On Outboard Boats, the Capacity Plate Provides a Horsepower Rating. What Does This Rating Mean?

This post contains affiliate links, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links, at no cost to you.

As you are googling the answer to this title question, it isn’t hard to guess that you are either appearing for a boat Ed exam or simply a water vessel enthusiast. The Horsepower is a unit to measure the power of engines and motors. Outboard boats generally feature capacity plates, and these provide a Horsepower rating depending on the size of the boat.

The US coast guard team has come with some formula to calculate the maximum Horsepower. To calculate the Horsepower capacity, you will have to multiply the boat length with the transom width at first. If this resulting number is less than 35, the maximum Horsepower would be three or if it is between 46 and 52, the maximum Horsepower would be 15.

What does a boat capacity plate show?

No matter how small a boat you buy, it will have a capacity plate. This capacity plate is placed near the boat controller or the steering area, and the boat operator needs to check this plate often to maintain boat safety.

Maximum weight

The boat capacity plate shows the maximum weight your boat can carry. Generally, on top of the boat deck, there are inboard and outboard motor, deck chair, fishing racks, steering systems etc.

Maximum Horsepower

These days, the boat manufacturers attach the maximum Horsepower capacity of the outboard motor or engine used on the boat too. If you attach a powerful engine with high Horsepower to your boat, you should not go past a certain speed limit as that can be harmful to your boat.

The number of souls the boat can carry

It depends on the size of the boat, how many souls it will allow on board. There is a simple formula to determine the soul capacity on board. Suppose the weight of every person on board is around 150 lbs. To calculate the soul capacity, you will have to multiply boat length and boat width first and then divide the result with the number 15. Here, both the length and width of the boat are measured in feet.

What are the types of boats that include a capacity plate?

Depending on the types and size of the boat, the location of the capacity plate can vary. It has been seen that some small boats having less than 20 feet of length do not include any capacity plate. Generally, the capacity plates are yellow in colour and are placed in such a way so that all the crew members can see it. Starting from pontoon boats, ships, yacht, sailboats, fishing boats etc., show capacity plates on board.

Can you replace the Capacity Plate of your boat?

When you buy a boat, the boat manufacturers add such a plate near the helm of the boat. With the passage of time, dirt and dust stick to this plate, and it becomes difficult to read from a distance. Now, you should replace the plate. You can buy second-hand plates, or you can ask for a customized capacity plate from the boat manufacturers.

If you want to shine as a responsible boat operator, you should follow this capacity plate every time you are out on the water with your boat.