Sunday, January 1, 2012

Weighty Issue

The US Coast Guard has suddenly realized that the average weight of an american boater is now no longer 160 pounds, and has revised its "Passenger Weight and Inspected Vessel Stability Requirements" document effective December 1st 2011. This weighty tome has not been revisited since 1960 when the average american did weigh a mere and svelte 160 lbs, instead of the now current estimate of 191 pounds. Actually the Coast Guard is being sensitive about this issue, and is using 185 pounds for the calculations, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings. This will now result in about a 15% reduction in the passengers allowed on board, or the vessel owner can opt to file pounds of paper to re-certify the vessel's stability. At this time, only commercial vessels that are required to have "Certificates of Inspection", and compliance with Title 46 of the CFR's have to comply. If your recreational boat is rated at 8 passengers, have at it, the more the merrier I say.