How to Determine The Passenger Capacity of a Boat

Know the passenger capacity of your boat.
Know the passenger capacity of your boat. (Image: Thomas Northcut/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

A boat can provide hours of enjoyment during the hot days of summer, but an overloaded boat can turn that fun into danger. Knowing the passenger capacity of your boat can keep you cruising on the lake and not stuck at the dock.

Check your boat's owner's manual for the passenger capacity.

Look for the passenger count and weight capacity of your boat. This should be posted on a plaque somewhere on your boat.

Calculate the passenger capacity yourself. Multiply the length of your boat by the width of your boat and divide it by 15 to get the number of people your boat can safely hold. For example, if your boat is 30 feet long and 15 feet wide, your boat's capacity would be 30 x 15 / 15, which is 30.

Figure the weight capacity of your boat. Multiply the number of people from Step 3 by the average weight of 150 pounds per person. In the example in Step 3, the weight capacity of the boat would be 4,500 pounds.

Tips & Warnings

  • This formula only works for boats 25 feet or less in length.
  • When figuring capacity through the formula, remember that it is only a rough estimate.

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