§ 45/5-4 Overloading
§ 5-4. Overloading. A. No motorboat may be loaded with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying capacity taking into consideration weather and other existing operating conditions.
B. Capacity plates. (1) Every vessel less than 26 feet in length, designed to carry 2 or more persons and to be propelled by machinery as its principal source of power or designed to be propelled by oars shall, if manufactured or offered for sale in this State, have affixed permanently thereto by the manufacturer a capacity plate as required by this Section. As used in this Section, “manufacture” means to construct or assemble a vessel or alter a vessel in such manner as to change its weight capacity.
(2) A capacity plate shall bear the following information permanently marked thereon in such manner as to be clearly visible and legible from the position designed or normally intended to be occupied by the operator of the vessel when under way:
a. For all vessels designed for or represented by the manufacturer as being suitable for use with outboard motor:
1. The total weight of persons, motor, gear and other articles placed aboard which the vessel is capable of carrying with safety under normal conditions.
2. The recommended number of persons commensurate with the weight capacity of the vessel and the presumed weight in pounds of each such person. In no instance may such presumed weight per person be less than 150 pounds.
3. Clear notice that the information appearing on the capacity plate is applicable under normal conditions and that the weight of the outboard motor and associated equipment is considered to be part of total weight capacity.
4. The maximum horsepower of the motor the vessel is designed or intended to accommodate.
b. For all other vessels to which this Section applies:
1. The total weight of persons, gear and other articles placed aboard which the vessel is capable of carrying with safety under normal conditions.
2. The recommended number of persons commensurate with the weight capacity of the vessel and the presumed weight in pounds of each such person. In no instance shall such presumed weight per person be less than 150 pounds.
3. Clear notice that the information appearing on the capacity plate is applicable under normal conditions.
(3) The information relating to maximum capacity required to appear on capacity plates by Subsection B(2) of this Section shall be determined in accordance with such methods and formulas as shall be prescribed by rule or regulation adopted by the Department. In prescribing such methods and formulas, the Department shall be guided by and give due regard to the necessity for uniformity in methods and formulas lawful for use in determining small vessel capacity in the several states and to any methods and formulas which may be recognized or recommended by the United States Coast Guard or any agency successor thereto.
(4) Any vessel to which this Section applies, not having a capacity plate meeting the requirements of law affixed thereto by the manufacturer thereof, may have such affixed by any other person in accordance with such rules and regulations as the Department may prescribe and may thereafter be offered for sale in this State, but no action taken pursuant to this Section, or in the manner described herein, shall relieve any manufacturer from liability for failure to comply with the requirements of this Section.
(5) The information appearing on a capacity plate shall be deemed to warrant that the manufacturer, or the person affixing the capacity plate is permitted by Subsection B(4) of this Section, as the case may be, has correctly and faithfully employed a method and formula for the calculation of maximum weight capacity prescribed by the Department and that the information appearing on the capacity plate with respect to maximum weight capacity and recommended number of persons is the result of the application of such method and formula, and with respect to information concerning horsepower limitations, that such information is not a deliberate or negligent misrepresentation.
(6) If any vessel required by this Section to have a capacity plate affixed thereto is of such design or construction as to make it impracticable or undesirable to affix such plate, the manufacturer, or other person having the responsibility for affixing the plate, may represent such impracticability or undesirability to the Department in writing. Upon determination by the Department that such representation has merit and that a proper and effective substitute for the capacity plate which will serve the same purpose is feasible, the Department may authorize such alternative compliance and such alternative compliance shall thereafter be deemed compliance with the capacity plate requirements of this Section.
(7) The Department may by rules or regulations exempt from the requirements of this Section vessels which it finds to be of such unconventional design or construction that the information required on capacity plates would not assist in promoting safety or is not reasonably obtainable.
(8) The Department is authorized to issue and amend rules and regulations to carry out the purposes of this Section.
Failure to affix a proper capacity plate shall constitute a separate violation of this subsection B for each vessel with respect to which such failure occurs.