looking to save his/her own hide, is going to drop the boat owner in the grease, and tell the company that the boat was legal whenever he/she gave it coverage, and that the boat owner must have changed the boat's power without consulting them.

Hopefully someone can weigh in on this, that may have had a similar experience.

Tohsgib posted 10-22-2007 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Actually the insurance company will pay the max limit on the policy which is probably $100-300k and then the yacht owner's policy will kick in. Your policy will show what engine/hp is on the boat so they can't back out of the deal. Does not however mean the owner will not get a ticket for operating an overpowered boat.
Louie Kokinis posted 10-22-2007 03:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for Louie Kokinis    

You are right. So long as you are transparent in your disclosure the fine print shouldn’t come into play. That said, most insurance markets will not insure a vessel that is overpowered. As for level floatation, you are also right. If the motor weight is the same, level floatation will remain as per factory spec. And, IF one has the discipline to always drive the boat within its, and the transoms limits, everything should be fine. I personally wouldn’t have the self control.

As for the guy with the Alert; it’s a commercial boat, and commercial warrantees are looked at in a different light. The first question the factory asks before they warrantee a transom is “what size motor is on the boat”. My understanding is they will not warrantee an overpowered transom.

I have a 22 Guardian that I’m looking to re-power. I had a lengthy discussion with the folks at CGP and was told my warrantee would be void if exceed the power OR weight ratings of the transom.


The yacht owners insurance would pay for anything over and above the overpowered boat owners policy. But they have the right to subrogate, and would go after the owner of the overpowered boat. I wouldn’t want to be that guy.

Whalerdog posted 10-22-2007 08:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdog  Send Email to Whalerdog     
When I was buying my 19 I got two qoutes from GIECO for 115 ans 135. The 07 was only rated for 115 but it didn't make hardly any difference in the price.
Tohsgib posted 10-22-2007 11:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
YA mon!
Binkie posted 10-23-2007 06:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
Wow, it sounds like there are some folks out there who would go out of their way to report an overpowered offender. Why are all high powered boats labeled by the ignorant as "hydroplanes"? Since when does the sanitation department get involved in boating accidents? Maybe only in Conn. My 18` Bass Boat has a capacity plate of 175hp. I`m only running a 150 hp, but its plenty fast enough to get into trouble with but I`m within the law. Also my race boat,commercially built, has no capacity plate. Some people still build their own boats, mostly wooden. There is no law that states that a homebuilt boat has to go through the rigorous testing by the CG, which is at the expense of the boat builder in order to obtain a capacity plate. It is my opinion that this thread is total BS, and was initiated by a group of rag boaters.


Binkie posted 10-23-2007 06:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
DEP-- that would be Department of Pollution. They would be called to the accident seen to clean up debri(garbage). At this scene only floating Pepsi cans were retrieved. That's why they considered the crash non alcohol related.


fourdfish posted 10-23-2007 10:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
Binkie don't get your underwear in a bundle! It is only internet crap! BTW, I guess both of Larrys boats are not legal in FL!
Tohsgib posted 10-23-2007 12:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Dept of environmental protection = DEP

I do not think they would or could give a ticket unless it was for littering or cutting down mangroves, etc.

Binkie posted 10-23-2007 04:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
Why would Larry`s boats not be legal in Fl.?
fourdfish posted 10-23-2007 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for fourdfish  Send Email to fourdfish     
Binkie--As per post by SpinalTap!!
Binkie posted 10-23-2007 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Binkie    
If I were overpowered, and really concerned about the liability, I would remove or change the hp numbers on the cowl, and go to a marine boneyard and find a similar same brand motor but smaller, and pop the ID plate off, Usually found on the bracket, and replace it with the original one on my motor. I don`t think they`ll be removing the cowl and counting spark plugs, or removing heads and measuring the bore, to try to prove your motor is bigger- but maybe I`m wrong, they may launch a full scale investigation, have your powerhead stripped and measured by a professional tech, but I doubt it.


gcl posted 10-24-2007 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
In Connecticut, the DEP is the primary state boating law enforcement agency. DEP's responsibilities are vast and include investigating boating accidents of any real consequence. The DEP officers' reputation is "tough, but fair". They will not hesitate to bust anyone for any violation.
The Machinery Killer posted 03-19-2008 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Machinery Killer  Send Email to The Machinery Killer     
As this thread is near and dear to ones heart it also is in direct correlation with response times. The USCG has never been bitched at for being on scene too early and likewise the ability to get from point a to point b as someone is in cardiac arrest is paramount. Most all of the vessels are rated by hull speed in the military and not on engine hp rating. Since we are talking about the civilian sector consider the facts;

Reckless is regarding an action that is or has taken place.

