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  #1  
Old 04-06-2011
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Ferries carrying fat people -- USGC changing the rules

Did anyone else see this? The USCG is reducing the number of people that a ferry or other commercial vessel can carry, by about 14%. Why, because people are fatter now!

So lay off the Big Macs people. Hit the gym. Or at least bring some skinny people on trips with you.

I wonder if this will change the placards on new dinghys, to restrict them to carrying fewer people.

(One factor they seem to have missed is that fatter people float better. They also do better in cold water. First hand experience on those facts.)

Regards,
Brad

Fatter passengers means fewer on boats
Coast Guard sets new standards
April 02, 2011|By Robert Nolin, Sun Sentinel

The U.S. Coast Guard is bringing new meaning to the term "gross tonnage."

In recent decades Americans have become a little too, shall we say, portly. And that's led to new rules on how many of us can safely be crowded aboard passenger vessels.

Since the early '60s the Coast Guard's standard weight for an average boat passenger has been 160 pounds. That's been the basis on which commercial vessel operators — everyday private motorboaters are exempt — calculate the number of passengers they may carry.

But changes in our collective waistline — 34 percent of adults over 20 are overweight — have prompted the Coast Guard to assign a few more pounds on the average boat passenger.

"People weigh significantly more now," Coast Guard spokeswoman Lisa Novak said from her Washington, D.C., office. "The average weight per person has increased to 185 pounds."


---- and here's the article from the Boston Globe -----

Coast Guard: Americans getting fatter
Posted by Paul Makishima, Globe Assistant Sunday Editor April 5, 2011 11:44 AM
Coast Guard: Americans getting fatter - Globe-trotting - The Boston Globe


In case you need more evidence that Americans are tipping those scales a bit harder the US Coast Guard is cutting the number of passengers allowed on passenger vessels. Since the 1960s the Coast Guard assumed a standard weight of 160 pounds for an average boat passenger in making safety rules for commercial vessel operators, according to a report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel [the article above - Bene505].

But given that these days an estimated 34 percent of adults over 20 are overweight the Coast Guard has opted, far safety's sake, to assume that the average passenger is a bit heavier than back in the day. "People weigh significantly more now," Coast Guard spokeswoman Lisa Novak told the newspaper. "The average weight per person has increased to 185 pounds."

The new rules will kick in Dec. 1. Basically what this means is that a boat with a 16,000-pound capacity, which formerly could have carried 100 passengers, will only be allowed to ferry 86 people. The limits won't affect personal boaters but will affect vessels that require an annual Coast Guard inspection like ferries, sightseeing or excursion boats.
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Old 04-06-2011
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This kind of relates to the capsize of that Mac-26 in San Diego. Recreational boats with capacity plates shouldn't be affected as long as they state total weight rather than number of people.

But the Coast Guard inspection certificates for commercial vessels *are* stated in terms of max number of people. Hence the change, based on some tour boat accidents where boats were overloaded despite being within the stated passenger limit.

And that "formula" we sometimes see, you know, the one about length x width, divided by 15, equals max number of people? I hope that will be trashcanned, or altered by making the divisor larger than 15. For most narrow-ended, round-bilged sailboats, that formula will give you an insanely large number of passengers, especially now if we find the average is 185 pounds vice the 150 or 160 used in the bygone "skinny" days.
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Old 04-06-2011
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Does this mean the "6-pack" license is now going to be a "5-pack" license?
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Old 04-06-2011
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even at 185 it is still too low..that just brings up to "normal" people, but with obesity...they should have used 200 or more...

Oh well,
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Old 04-06-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bene505 View Post
...(One factor they seem to have missed is that fatter people float better. They also do better in cold water. First hand experience on those facts.)
And if you are a fat woman, you will last four times longer in cold water than a man
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Old 04-06-2011
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Due to laws of aeronautical engineering, as opposed to subjective safety measures, each aircraft has a maximum gross weight limit. Doesn't matter how many or few it takes to get there, it won't fly properly if it weighs more. Boats should probably be the same and the skipper should do the math. Pilots do and, yes, you often estimate a passenger's weight and build in a fudge factor.
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Old 04-06-2011
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Big Macs are good though!
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A few years ago (2 if I remember correctly) we were told that we would need a new stability certificate because of the weight increase. In our case, it seemed pretty silly to me since the maximum number of people was 55 on a 92' sailboat drawing 11.5' with 40+ tons of ballast. We tried having everyone stand on one rail once and she didn't list more than 2 or 3 degrees. The only reason the capacity would have been in question is if the boat could no longer meet stability. However, for some other boats it would certainly make a difference. I have watched some multiple deck commercial power boats list over alarmingly far due to too many people on one side.
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