So you’ve got a boat and you’re wondering how aluminum boat passengers should be seated.
The quick answer to that: your passengers should be seated so their weight is distributed evenly throughout the boat and counter-balanced with your gear and equipment. That’s all the more important if you’ve got aluminum boat passengers out for a day of fishing – and the stuff and added weight that comes with a fun day on the water.
Let’s talk about your aluminum boat passengers, and how to load and seat them for both comfort and safety.
Aluminum Boat Passengers: Know Your Gross Load Capacity
Weight goes a long way on a boat, especially in an aluminum boat less than 15 feet long.
You may have heard that cargo plane loading crews take great care to load their containers to distribute the weight evenly and to minimize the chance of an off-balance plane. The same principal is at work in an aluminum boat. The smaller the boat, the more impact the weight of your passengers and added gear will have. For that reason, it’s important to know your boat’s gross load capacity, which should be labeled on a metal plate called a Compliance Notice that is prominently attached to your hull and visible from the operator’s seat. Keep in mind this is the recommended gross load capacity. You may want to reduce your weight in adverse sailing conditions.
How to Load Your Aluminum Boat Passengers
Assuming you know your passengers’ weight (and keep in mind, fishermen can often be big fellas), they should board the centre of the boat and step down as low as possible. Have them hold the rails and not stand up. They should not jump from the dock to the boat. Nor should they step on the gunwales.
Now, seat them around the boat to evenly distribute their weight, and factor in the gear you’ve got on board as well.
Note that falls are the biggest source of injuries on boats. That’s of several reasons why aluminum boat passengers should try to lower their centre of gravity as much as possible.
How to Evenly Distribute Your Weight
Tie down and secure any loose equipment or gear on the boat. Your anchor and dock lines should be stowed to avoid tripping. Your trailer towing chains should be crisscrossed under the frame of the boat.
Secure your gear and equipment throughout the boat, again, counterbalancing the weight of your passengers.
Bear in mind that not all center console aluminum boats have storage compartments. This makes it all the more important to secure and/or tie down your gear before casting away.
Have Fun – and Be Safe
Aside from having a great day of fishing or pleasure cruising, your goal with aluminum boat passengers is to ensure their safety. So seat them accordingly. Spread them around and counterbalance their weight with your gear, positioned strategically so it’s distributed evenly throughout the boat. Know your gross weight capacity. Keep your center of gravity low, and remember you may want to lower your weight further when seas may get choppy.
And with a combined 40 years’ experience boating these waters, we’re a wealth of knowledge for safety and boating options. Got a question? We’re a quick email, phone call or contact away.
We’ll speak with you soon.