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Press Contact: D. Scott Croft, 703-461-2864, SCroft@BoatUS.com

How Many Can My Boat Take Aboard?

New Recreational Boat Upper Deck Capacity Standards

Overloading is an issue for all types of recreational boats.
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ALEXANDRIA, Va., September 9, 2016 – The membership organization that sets safety standards for recreational boat design and manufacturing, the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), has revised its “Boat Capacity” (H-5) standard for upper decks on recreational boats. Upper decks are often referred to as the “fly bridge” or “upper helm.” The new standard, which is partly in response to fatal capsizing accidents involving overloaded fly bridges, will now include upper-deck weight capacity regardless of boat length.

Upper decks are typically found on boats greater than 25 feet and often found on fly bridge sportfish vessels, trawlers, houseboats and even some pontoon boats.

“New boats with upper decks will soon have an additional capacity placard for those areas to help boaters make smart choices about loading and stability,” said BoatUS Seaworthy magazine Editor Charles Fort. “This will help ensure boaters don’t make the mistake of overloading the upper deck.”

The majority of boats built today adhere to ABYC’s voluntary standards through the National Marine Manufacturers Association certification program. Additionally, ABYC offers standards for the maintenance and repair of recreational boats. “A boat that’s designed, built, maintained or repaired to ABYC standards helps ensure a safe day on the water,” added Fort.

Owners of older boats with upper decks may find the capacity in their owner's manual or by contacting the manufacturer.

An issue for small and large boats, capsizings and sinkings are at the heart of a new BoatUS Marine Insurance Program study that looked at five years of the association’s member insurance claims files. The study reveals how these accidents happen and what boaters can do to avoid them, and it can be found in the August 2016 issue of BoatUS Seaworthy at http://goo.gl/m3hqO3. Data shows that while most capsizes occurred in smaller boats,18% occurred in boats over 25 feet.

For more information on ABYC standards, go to http://abycinc.org.

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ABYC has revised its Boat Capacity (H-5) standard for upper decks on recreational boats http://goo.gl/mOvBDf #BoatUS

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The membership organization that sets safety standards for recreational boat design and manufacturing, the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC), has revised its Boat Capacity (H-5) standard for upper decks on recreational boats, sometimes referred to as the fly bridge or upper helm area on vessels http://goo.gl/mOvBDf

About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

Celebrating 50 years in 2016, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with over a half million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins, and on the water, TowBoatUS brings boaters safely back to the launch ramp or dock when their boat won’t, day or night. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners the specialized coverage and superior service they need, and we help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the non-profit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit BoatUS.com.