Being cited for 300hp on the back of the boat with a capacity of 150hp is out of the question. No wake zone is a no wake zone(When in doubt refer to Chapman's rules of the road).

State based maritime law enforcement are a bit too energetic at times to make a name for themselves.

When renewing your maritime insurance policy this year or starting a new one. Consider the following fine print phrase "Should the insured commit illegal acts or break any law the policy is null and void". I am certain the capacity plate will be referenced.

Homeowners, renters, life, medical, auto, motorcycle, and the recent fraud of Pet Medical insurance has only been around for 50 to 70 years. They have been built on those who have paid their premiums for the past few years without a claim. All of the advertising is geared in a way which shows you can not operate without it. Laws passed previously state it must be paid for in order to operate a vehicle. Regardless their objective is NOT to pay and find every excuse or general counsel to prove they should not pay.

Open water is considered open water and your speed with luck is your discretion. The owner of Benihana of Tokyo was in a race that sent the bow of the boat underwater at speeds in excess of 100mph. He spent three months in the hospital with multiple fractures and has never fully recovered as he no longer races.

I can not think how many stories, photos, and videos show the cigarette boats filled with drugs attempting to out run USCG air craft. The druggies who have an immense budget for spending on top engines, props, and transmissions still can not out run the air support. In the mid 1980's the FCI's or USCG's Fast Costal Interceptors a product of Trident Marine which were made of an aluminum hull had to be decommissioned due to stress cracks found in the hull.

As a person who is working on whaler restorations when the final product is finished the laws must be respected. The person or mechanic who installed the oversize engine being held civilly liable is a fact on the basis you knew in advance what the rating was and you chose to install larger. You choose to provide another party a much more powerful rated machine and you will be held accountable for your actions. There is no way in a dark place you will elude and evade this FACT.

If you choose to put a 300hp on your own vessel and it has a capacity plate of 150hp this is your decision. You sell, transfer ownership, or LEND this vessel to someone else it is your tail on the line NOT THE OPERATORS. You are the one who modified your vessel and the person who operates other then you will get your tail in a world of hot water.

This subject is a double edge sword which is yours to swing. You modify it and someone else operates it that you get to be subject to their stupidity since they may not have your level of experience. You modify it and you only operate it then hang on as you will fly...

Semper Paratus

BQUICK posted 03-20-2008 11:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for BQUICK  Send Email to BQUICK     
I was jumping the wake of a 42 ft Hatteras and the people on board were encouraging me (was getting WAY out of the water!) to do it but the captain called the Coast Guard on me. They gave me a reckless operation ticket but failed to notice I had/have a 50 on the 71 13 footer.
cooper1958nc posted 03-21-2008 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for cooper1958nc  Send Email to cooper1958nc     
The purchaser of a used boat from a private individual who had installed an oversize motor would have a slim to no chance of ever recovering if an accident happened. Private individuals are not "merchants" with respect to goods and are not considered to give warranties or to be subject to strict liability in tort. Furthermore, the engine would be considered an open and obvious issue.

If you buy a used car from a private party and are injured when the brakes go out, how likely is a successful suit against the seller? Very unlikely, unless she had intentionally rigged the brakes to fail.

contender posted 03-21-2008 02:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for contender  Send Email to contender     
I have a 16.7 whaler with 140 Evinrude (40 HP Over) NEVER have been stopped/warned at the ramp, on the water, at the gas station, nothing. (and I bet you there are more police on the water down here and in the keys than anywhere else) I'm in south Fla. Fla keys area and have had the same set up since 1985 when I purchased the engine. I think a lot of getting stopped with a larger engine is how the captain is operating his/her vessel. If you are stupid thats what gets you stopped or a ticket...good luck
Buckda posted 03-24-2008 01:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     
I am not sure what concerns me more:

That there are people wringing their hands about this and condemning owners of "overpowered" boats as reckless regardless of any knowledge about the actual operation of a vessel...


The fact that by default, there are law enforcement officers who must also believe the same as the above

Guns don't kill people, people do.

Likewise, boats don't behave recklessly - operators do. And I will add that I would love to see an analysys of reckless operation citations from around the country to determine just how likely a person with more hp on the transom is to be "reckless" than those with hp within the capacity plate.

It is a free country, at least last time I checked; but getting less so every year.

