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Author Topic:   Power in excess of maximum rating
jimh posted 09-17-2002 09:12 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
There has been much discussion about the legality of installing engines with greater horsepower than that shown on the manufacturer's rating plate.

The United States Coast Guard has an opinion on this frequently asked question:


poker13 posted 09-17-2002 09:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for poker13    
Great! Green light to swap out that 90 on the new 170 Montauk for a 115! Yeeha!!
JBCornwell posted 09-17-2002 10:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for JBCornwell  Send Email to JBCornwell     
Well, I stand corrected. I take back all of my ravings.

Red sky at night. . .
JB :)

Bigshot posted 09-17-2002 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Yeah right JB:)
tabasco posted 09-17-2002 12:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Phew.......does that mean I can put my 115HP stickers back on the motor ;-)

Anyone who wants to do this .......Progressive Insurance will insure over HP rated boats and they give a reasonable price.

ShrimpBurrito posted 09-17-2002 12:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
I would have liked to have seen/tested that 15' with the 115HP that I believe Biggs said he saw.
Bigshot posted 09-17-2002 02:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Stay at the Crystal Cove resort in is their ski boat. 1978 sport with a newer 115 was scary. No stress cracks and handled well, static trim was very acceptible.
Tim Ehlers posted 09-17-2002 09:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tim Ehlers  Send Email to Tim Ehlers     
Well I am off the hook, sorta. I do not think Florida cares. Need to check the fine print on insurance. I have a '72 16 foot Katama with a Tohatsu 120. It came that way and I knew nothing about power boats till this site. I am worried though as I read further down the regulations and they said, "The Coast Guard Capacity Information label is required only on monohull boats less than 20' in length". My boat was cosmetically pretty rough when I got it and has no capacity plate. What do I do? Where do I get one? I never carry over seven people and just assumed that the marine patrol or CG would leave me alone as to capacity as the 16/17 Whalers must be the second most produced boat on the planet next to the 13 footers and they of all people should be familiar with them. Unless Bayliner has a more common model, but I would think not enough of them would still be seaworthy :) -Tim
Bigshot posted 09-18-2002 09:37 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Believe it or not, I was pulled over in my Montauk with a 115 on it by the CG. They never checked the capacity plate. When they were letting me go, a rookie asked who makes a Montauk(could not see the Bw decal while tied up), I damn near fell overboard. When I was a kid every CG station had one, so did marine police, etc. I guess the CG just uses those goofy ribs now.
NoviceWhaler posted 09-18-2002 01:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for NoviceWhaler  Send Email to NoviceWhaler     
Alabama regulations include:

with a statement to the effect of:

"Operating a vessel after April 28, 1999 which violates federal laws regulating the horsepower of the engine of the vessel."

Are there federal reg's that limit horsepower?

This website:

"The maximum person capacity and horsepower must not be exceeded" for a Vessel Safety Check by the Coast Guard Auxillary.

Certain states limit the power of the boat to that detailed on the capacity plate, namely Wisconsin and Kansas, which are the only ones which I can definitely find that limit HP by state regulations.

I was unable to find any definite federal legislation limiting HP, but who knows. Your state might...


Seabrook posted 09-18-2002 02:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Seabrook  Send Email to Seabrook     
My 1983 Montauk came with a 115 Johnson. I can not read the plate that gives max HP, but is it possible that they used to be rated for 115 HP, back before they started measuring horses at the prop?
Bigshot posted 09-18-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Nope from 1961-2002 they are rated at 100hp. I think 40 or 50 if tiller steering.
super7 posted 09-20-2002 02:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for super7  Send Email to super7     
if you reeaally need a picture that that shows what over powering is says its a 27 whaler sooo go to google or and type in whaler27 no spaces. i think the term is gosh or gee wiz at least its "overpowering"(yea i know boo bad joke)
David Jenkins posted 09-20-2002 02:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Jenkins  Send Email to David Jenkins
Bigshot posted 09-20-2002 03:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Is that a 27 Whaler? Why does it have 900hp and yet he says it is 1k?
lhg posted 09-20-2002 03:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
That boat is a Midnight Express 39, by Tom Mason down in Pompano Beach FL. I've seen several of those set up that way, including some for US Customs.
tabasco posted 09-21-2002 08:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for tabasco  Send Email to tabasco     
Sorry guys your wrong ....It's a Fountain Boat you can even see the begining of the name on one of the photos.
dfmcintyre posted 09-22-2002 06:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for dfmcintyre  Send Email to dfmcintyre     
Uh....both right, or wrong, depending on your viewpoint.

The photos of the seats are from a Fountain, the photos of the boat with the quad setup looks to me to be of a Whaler.

