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Never overload your boat with passengers and cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity. Too many people and/or gear will cause the boat to become unstable. Always balance the load so that the boat maintains proper trim. Here are some things to remember when loading your boat:

  • Distribute the load evenly fore and aft and from side to side.
  • Keep the load low.
  • Keep passengers seated (Do not stand up in a small boat!).
  • Fasten gear to prevent shifting.
  • Do not exceed the "U.S. Coast Guard Maximum Capacities" information label (commonly called the Capacity Plate).
  • If there is no capacity plate, use the following chart as a guide to determine the maximum number of persons you can safely carry in calm weather. (The chart is applicable only to mono-hull boats less than 20ft in length.) A mono-hull is a boat, which makes a single "footprint" in the water when loaded to its rated capacity. For example, a catamaran, trimaran, or a pontoon boat is not a mono-hull boat.

Bar chart that provides a guide to the number of individuals who can safely be accommodated in a mono-hull boat less than 20 feet in length.  The chart provides the following information:


Number of People = (Length of Boat x Boat Width)

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