Overloading or Overpowering a Vessel
Washington law designates the following dangerous operating practices as illegal.
Overloading or Overpowering a vessel is putting too much equipment on a vessel or equipping it with an engine that is too large and powerful, either of which can cause the vessel to capsize or swamp and put people into cold water.
- Remember that it is unsafe and a violation to:
- Load your vessel with passengers or cargo beyond its safe carrying ability or to carry passengers in an unsafe manner, taking into consideration the weather and other existing conditions at the time of operation, such as traffic or tides. Use your capacity plate to guide you.
- Operate a vessel equipped with a motor that is overpowered beyond the vessel’s ability to be operated safely. Safe operation includes factors such as the type and construction of the vessel, your boating activity, and other conditions like the weather.
- If it appears to an enforcement officer that the vessel is clearly overloaded or overpowered beyond safe operation and is in a hazardous condition, the officer may direct the operator to return to shore and correct the condition before continuing the voyage.