Giveaway was one of the closups of the seats, you can see that the Fountain is a sterndrive or surface drive, and the stern of the Whaler(?) is in the background.


FISHNFF posted 09-23-2002 01:25 AM ET (US)     Profile for FISHNFF  Send Email to FISHNFF     
Must have taken a lot of time dialing in the props. Three four blades and one five blade! The two inside motors are left-hand, while the outside ones are right. Looks loke one wild ride!!


jstachowiak posted 09-23-2002 09:17 AM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
Check out:

All you guys that feel that "Need for Speed" should read this article. A freak accident, yes, but you never know what is out there that you can hit. The faster you go. . . And that was a brand new rig.

tully_mars posted 09-23-2002 09:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
I know some of you have heard me say this before, but if you overpower your boat, you open up yourself big time for a lawsuit in this crazy suit happy world. Lawyers will look at all the facts in an accident, regardless of fault, and boats that are out of spec is where a Plaintiff's attourney will try to shift the blame. They will infer all types of things about what kind of person overpowers a boat, no matter if you only did it for the torque so you can pull that slalom skier. To a jury they will try to make you look like a crazed speed-demon. No matter what anyone's explanation/excuse is, for those who don't know about boats it is hard to avoid the numbers and recommendations.

Just a side note, for you radar users, if you are in a collision in the clearest of days and your radar is not on you are also more liable. This is due to the number one USCG rule to use "all means necessary to avoid a collision". Just the weird way a legal system is working.

Just play by the rules is all I can recommend.

Tully Mars

jameso posted 09-23-2002 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Ok, my 02.

We are being regulated to death, enough! Why do the citizens of this country think the US Govt should protect everyone from everything?

The capacity plate on all my boats says 'recommended' It does not say it is illegal or even dangerous to over power.

Also this silly plate is only required on single hull boats, not on cats or pontoons, also pontoons and cats do not have to have the flotation that monohulls do, are we being discriminated against? Lets start "NAMHO" (National Association of Monohull Owners) and lobby against this 'unfair' practice. Maybe we could start legislative process to make us a recognized minority?

I just sold a Montauk Commerical hull that was originally purchased by the GA DNR, the boat had a 115 OMC on the stern, go figure.

Have a good week, think I'll drag my Whaler to the lake and watch some PWC's.

Jim Armstrong

lhg posted 09-23-2002 03:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Tully-Mars's Johnny Cochran style legal scenario may be accurate, but that is your insurance company's problem, not yours.

The basic issue here is tell your insurance company what HP you have, and if they write you a policy, you're covered. Some carriers, such as the BOAT/US program, won't take an excess powered boat, and some will. You'll have to shop around a little. Buy the highest limit of liability you can afford.

tully_mars posted 09-23-2002 03:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for tully_mars  Send Email to tully_mars     
Unfortunately it is not Johnny Cochran style but Ambulance Chaser style.

Some friends of mine were involved in an accident though they were not at fault. Even though the other boat was operating under the influence, the other parties still brought suit. You don't need money to be a plaintiff, just a defendant. Instead of having an attourney dot my I's and cross my T's with my insurance policy every time it is renewed just to make sure I am covered, I would rather just put the right motor on my boat. It would be just my luck that a few years down the line all of the sudden overpowered boats would be no longer covered, or the state legislature might change the rules. Then you are stuck.

Tully Mars

Bigshot posted 09-23-2002 04:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
My luck they'll sue me for not having enough power:(
Contender25 posted 09-23-2002 10:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Contender25  Send Email to Contender25     
LHG is correct about the Midnight Express-

here is a link to a magazine article about the US Customs and the 39 Midnight Express

Contender25 posted 09-23-2002 10:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for Contender25  Send Email to Contender25     
Took a second look and there are pictures of 2 totally different boats, the one with the serious seats is a Fountain and the one with the Quads is a Midnight Express.
Bigshot posted 09-24-2002 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
That thing with quads aint 39'.....why would they title it a 27' whaler? Granted I really don't know what a newer 27 looks like so that is why I asked. I do know what a 30 ME looks like and I think they are a lot bigger, at least mine is:)
lhg posted 09-24-2002 05:44 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Nick - Contender and I are correct. It is a Midnight Express 39. If you look at the picture entitled "helm" you can even see the US Customs wording on the hull.

There are 2 boats shown. The boat with rocketship seats has SS top suports. The Midnight Express 39 has black powder coated supports. None of these is a 27 or a 270 Whaler. Guaranteed. One of these US Custom boats is docked about a mile from my place in FL, so I know them well and see it out on the water all the time. The builder told me they do about 80.

Originally, some were set up with 4 225 Opti's, but now seem to have switched to the EFI's.

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