Capacity of Boat and Size of Engine for Boat

Question: I need the weight and motor specs and size on a 1968 bonito 14ft any info would be great.

Answer: For the capacity of your boat:

If the boat does not have a capacity plate, the following formula would be used:

Boat length multiplied by boat width divided by 15
(L x W/15)=
Number of people that can be safely carried in calm waters.

A suitable motor for the size of the boat:

15 - 20 hp (80-120 lbs)
Powerful workhorses that are still considered a part of the small outboard hp class. Outboard engines in this hp range are available primarily in 4-stroke configurations but may limited availability in 2-stroke configurations. Due to 2006 EPA regulations, outboard manufacturers are now required to build cleaner more efficient engines that meet strict emission standards. This hp range is quite popular for use with inflatable boats 10-14ft, aluminum fishing boats 12-16ft, jon boats 12-16ft in length, fiberglass boats 12-16ft in length. These hulls typically require a 15” short shaft length but may require a 20” shaft length as you approach 16ft in length. These hulls typically range in weight from 125-575+ lbs.

Outdated Flares

Paddle Craft Vessel Exams

Question: Do you offer safety checks on canoes & kayaks? There is no information on safety checks for these only for power boats.

Answer: Contact any power boat vessel examiner in the Coast Guard Auxiliary or US Power Squadrons, and they will arrange for your Paddle Craft Vessel Safety Check. Use the I Want a VSC tool on our website to contact a local vessel examiner.

Can I use my boat from Canada in US Waters?

Question: In Ontario Canada, my 10' 2" inflatable Zodiac dinghy, powered by a 9.8 HP Nissan outboard, does not require registration numbers. Do I have to attach registration numbers to use it in Florida coastal waters? If so, how can I get the dinghy registered? I will be vacationing in Florida this summer. Do I need to register my vessel there?

Answer: "Florida recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of 90 days. An owner who intends to use his vessel in Florida longer than 90 days must register it with a county tax collector. However, he may retain the out-of-state registration number if he plans to return to his home state within a reasonable period of time."

This was taken from the Florida website and Although it says recognizes valid registration certificates and numbers issued to visiting boaters for a period of ninety days, I would interpret that to mean that you are good to go, but I would have in my possession a copy of the ordinance or law section from an official publication supporting your assertion that Ontario does not require a registration for your specific class and power. Don’t depend on the law enforcement personnel to know what the rules are in another country. Taken from the Canadian regulations quoted below. A vessel owner of a craft of your size and description may voluntarily register their vessel, thus giving you the wise choice: Register in Canada and you are all set in Florida for vacation up to 90 days. That would be the best recommendation I can give you.

"Should the owners of such a vessel wish to register their vessel, they are free to do so voluntarily. A new simplified registration process has been created for human-powered vessels, or sailing vessels and small power-driven vessels with propulsion motors less than 10 hp (7.5 kW) for those who wish to register voluntarily. The registration process will continue to be delivered by the Vessel Registration office in the National Capital Region."

Lost Registration in Washington State

Question: I live in WA state and I just bought a 14' runaboat. The person I purchased it from lost the title but did write something out. My question is, do I have to go to the DOL and apply for an affidavit of lost title?

Answer: I would suggest that you start on the Washington State Boating website on this page:

That page has information that should point you in the right direction.

Location of VSC Decal

Question: Where should a VSC decal be affixed?

Answer: The Vessel Examiner should have placed the Decal on your vessel or supervised the placement of the decal as we are not allowed to just give a decal to a boat owner.

It should be placed where it is readily visible to authorities while underway. This is normally on the lower forward corner of a port side window or a lower corner on the port side of the windshield. If no window is available it may be affixed to the dashboard or the back of the seat. It should only be affixed to permanently installed equipment.

Pollution and Marpol Trash Placards

Question: I was told to get a pollution placard and a marpol trash placard, but am having difficulty finding them. I have been to several marinas and looked online, but have not had much luck. Can you please direct me in the right direction.

Answer: They would be available in boating stores such as West Marine or BoatUS. You might also ask the volunteer that checked out your boat as many of us carry extras when we are out checking boats so we can pass them if they do not have either.

TYPE IV Personal Flotation Device

Question: What is a TYPE IV life jacket?

Answer: The Type IV PFD is a throwable device like Buoyant Life Ring, Horseshoe, or a Cushion which are designed to be grasped and held by the user until rescued, as well as thrown to a person who has fallen overboard. It's best to have a line tied to it so you can retrieve the person in the water by pulling them in.

Visual Distress Signals Expired?

Question: Do rescue flares that expire in, for example, October require replacement on October 1 or October 31?

Answer: Disposal of Unwanted/Outdated Pyrotechnic Devices
Auxiliarists are sometimes asked to accept out-of-date or otherwise unwanted pyrotechnic devices for disposal. Accepting such materials for disposal is not an authorized mission for the Auxiliary and may result in individual Auxiliarists taking possession of unstable and hazardous materials and becoming personally responsible for their disposal. Although some municipal and volunteer fire departments or law enforcement agencies may accept pyrotechnics for disposal, many will not. Disposal may pose potential health or safety hazards to the individual or to the environment.

If, as a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, you are requested to take possession of such materials for disposal, the request must be respectfully declined. The only appropriate advice that may be given with respect to disposing of the unwanted materials is to caution against throwing them overboard, activating them in the marine environment, or disposing of them in household trash.
It would be appropriate to suggest that the individual contact local law enforcement or fire protection authorities for guidance on disposing of the unwanted materials. Members should not recommend that they be activated on land or retained on board a vessel as back-ups since older flares may become unstable and their burn rates unpredictable.

Visual Distress Signals on Inland Waters

Question What are the requirements (Federal and Florida) for carrying visual distress signals for inland waters where the point meeting the coastal waters is less than 2 miles.

Answer: Both are the same, signals are not required on inland waters.

However, it is recommended, even though not required, that boats operating on inland waters should have some means of making a suitable day and night distress signal. The number and type of signals is best judged by considering conditions under which the boat will be operating.

You need to remember, you may have a problem where your engine quits and cannot be restarted and with weather conditions, drift out into open waters with catastrophic results if you have no signals to fall back on. Even in inland protected waters, you could end up spending a very uncomfortable night on the waters without being seen. Without lights on a vessel, you also can be the victim of another boat running into you in the darkness as well. It all comes down to common sense.