PeteB88 posted 03-24-2008 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
My understanding is it's about individual state laws/marine board not Federal and Not USCG. Rationale is captain determines how much power his vessel needs to operate safely. I can assure you in PWN there were plenty of times when the extra margin of HP saved our asses.
Tohsgib posted 03-24-2008 11:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
QUOTE "Open water is considered open water and your speed with luck is your discretion. The owner of Benihana of Tokyo was in a race that sent the bow of the boat underwater at speeds in excess of 100mph. He spent three months in the hospital with multiple fractures and has never fully recovered as he no longer races.

I can not think how many stories, photos, and videos show the cigarette boats filled with drugs attempting to out run USCG air craft. The druggies who have an immense budget for spending on top engines, props, and transmissions still can not out run the air support. In the mid 1980's the FCI's or USCG's Fast Costal Interceptors a product of Trident Marine which were made of an aluminum hull had to be decommissioned due to stress cracks found in the hull."

What the hell does this have to do with people overpowering a 17' with a 115?

PS the Benihana was a race(The Godfather of offshore races) in NJ, not Tokyo. It was a Japanese restaurant in Toms River, NJ...not Tokyo. They later changed it to the Walsh offshore war(1986?) after he was injured and nolonger sponsored it...please get your facts right.

PS...You can run a 200hp on a Montauk...don't kill anyone and NOBODY will ever say boo to ya. If you do get a citation for an overpowered boat, you were either reckless driving and got off easy or you were stopped for a "courtesy check" and did not know how to be "courteous" to the man. NOBODY has EVER checked my capacity plate in 30 years of boating.

Tohsgib posted 03-24-2008 11:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
PSS...good luck reading my capacity plates....though I am legal if they cite me for some dumb reason.
kamie posted 03-30-2008 03:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
Do you know the regulations the operator was cited under for having excess horsepower? I searched all the online regs for CT, and I can't find one that has to do with overpowering a boat.
Hines Pointer posted 03-30-2008 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Hines Pointer    

I've recently seen that this excellent website you own and manage,, is a link on the new BW owners website. That's great, for lots of reasons. But also because hopefully BW representatives will now become engaged in many of the topics raised here on your website.

This particular thread is discussing rigging larger hp on BWs than their BW capacity plates approve. Other related threads on the website discuss jack plates, which I imagine inherently raise questions with BW; there are other subjects we raise on your website where actions outside of BW standards are discussed.

I really hope that BW representatives will weigh in on these issues and many other topics raised on the website since BW has incorporated your website as a link. I think in particular that their contributions can be extremely helpful, as they can explain critically important researched BW facts and give us good guidance on safety, etc. implications raised by many of these threads.

If some of us as Whaler owners want to continue on our independent approaches regarding hp, jack plates, etc. at least we'll better understand BW's views on these subjects based on their BW research and government approvals, and hopefully all of this information will be extremely valuable to all of us.

Hines Pointer

gcl posted 03-30-2008 08:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
In CT, operating a vessel powered in excess of the capacity plate is considered to be "reckless operation".
Buckda posted 03-31-2008 06:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Buckda  Send Email to Buckda     

What makes anyone here think that there are not representatives from Boston Whaler, Brunswick, Mercury, Evinrude, Yamaha, etc. ..on the site already?

They are just not operating in "official" capacities. But some of the learned members are certainly "in the know".

Knowing corporations as I do, there will not be an "official" BW representative here other than to provide information that has already been approved by the company. We need a retired exec to become a member and tell all!

Seriously....if your lawyers told you to say something, would you turn around and in an official capacity say something different (and still expect to keep your job)?

Come on now folks....Pay close attention...get to know posters...and then start reading between the lines - read with vision - and you can pick out some of the insiders (though I'll never out them - we all value their opinions too much).


kamie posted 03-31-2008 08:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     

It is not considered reckless, as here is the deffination of reckless in CT.

"Reckless Operation of a vessel or the reckless manipulation of water-skis,a surfboard, or similar device is defined as the failure to exercise the care necessary to prevent the endangerment of another person or their property.
Examples of reckless operation are:

Weaving your vessel through congested waterway traffic or swerving at the last possible moment in order to avoid a collision

Jumping the wake of another vessel unnecessarily close to the other vessel or when visibility around the other vessel is restricted

Chasing, harassing, or disturbing wildlife with your vessel"

You will find the reference on page 3 of the CT Boating Laws.

