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Old 01-17-2016, 09:05 PM   #1
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Passengers - how many?

I have a 1984 37' CHB Sundeck model trawler. She weighs 27,000 pounds and is in good shape. My question is: How many people should I have on board at one time. I have plenty of life jackets but I want to be safe, weight and listing wise. What would be an appropriate number and/or weight of people on board at one time. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:17 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by jnvoss View Post
I have a 1984 37' CHB Sundeck model trawler. She weighs 27,000 pounds and is in good shape. My question is: How many people should I have on board at one time. I have plenty of life jackets but I want to be safe, weight and listing wise. What would be an appropriate number and/or weight of people on board at one time. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
Depends on the size of your bar.

Serioulsy.... to affect the safety of your vessel we're talking tens, 20's of people. Is that what you're trying to do?
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:24 PM   #3
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Yes, I'm thinking 15 tops but certainly no more than 20 if some are children.
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Old 01-17-2016, 09:25 PM   #4
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Just make sure they don't all run to the same side at the same time.....

That's a lot of folks to have on a boat....
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:17 PM   #5
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Early in my boating career, I frequently worked aboard yachts with passengers aboard. I was the mate/lookout/jack-of-all-trades guy on most occasions, but I ran a few boats too.

It wouldn't be the load on the vessel that would be my biggest concern, it would be non-boaters being curious or dangerous. If you mix in some children, alcohol, weather, darkness, etc...the potential problems grow considerably.

If I had 20 people on that boat, I would feel safe with an operator and two crew. One crew would be roving and the other would be near the stern to drop a throwable and yell for help, if needed. Maybe grab a boat buddy or two to help with the guests?

If the 20 guests were responsible boaters, then I would skip the supervision.

Good Luck!
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:31 PM   #6
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Our local regs limit the number of passengers depending on length and beam. Numbers are reduced slightly if the boat has a flybridge, and no more than 25% of total passenger limit can be on flybridge.

This chart & and formulas may give you a rough idea (convert meters to feet) https://www.sa.gov.au/topics/transpo.../boat-capacity

The maximum number (12 people for my boat) is under ideal conditions in flat water. In rough conditions, I wouldn't consider taking more than 3 passengers aboard.
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Old 01-17-2016, 10:57 PM   #7
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I've had 15 on board my 38 for a coastal pleasure cruise. Including some kids. It was ok, except the kids flipping breakers and switches. It was a handful for me and my mate who was doing her best to control the herd.

It all depends on what the passengers are doing. Sitting down and being polite, can carry plenty. Running around, carrying on, being loud, drunk, messing with controls, that becomes a problem.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:00 PM   #8
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I do not think loading a pleasure boat with that many people is wise particularly if skipper and additional crew are not used to the situation. How does a responsible skipper keep track of all those passengers on a typical trawler type most would be out of sight line and watching them would be distracting. When I see a boat that loaded particularly at an event like a holiday fireworks my first thought is that skipper is an idiot.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:00 PM   #9
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Our Maritime Authority insists there be a maximum number of pax, and on affixing a prominent decal displaying that number.
They send you the decal in blank with a bunch of adhesive numbers and tell you to work it out yourself. I suppose if I went for 99, technically I wouldn`t be overloaded, in a regulation sense.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:04 PM   #10
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That formulation gives me 16 with 4 on FB. Most I've had is 11, all ostensibly adults. That seemed fairly busy, but just a sunset cruise under primo conditions.

Weather, kids, boat experience, all factor in. Whatever I feel comfortable with.
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Old 01-17-2016, 11:12 PM   #11
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I asked this a while back concerning our boat, and Tad Roberts was good enough to give this 'rule of thumb' reply;

Trawler Forum - View Single Post - Passenger Ratings
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:18 AM   #12
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My limit on that boat would be 12. I might go 14 for a short local day cruise in the ICW. To me it's the space and the ability to maintain control of the situation.
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Old 01-18-2016, 12:26 AM   #13
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At 58', we could probably carry 20 or so fairly comfortably, but the thought of 20 or more using my one guest head might be enough to make me think about a Honey Bucket on the swim platform!
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:05 AM   #14
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The USCG tests inspected boats , you could easily check yours for an idea of what is safe.

