Coast Guard Moves to Amend Regulations on Passenger Weight for Passenger Vessels

In August, the Coast Guard proposed to
amend its regulations governing the stability of passenger vessels and the maximum number of passengers that may safely be permitted on board a vessel. These changes would not impact recreational or uninspected passenger boats because the passenger load for these boats is determined by a different formula.
The maximum number of persons permitted on a passenger vessel is determined by several factors, including an assumed average weight for each passenger. Under this proposal, the assumed average weight of a passenger would be raised from 160 pounds to 185 pounds. In 2006, NMMA commented on the Coast Guard’s Voluntary Interim Measures by explaining that the recreational boat regulations and the industry standards, unlike the commercial passenger vessel regulations, do not rely on an estimation of an average person’s weight in the capacity calculation, but rather include a generous design factor to provide a large safety margin for boat capacity. Comments must be submitted to the USCG by November 18, 2008.
For additional information, contact Cindy Squires at 202-737-9766;