Loading a Pleasure Craft

When preparing for a trip, do not load the boat in excess of the “recommended gross load capacity” or the equivalent number of “adult persons.” Persons and gear should be evenly distributed, keeping the load on board as low as possible. To prevent uncontrolled movement of gear, which could interfere with the operation of the boat and/or increase the risk of injury or loss of life, lash or stow gear in lockers.

All persons on board should know the proper procedures for moving around on the boat, that is, to keep low, moving along the centerline, and to hold onto a rigid part of the boat while moving.

The boat operator should ensure that all persons on board are informed about all safety devices, including PFDs and/or lifejackets, and the location of the emergency kit. All persons on board should be informed of the importance of wearing PFDs and/or lifejackets at all times, and they should also know the importance of keeping one’s hands, arms and legs inside the boat when approaching or leaving a dock. The boat operator should review with them their roles in the event of an emergency. Everyone onboard should also be informed of the effects of the motion of the boat, sunlight, waves, wind, sound and alcohol may have on them.