In the slip measure the freeboard (WL to deck) and stick a piece of masking tape midway between .

Then with loose lines so they do not restrict the boat healing , have your guests slowly line the rail on one side.

When the masking tape gets wet , half the freeboard is under water, and you have an approximate load limit.

Ask the guys their weight , don't ask the ladies , figure 150lbs each .

Now you have a rational guesstimate for fire works nite ect.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:34 AM   #15
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I had 17 aboard my old 34 Mainship with no problems.
Had 20 aboard my 40 Albin, again no issues.
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Old 01-18-2016, 07:47 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jnvoss View Post
I have a 1984 37' CHB Sundeck model trawler. She weighs 27,000 pounds and is in good shape. My question is: How many people should I have on board at one time. I have plenty of life jackets but I want to be safe, weight and listing wise. What would be an appropriate number and/or weight of people on board at one time. Thanks for your comments and suggestions.
20 people is not that much weight total to worry about unless the boat is overloaded to begin with.

The problem is distribution possibly.

If you can control the distribution you should be OK.

I would limit the Flybridge crowd to 6 total... not knowing your boat but that is the max on some boats of similar to smaller size....

Ask that at least that many remain in the interior as low as possible if practical or just make sure the number of people on one side or the other doesn't exceed the other by too much.

Without having most of them down near the waterline, a small imbalance could be aggravated by a large wake....

...so the hardest thing in my mind is controlling the crowd versus having it aboard.
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:12 AM   #17
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A few years ago a Silverton -- '80s 34 Convertible, I think -- with a boatload of pax aboard capsized after a July 4th fireworks show. NJ or NY or somewhere up there. At least one death: a child down below at the time couldn't escape.


IIRC, conclusions ran the gamut, from overloaded, to not exactly overloaded but bad weight distribution, to rogue wave, to confused seas caused by wakes from other departing boats, etc.


Anyway, Google that if you're interested. Might have some useful tidbits.


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Old 01-18-2016, 09:19 AM   #18
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People (weight) on a flybridge have more effect on boat's stability than people closer to the water. My boat had a decal (now faded) limiting the flybridge to six people. I think it's important to remember that people vary greatly in weight with some people weighing two and even three times what some other people might weigh.


Someone pointed out that sea conditions need to be taken into consideration. What might be fine on a canal on the ICW might not be fine at sea or in a large open bay in a storm.


The most I have had on my boat was eight, all adults and on a canal on the ICW. They were all relatives and none were drinking. I wouldn't want to have to manage more than this number.
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Old 01-18-2016, 10:59 AM   #19
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Carrying a large number of passengers aboard an uninspected recreational vessel may seem safe, right up to the moment that it's unsafe. Just a few days ago I found my thoughts returning to several day or evening trips that I made aboard recreational yachts when I took a couple of dozen friends / guests. Never had an accident or even an incident, but knowing what I know now, I think I was just plain lucky.

E.g.: One evening I boarded about twenty-four fellow church members on a 65' Hatteras motor yacht, myself as captain and an experienced volunteer as designated crew. Everyone had a good time, but even the crew member failed to observe the things that made me uneasy, like the fifteen or so minutes when everyone tried to crowd the top deck and then someone yelled that there was a dolphin swimming alongside the boat. Yes, we took a heel, but the big Hatt dug in and never listed more than about ten or twelve degrees. Still, I think I was a dumbass for having done that, and thank my lucky stars that nothing bad happened, like a slip-and-fall, a mechanical problem, etc.

To the OP's question, I'm with those who instinctively think that about a dozen on that boat should be the limit, and then only with an overabundance of caution.
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Old 01-18-2016, 11:19 AM   #20
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Google "overloaded boat capsizes" and most hits will be migrants and refugees, but you'll find many examples of recreational boats. I would rather err on the low side than high side. A lot of man overboard results come from crowded boats.
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