Failure to adhere to your vessel’s maximum load capacity, as per its compliance notice, could result in having your marine insurance policy declared void. Photo supplied

Failure to adhere to your vessel’s maximum load capacity, as per its compliance notice, could result in having your marine insurance policy declared void. Photo supplied

BOATING WITH BARB: Compliance notices for small vessels integral to insurance coverage

If your pleasure boat is more than 78 feet in length you won’t have to worry about the compliance notice required by Canadian law under the small vessel regulations.

No, not for Mr. Big to find where that small metal/weatherproof plate is stuck on a yacht the length of a tennis court. Otherwise, you’ll likely find your boat’s compliance notice firmly and visibly attached by the manufacturer (usually near the helm), with numbers identifying the safe maximum engine power and the gross load capacity.

Overpowered and overloaded pleasure boats risk having their marine insurance policy declared void when swamped by Mr. Big’s passing wake.

If your boat doesn’t have a compliance notice (i.e. is an import or home-built), the website BOATERexam.com offers a handy online calculator for figuring out the safe maximum horsepower based on the boat’s square footage. The equation to calculate the maximum load capacity, or how many people your boat can safely carry is: Boat length (ft.) x width (ft.) ÷ 15 = the number of people.

This equation approximates the weight of each person at 165 pounds. In the spirit of good seamanship, invite each of your passengers to step on a scale before climbing onto the boat. For any individual overage, simply deduct the weight equivalency from their carry-on or special treats baggage. Or not to miss favourable tide or weather conditions, you could inadvertently leave the entire person on the dock. It does happen. Alternatively, the over-capacity adult may choose a friendly barter with agreeable children or guests who weigh less than 165 pounds. That equation may look something like this: 165 pounds – 72 pound Timothy + 10 pound Batman backpack = 83 free pounds.

In this way, an overloaded adult may be overpowered by a child negotiating for Twizzlers and potato chips for dad’s change of clothing.

Here’s a classic riddle: When is a boat filled with people yet without a single person onboard? Ah yes, when everyone on the boat is married, but where do you find a marine spousal compliance notice? After the pre-boarding reveal of body and baggage weights, you may assume that smoldering family and friend resentments have been left behind in the wake of a jolly good day on the water ahead. Possibly. Oh, for the relief of 78 feet in a tennis court boa- length of personal non-compliance, equation-free.

https://tc.canada.ca/en/marine-transportation/marine-safety/compliance-notices

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