From the Forums: All Aboard!

April 2017

One forum member had a question about passenger capacity for their houseboat:

50-Desoto: I have a 1986 44-foot Gibson standard houseboat. It doesn't have a capacity placard. I need to know how many people can be on the boat?

easttnboater: Houseboats do not have capacity limits. In my opinion, you should never have more people on your boat than you can keep track of. Most people that visit me are lake novices. They have no idea the dangers on a boat and on the water. Make sure you give them the safety talk and make sure they wear flotation—at least while underway or in the water. If you are only concerned about the effect on the trim of the boat, then it is much more about weight and distribution than it is about number of people.

BananaTom: I kept 30 life jackets on my 36-foot Gibson, and would put that many people onboard for events like Fourth of July fireworks.

42gibson: I never let more on than I can comfortably seat.

Stmbtwle: I agree with Easttnboater and 42gibson. PROPERLY DISTRIBUTED, houseboats can handle a lot more weight than is safe to carry. However, people move around; should 20 or so decide to go up on the roof or onto the bow for a better view, handling and/or stability can be compromised. Then there's the problem of keeping track of everyone, particularly children. Maybe I just don't like crowds; if I wanted to run a tour boat I'd have a tour boat and charge admission.

Ike: Too many people on the fly bridge will have a much greater effect on stability than the same number on a lower deck.

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