Skip to main content

Course Outline

Never take too many people or too much gear on board a paddlecraft. Overloaded boats and boards can swamp or capsize more easily. In addition, overloaded paddlecraft are more difficult to control.

  • A paddlecraft’s capacity is the maximum number of people and/or weight the craft can carry safely in good weather.
    • You should not exceed either the maximum weight or the maximum number of people.
    • Maximum weight is the combined weight of passengers and gear.
  • On canoes and kayaks, look for a capacity plate near the operator’s position or the stern.
    • Some paddlecraft, particularly canoes designed for an optional motor, have a capacity plate or sticker. However, most canoes and kayaks do not have a capacity plate.
    • If you add an optional motor to a canoe, the maximum weight includes the motor also.
  • Look for capacity information in the owner’s manual. Some manufacturers use the same manual for several different boats or boards. If so, the manual may or may not include capacity information about a specific paddlecraft.
  • Check other sources for capacity information, such as your paddlecraft dealer, catalogs from the manufacturer, or the manufacturer’s website. If necessary, call the manufacturer for capacity recommendations.
  • Unit 2 of 5
  • Topic 1 of 10
  • Page 1 of 3