It is extremely dangerous to overload your craft. The most common cause of drowning during recreational boating is capsizing, followed closely by falling overboard. Many precautions may be taken to reduce loss of life:
- Respect the recommended limits indicated on the capacity plate/label regarding the maximum load or number of occupants that the craft can safely carry;
- Ensure even weight distribution of occupants and equipment;
- Maintain the lowest possible centre of gravity within the craft;
- Properly secure equipment to avoid shifting, which could interfere with the craft’s stability and lead to capsizing;
- Ensure you are familiar with your craft’s limitations and handling. Overloading affects stability and causes the craft to be more difficult to manoeuvre;
- Avoid standing in a small craft. If you must move around, keep your centre of gravity (weight) as low as possible.
It is important to note that the maximum load calculation is based on use during fair weather conditions with a well-distributed load.
The number of occupants that may be safely transported depends on the type of craft, the weight and distribution of on board equipment and weather conditions.