Boating safely

Boat capacity

You need to use common sense when judging how many people to carry on your boat. Overloaded boats are unstable and dangerous.

Refer to the information on the Australian builder's plate (ABP) or the manufacturer's compliance plate, if one is fitted to your boat, to determine the maximum number of adults a boat can legally carry.

If your vessel does not have either a manufacturer's compliance plate or an ABP use the tables below. To use the tables, you need to know your boat's length and breadth in metres.

The maximum number of people you can carry safely in calm waters under ideal conditions, such as on the River Murray or other protected waters, is indicated where the length and breadth measurements for your boat intersect. It is based on an average weight of 75 kilograms per adult.

Table 1: maximum people capacity

Conventional vessels without flybridge (conventional-type boats such as single hull open, half cabin or cabin boats not fitted with a flybridge).

Length (m) > 33.54 4.5 55.5678910
Breadth (m)            

1

2 3 3         

1.5

3 3 4 4 5 5 6     

2

   4 5 5 6 6 7 8 10 11  

2.5

     6 7 7 8 9 11 12

3

       8 9 10 12 13

3.5

         11 13 14

4

         12 14 15

4.5

           16

Example: a vessel with no flybridge with a length of 5.5 metres and a breadth of 2 metres has a maximum capacity of six adults.

Table 2: maximum people capacity

Conventional vessels with a flybridge.

Length (m) >

4

4.5

5

5.5

6

7

8

9

10

Breadth (m)

         

1.5

3

3

4

4

4

    

2

3

4

4

5

5

6

7

8

8

2.5

  

5

5

6

7

8

9

9

3

    

6

7

8

9

10

3.5

      

9

10

11

4

       

11

12

4.5

        

13


Example: a flybridge vessel with a length of 8 metres and a breadth of 2.5 metres has a capacity of eight adults.

Adverse weather and open seas

The number of people should be reduced by about one third when boating in adverse weather conditions or on the open sea.

Carrying children

Children under 12 years old can be counted as half an adult when adding up the number of people on board. For example, a boat with a capacity of four adults could safely carry three adults and two children under the age of 12. Children up to twelve months of age do not need to be included when determining capacity.

Boats over 10 metres in length

For boats over 10 metres in length, use the appropriate formula below to calculate the number of adults you can safely carry in calm water conditions. For single-deck boats (no flybridge) the formula is:

  • maximum capacity (adults) = 0.75L√B (nearest whole number)
    where L = length of boat in metres and B = breadth of boat in metres.

For boats fitted with flybridge the formula is:

  • maximum capacity (adults) = 0.6L√B (nearest whole number)
    where L = length of boat in metres and B = breadth of boat in metres.

Flybridge boats

For flybridge boats, no more than one-quarter of the maximum number of passengers allowed on board should be on the flybridge at any one time.


Related information


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Page last updated 29 November 2016

Provided by:
Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure
URL:
http://www.sa.gov.au/topics/boating-and-marine/boat-and-marine-safety/boating-safely/boat-capacity
Last Updated:
29/11/16
Printed on:
28/03/17
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