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How is boat capacity determined? I understand the size of the boat comes into play, but I also heard engine size and power can affect the capacity. Would a boat be rated to carry more people if it had a more powerful engine, all other factors being equal?
 

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The Coast Guard is the one doing the rating... They’re trying to make sure that the consumer has some idea of whether a particular setup is reasonably safe with a given load... They are pretty conservative with their formula...

Insurance companies aren’t likely to issue policies on rigs that greatly exceed the hull’s rating. You can bet as well that if lawyers get involved after someone’s been hurt or killed - that will be one if the first things they look at (not to mention any official investigation that will be looking to see whether the operator has too many passengers aboard).
 

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To answer your question, no. The weight of the engine is a factor in determining the total capacity of persons and gear on a boat, not the horsepower.
 
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