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Thread: Load testing questions, not a challenge

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    Default Load testing questions, not a challenge

    A recent thread about load testing got me thinking about my own load testing experiments. I tested mine by progressively putting more in my 17.5 Alaskan than the Coast Guard sticker said I should. I progressively increased this on various trips in a non scientific fashion and found out my weight and balance issues and estimated about how much my boat will hold to get on step. I am fuzzy on optimal RPM's and fuel consumption. I still am not sure exactly how much to boat will hold really.

    My questions:

    How do the manufacturers determine the Coast Guard maximum allowed load?

    Why do we all routinely disregard it, or do most of us actually stick to those loads?

    What are some ways to find out your safe (relative term) maximum load without sinking your boat trying?

    Where is the best place for the most weight to be?

    What are some situations that you would and would not want a heavy load?

    How does a maximum load effect the structure of the boat with waves and such?

    How about the motor, does it crap it out? I heard jets are not as sensitive to load like a prop is.

    How does the structure of you boat improve load handling? There are flat bottom boats with low sides and high sided boats with varying degrees of dead rise. What are the advantages to each and their pitfalls for those that are asking what boat to buy?

    What are some of the ways NOT to do it, I can tell you a few from my own load test challenges.


    Please do not hijack my thread with the pointless banter from the last load test thread. I would really like to know some peoples opinions of this stuff and would hate to lose that ability because of a pissing contest. Thank you.

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    Is it a Coast Guard sticker or is it a the manufacturer information saying what the maximum recommended load is? I've been told very few boats are C.C. Approve.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daved View Post
    A recent thread about load testing got me thinking about my own load testing experiments. I tested mine by progressively putting more in my 17.5 Alaskan than the Coast Guard sticker said I should. I progressively increased this on various trips in a non scientific fashion and found out my weight and balance issues and estimated about how much my boat will hold to get on step. I am fuzzy on optimal RPM's and fuel consumption. I still am not sure exactly how much to boat will hold really.
    My questions:

    How do the manufacturers determine the Coast Guard maximum allowed load?
    The maximum load label is required for all outboard boats under 20' centerline length. It's not a maximum displacement rating but a rating that requires the boat to float level when filled to the gunnel with water. The boat must have enough flotation in areas that allowes it to maintain level flotation with passengers and stated load. CFR 33 Part 183 covers the regulations along ABYC standard H5/H8

    Inboards, must only meet a basic flotation standard which requires some part of the boat to float.

    Boats Over 20' 1/8" are required to meet a stability standard that rates the amount of weight that can be applied to one side before rolling past I believe 15 degrees.

    Why do we all routinely disregard it, or do most of us actually stick to those loads?
    The USCG estimates the weight of each person when dertimining the floatation requirement as only 141lbs. I'm sure most exceed that weight anyway. I suppose as long as you can quickly throw out the extra weight you'll still be able to float the boat level if it has flotation.


    What are some ways to find out your safe (relative term) maximum load without sinking your boat trying?
    I'd say doing just what you did to test your boat is the only way to test it. It comes down to what your comfortable with and risk your willing to take.

    Where is the best place for the most weight to be?
    If possible, moving the load for and aft will yield the best location based on your planning speed. Moving the load maybe restrictive depending on the boat design. Keep the boat as level as possible statically is probably best as a starting point.

    What are some situations that you would and would not want a heavy load?
    IMHO, I wouldn't want a heavy load in rough seas/rapids or where skinny water and large rock are involves

    How does a maximum load effect the structure of the boat with waves and such?
    The more load the more strain on the structure especially in heavy seas. The haul design plays a critical part here. The flatter the planing surface the more pounding the structure receives.

    How about the motor, does it crap it out? I heard jets are not as sensitive to load like a prop is.
    With a prop, the more load you put in the boat the more load you put on the engine. With a jet the load on the engine is always the same. Too much load on the engine for continuous operations can be detrimental to the engine life expectancy.


