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Old 01-27-2019, 02:36 PM   #1
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Consequences of overpowering a dinghy?

In another thread the topic of overpowering a dinghy came up. Rather than hijack that thread, I though I'd start a new one.


Small boats all have a sticker in them listing max load and power capacities, but I have no idea what law or regulation those are based on, and who cares.


So if the sticker on my boat says 40hp max, and I put a 50hp on it, what happens? Will the Coast Guard ticket me? Or maybe the local law enforcement types? Will an insurance company not insure it? How would they even know what the HP limits are for the boat?


Who actually cares, and does it really matter? I intentionally picked the numbers In this example because it's not massively over powered, and not a much heavier engine, which I think would be the obvious Darwin moves that someone could make.
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Old 01-27-2019, 02:52 PM   #2
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I am not a lawyer but I believe the term is prima facia evidence of negligence. Your insurance will probably be void and you will get cited if LE catches you. But other than that what’s the problem.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:10 PM   #3
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Yes, your voyage can be terminated .yes, LEO do sometimes check the capacity plate, definitely if it is not just a random boarding as in accident.

While against the law, especially state laws in particular, but I am not sure what the penalties are.

Likely a fine, maybe in states with safety certificates some sort or revocation.
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:21 PM   #4
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Old 01-27-2019, 03:31 PM   #5
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The LEO's in our harbor will occasionally check and they will ticket you.
Your dinghy warrantee will be voided.
If you have an accident involving someone else your situation will become complicated quickly.

And if none of this happens you will likely just have a poor performing RIB due to weight and/or Hp.
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:46 PM   #6
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This seem to me to be kind of an overreach though a bit of web time found there is an actual performance test to determine max HP ratings.

33 CFR 183 Subpart D | Boat Safe Horse Power | New Boatbuilders Home Page

Boat Building Regulations | Safe Horsepower For Outboard Boats

The second link notes the following - "The below formulas do not apply to: sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats, that are designed or intended to use one or more outboard motors for propulsion. It does not apply to boats that are true multihulls. A multihull makes two or more separate footprints in the water. A pontoon boat is a multihull."

Personally, if I had a 50hp and the max was 40, I think I'd find a new decal...
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Old 01-27-2019, 04:55 PM   #7
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Have a mishap that involves the ColRegs and you will find yourself charged likely with traveling too fast for conditions, then your insurance will find that your negligence was responding responsible for the mishap. Secondly engine hp is dictated by the mfg to ensure that their craft are stable and safe. Once again mfg liability is negated. Last point deals with load. Once again all craft so annotated are built to support, horizontally, the load so annotated. That includes the engine. So putting a large stat the stern if filled with H2O likely will result in a vertical position.
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:14 PM   #8
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Consequences of overpowering a dinghy?

Do it!

https://youtu.be/CXWPttkArh8
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:35 PM   #9
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I have a Bullfrog 10'. The placard says 15 hp max. Bullfrog sells a version with a steering station and seat, the placard on it says 20 hp max. I enquired, they said the boats are identical, but the CG allows them to put a 20 hp placard on a boat with a wheel and seat. The steering wheel and seat can be installed or deinstalled with a couple of bolts.

So what's it based on? Not much, I'd say.....
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:37 PM   #10
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They don't need no stinkin' lawyers.....
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Old 01-27-2019, 05:41 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MRRiley View Post
This seem to me to be kind of an overreach though a bit of web time found there is an actual performance test to determine max HP ratings.

33 CFR 183 Subpart D | Boat Safe Horse Power | New Boatbuilders Home Page

Boat Building Regulations | Safe Horsepower For Outboard Boats

The second link notes the following - "The below formulas do not apply to: sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats, that are designed or intended to use one or more outboard motors for propulsion. It does not apply to boats that are true multihulls. A multihull makes two or more separate footprints in the water. A pontoon boat is a multihull."

Personally, if I had a 50hp and the max was 40, I think I'd find a new decal...

The CFR is interesting, with one key distinction being a remote vs tiller steering. Makes me wonder if the ratings assume a tiller, and would be different for boats rigged with a console and remote steering....?
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:16 PM   #12
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I think remote steering is significant because it moves the weight of the driver to the center of the boat.

Doesn't the registration contain information about the size and make of engine ? Would changing the engine void your registration ?
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:22 PM   #13
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Just order the HP sticker you need and change it out on the engine. Pretty easy thing to do. A buddy of mine did this so he could travel up the Colorado below the Hoover Dam for fishing spots. Never got caught and he did catch a few big ones he hunts for. Just dont ask him, those damn fish have grown substantially over the years.
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Old 01-27-2019, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDW View Post
I have a Bullfrog 10'. The placard says 15 hp max. Bullfrog sells a version with a steering station and seat, the placard on it says 20 hp max. I enquired, they said the boats are identical, but the CG allows them to put a 20 hp placard on a boat with a wheel and seat. The steering wheel and seat can be installed or deinstalled with a couple of bolts.

So what's it based on? Not much, I'd say.....
Weight mid-ship is the difference and all recorded as part of their testing.

If you remove the weight, then you need to move to the lower HP.

If you don't then, you reconfigured the product they sold you, without reconfiguring the max hp. So now down to you.

Don't do it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:16 PM   #15
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Weight mid-ship is the difference and all recorded as part of their testing.

If you remove the weight, then you need to move to the lower HP.

If you don't then, you reconfigured the product they sold you, without reconfiguring the max hp. So now down to you.

Don't do it.
Yes - agreed. The rating is made based upon the stability of the boat and the loading with standard and max load. When the steering station is moved fwd the load is moved as well.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:19 PM   #16
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Thought I heard (or read) at some point that difference in HP rating for the steering station vs. tiller configuration is due to the inherent instability on a shorter platform should one lose grip on the tiller at higher throttle settings...

Anybody ever hear or read this?

I may have just dreamt it.
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Old 01-27-2019, 07:19 PM   #17
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What is interesting to me is the negligible motor weight difference. Recently bought a new Suzuki outboard for my dinghy. With in the same model class they have 9.9, 15, and 20 HP. They all weigh the same when configured in the same way. Only difference is top end RPM as limited by the engine computer. So in essence, if you run the 20 HP at 300 or 400 RPM off wide open, you have a 15 HP, same weight, same RPM. Other than the engine decals, there's no apparent difference at that RPM.

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Old 01-27-2019, 08:19 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flybull View Post
Thought I heard (or read) at some point that difference in HP rating for the steering station vs. tiller configuration is due to the inherent instability on a shorter platform should one lose grip on the tiller at higher throttle settings...

Anybody ever hear or read this?

I may have just dreamt it.
Yes, I have......And experienced it in small craft many times
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:09 PM   #19
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As teens, long before anyone thought we should see regulations of this sort, "for our own safety", we did the small hydroplane thing. Some kids in a 10' platform got lots of hp, resulting in lots of speed, no stability, some spectacular flips. No issues with enforcement, insurance, what have you.
Simpler times.
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Old 01-27-2019, 09:25 PM   #20
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As teens, long before anyone thought we should see regulations of this sort, "for our own safety", we did the small hydroplane thing. Some kids in a 10' platform got lots of hp, resulting in lots of speed, no stability, some spectacular flips. No issues with enforcement, insurance, what have you.
Simpler times.
We rode the rivers in our jonboats with outboards from ten years old on back in the day. Our parents would be in prison and us in foster homes today.
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