They designate an overpowered boat as hazardous, but only indicate the officer can request you proceed to the nearest mooring. It also lists an excessive amount of water in the boat as hazardous, so if I take a wave over the bow and there is lots of water in the boat do i get a ticket?

Hines Pointer,
BW Lawyers will never let them speak here in an official capacity, and if they do, they will simply tell you not alter the boat in anyway. if the plate says 90, don't put a 115 on the back, if the engine came mounted on the transom, don't add a jackplate. it's a corporate liability thing, if they spoke officially then BW is liable if you do add that jackplate and the boat pitches over, tosses you out and you die. That is a huge lawsuit waiting to happen. Buckda, is correct, they are here, they monitor the boards, they will never officially tell you anything other than the party line.

gcl posted 04-01-2008 11:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
According to the Connecticut General Statutes, operating a vessel powered in excess of the maximum capacity information is illegal. See Sec. 15-140m(3), which was "cut & pasted" directly from the State of Cinnecticut website.

"Tell it to the Judge."

Sec. 15-140m. Reckless operation of a vessel in the second degree. (a) A person commits the offense of reckless operation of a vessel in the second degree when he (1) operates a vessel at such speed or maneuvers a vessel in such a manner as to endanger the life, limb or property of another person, (2) operates or, as owner, permits the operation of a vessel loaded with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity, having regard for weather and other operating conditions, (3) operates or, as owner, permits the operation of a vessel loaded or powered in excess of the maximum capacity information stated on the United States Coast Guard capacity information label or the capacity information label of the manufacturer affixed to such vessel, or (4) operates or, as owner, permits the operation of a vessel the capacity information label of which has been altered, defaced or removed.

The Judge posted 04-01-2008 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Judge  Send Email to The Judge     
What do you want to tell me?
gcl posted 04-01-2008 12:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for gcl    
Guilty, your Honor.
DillonBW posted 04-01-2008 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for DillonBW  Send Email to DillonBW     
I was at the Bass Pro shop in Myrtle Beach this [unrecognized abbreviation], talked to the Mercury salesman. He told me they WOULD NOT install a motor with horsepower above that of the capacity plate HP rating on the boat.

Also if anyone is interested, he quoted me $7900 + tax, for a 90hp Fourstroke, installed on my boat. Includes Prop, controls and cables. He says they do about 35-40 engine swaps a week there!

Also went on about E-TEC's and how they (Mercury) had that technology 30 years ago... Blah blah blah.
I said "Thank you very much." and went off to my concert at the House of Blues.


Marsh posted 04-03-2008 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
Maybe I am just short sighted, but with regard to my 170 Montauk, fitted with a 115 instead of the max 90 per the capacity plate, that allows me a max speed of 46 mph instead of 42, is hardly even on the radar screen as far as things to be worried about.

I suppose that if ever I was involved in an accident, it could theoretially become an issue.

By the way, isn't there a "Coast Guard Formula" somewhere for calculation of max hp? If memory serves, this formula is a function of length, beam and perhaps weight. I forget. Anyhow, it's interesting to ponder if (and why) a vessel would be plated with "max" numbers that are sometimes less than those derived using this formula.


WhalerAce posted 04-12-2008 11:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for WhalerAce  Send Email to WhalerAce     

Anyhow, it's interesting to ponder if (and why) a vessel would be plated with "max" numbers that are sometimes less than those derived using this formula.

I think it was believed that Whaler did that a few years ago when one of the models they had had a Mercury powerplant of say, 120HP, and the hull was rated at 120HP. The next year, when the Mercury powerplant was say, 130HP (a new model introduced), then magically, that same hull capacity was now increased by 10 HP to 130HP.

(Since I was not buying that series, especially with Mercury power, I did not pay too much attention to the actual specifics).

--- WhalerAce

The Machinery Killer posted 04-19-2008 12:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for The Machinery Killer  Send Email to The Machinery Killer     

"PS the Benihana was a race(The Godfather of offshore races) in NJ, not Tokyo. It was a Japanese restaurant in Toms River, NJ...not Tokyo. They later changed it to the Walsh offshore war(1986?) after he was injured and no longer sponsored it...please get your facts right."

I am certain every comment you have submitted has been perfect and correct...your eminence.

jimh posted 04-19-2008 05:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
By the way, isn't there a "Coast Guard Formula" somewhere for calculation of max hp?

Much earlier in the discussion a link is given to a REFERENCE article on this topic which gives a formula for determining maximum rated horsepower.

