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It's the Law

Display of Vessel Capacity


The passenger capacity of a vessel must be painted on or attached to the starboard (right) side of the vessel within 9 inches of the transom and be clearly visible above the waterline when the vessel is fully loaded. The displayed passenger capacity must match the passenger capacity designated on the Registration Certificate.

Most vessels have a U.S. Coast Guard or manufacturer's plate that shows capacity in number of persons. This is the capacity number that must be on the Registration Certificate and displayed on the right side of the vessel. If a vessel does not have a capacity plate, the capacity of the vessel is the “operator’s responsibility” and the letters OR must be on the Registration Certificate and displayed on the vessel instead of a capacity number.

The displayed capacity number (or OR) must be the same size as the registration number on the bow.

It is illegal to deface, destroy, remove, or alter a vessel’s capacity plate.

A vessel's capacity number displayed on the hull