Why does my boat have a Maximum HP?

On August 1, 1973, the US Coast Guard placed into law, a regulation that limited the power and weight of outboard engines on all boats up to 20ft. (except sailboats, canoes, kayaks, and inflatable boats) depending upon the size and geometry of the boat. At that time, outboard engines were becoming larger and more powerful. The USCG wanted to ensure that manufacturers were not placing an engine(s) that was too large, or too powerful on a boat that may not float or maneuver correctly with an improperly selected engine.

This regulation remains in effect today, and though the weight tables have been modified to meet the evolving weights of newer engines, it is a critical safety component to ensure that you a riding a boat that is properly powered for it\’s intended purpose.


by David DeHorn of NMMA

Category: Day Cruising