TransAm posted 04-19-2008 08:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm    
This formula seems to have its limitations. I have a 25 Temptation rated for 450 HP (whaler drive). Even adding the 2' to the lenght in the computation, the formula yields a maximum HP of only 335.3. Likewise, a late 80's Whaler 27 is rated for 600 HP (no whaler drive) yet the formula suggests a max HP of 441.67. Todays boats, with bigger, more powerful engines being developed, seem to be rated much more liberally with respect to max HP. I see 18' bass boats routinely hanging 250's off the back. Formula rating...about 180.
jimh posted 04-20-2008 12:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The formula cited is applicable to boats of 20-feet or less in length, so it may not scale to boats of 25-feet in length with a 2-foot drive appendage. If you dig deeper into the regulations I believe they offer some additional procedures for certification of horsepower rating which are based on more detailed observations of the boat in operation.
Tom W Clark posted 04-20-2008 01:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom W Clark  Send Email to Tom W Clark     
As jimh correctly notes, the formula is used for boats of 20 feet or less. But what is less well understood is than boats over 20 feet do not have to have any maximum recommended horsepower limit at all. It is entirely up to the manufacturer to decide if a limit is placed on the boat and if so, what the limit is.

However, if a manufacturer does assign a recommended maximum horsepower rating to a boat, there it is, it must be observed to whatever extent the limits for boats less than 20 feet are.

TransAm posted 04-20-2008 08:28 AM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm    
I see. Using the 20' limitation, it becomes apparent how the boat manufactures (particularly bass boats) get around the HP formula. Nitro has a 19'2", 1700lb, 8' beam model rated at 200hp; they also have a 20'9", 1900lb, 8' beam model rated at 300 HP.
towboater posted 04-20-2008 03:37 PM ET (US)     Profile for towboater  Send Email to towboater     
Overpowering without the appropriate liability insurance invites negligence.

Marsh posted 04-20-2008 09:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for Marsh  Send Email to Marsh     
You may be right. No argument there. But does "overpowered really mean?

It still seems to me that Whaler was a bit arbitrary to assigh a maximum rating of 90 to the 170 Montauk, a vessel that, when "overpowered" with a 115, not only complies with the USCG formula, but even when thus overpowered, still cannot exceed 46 mph going down stream with a tail wind.


an86carrera posted 04-20-2008 09:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for an86carrera  Send Email to an86carrera     
Why can I put a supercharger on my car and add 100hp without repercussions? That is 33% more, WTF is with the boat thing?


TransAm posted 04-21-2008 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm    
In my 30+ years on the water I have NEVER seen or heard of anyone being cited for an overpowered boat, and I've seen some pretty rediculous rigs on the water. I think it was stated best earlier in this thread-Boats don't behave recklessly, operators do.

With that said, provided a boat is not burdened by a higher HP motor than rated, I can't think of a single down side (except some negligable cost differences) to a couple extra ponnies on the back of a boat. In fact I would argue just the opposite with many examples to support this. The notion that this type of boat is somehow unsafe is absurd. With the exception of a few anemic 4 cylinder models, we all operate automibiles capable of speeds in excess of 100 mph. Are these autos all inviting negligent behavior or somehow unsafe? of course not.

Provided there is a law or ordinance prohibiting HP in excess of rated limits, I think marine authorities have bigger fish to fry than busting some guy for having an extra 20 or 30 HP on his boat. Know your boat and what it is capable of. Operate you boat in a safe and respectful manner and all is well.

skimywhistler posted 06-30-2014 01:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for skimywhistler  Send Email to skimywhistler     
[Six years later...] The capacity plate on my 14-foot Lund shows the maximum horsepower as 32.2 HP. I run a 30-HP outboard, and I would also like to add a 4-HP outboard for trolling. Adding the 4-HP outboard would put me over the max, but I would not run both motors at the same time. Both are tiller operated. Would I still be within the allowable maximum HP rating as per the capacity plate on my boat, as long as I am not running both engines at the same time?
jimh posted 07-01-2014 08:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
In my opinion, yes. In the opinion of some law enforcement officer that might stop you--who knows? You can't really expect to get a legally binding answer for every state or municipality in the USA from a web forum.

Also--please--do not revive a thread that has been dormant for six years. Thanks.

deepwater posted 07-02-2014 01:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for deepwater  Send Email to deepwater     
As I see it in my twisted mind the manufacturer sets the recommended HP based on the overall strength of the boat hull and how it behaves at high speeds and if you as the owner decide to exceed that HP rating then all departures from the normal operating range are on your the owner and if your insurance company is ok with the big motor then they also share in the coverage

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