    What are some of the ways NOT to do it, I can tell you a few from my own load test challenges.
    What are your suggested ways NOT to do it. Would like to hear from your experience so as not to repeat them.

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    Thanks for the awesome response. Some funny ways I over loaded the boat. I put an entire moose in the bow and had people stand on the transom to keep the jet in the water to move downstream a few hundred yards to a nice beach. I had about 60 reds in two cooler towards the back of the boat and was trying to run around the mouth of the kenai with two of the dippers sitting on the coolers. ALL the weight in the back was not good and there was some swampage. I put 4 guys and gear in the boat and ran it across the bay in Homer. That is the most it has ever had in it, I think about 1200#. The water was flat calm and I got on step and stayed that way to the Harbor. It rides much better loaded.

    I more or less put these questions out to get some dialog going and see what people have to say about loading up jet boats and not just what brand can load the most.

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    Go look at any launch in the summer, or before moose season. You will see guys loading every piece of lumber they can cram in there. Or fuel drums before moose season...

    For what its worth, the USCG placard on mine only allows 1100 pounds people and gear. I have had three guys, food, and upwards of 2200 pounds of gear in it. Yes it takes more water to float, takes much longer to step, corners a little more sluggishly, but knowing and expecting that, we did it in one trip instead of two. Of course you sweat bullets, because you don't want to stick it when its pig loaded.

    As for safety, well thats kinda up to you.

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    Do you have a "new" Ak with a 60" bottom, or the old style? Big difference in load hauling ability.
    Also, is that load hauling with a prop, or jet pump? Again, big difference.
    In my experience, with a jet pump on the OB, you won't get anywhere near overloading the boat and still be able to get on step. That would change with a prop.
    My 20' Sport, with a 150 Opti jet pump, I had 4 adults, full 9 day Moose camp, full fuel and a bit, a big moose, and a goat (long story).
    Got on step no problem, and was nowhere near feeling very loaded at all. If I had a prop on there, I'm sure I could have dumped in another 1000#s and cruised just fine.
    Never wrestle with a pig.
    you both get dirty;
    the Pig likes it.

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    Regarding all this "LOAD and or WEIGHT TESTING" stuff that going on... Yokoner said it perfectly... If you want to know how much your boat can cary and what it can do, then go do it!!! Its way better than someone telling you what is is "suposed to do"... and plus, then you'll know... and beside, no offence to the wives or significant other: But come on guys, you didn't really buy that boat just to take her for a ride did you??? just my fricken opinon... "fishon"

    Quote Originally Posted by Yukoner View Post
    Do you have a "new" Ak with a 60" bottom, or the old style? Big difference in load hauling ability.
    Also, is that load hauling with a prop, or jet pump? Again, big difference.
    In my experience, with a jet pump on the OB, you won't get anywhere near overloading the boat and still be able to get on step. That would change with a prop.
    My 20' Sport, with a 150 Opti jet pump, I had 4 adults, full 9 day Moose camp, full fuel and a bit, a big moose, and a goat (long story).
    Got on step no problem, and was nowhere near feeling very loaded at all. If I had a prop on there, I'm sure I could have dumped in another 1000#s and cruised just fine.
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob the fisher View Post
    Regarding all this "LOAD and or WEIGHT TESTING" stuff that going on... Yokoner said it perfectly... If you want to know how much your boat can cary and what it can do, then go do it!!! Its way better than someone telling you what is is "suposed to do"... and plus, then you'll know... and beside, no offence to the wives or significant other: But come on guys, you didn't really buy that boat just to take her for a ride did you??? just my fricken opinon... "fishon"


    Hell ya I did , My boat was purchased for the following reasons and in the following order.

    1. Sightseeing with the wife (or without the wife or friends)
    2. Fishing with the wife (or without the wife or friends)
    3. Hunting with the wife (or without the wife or friends)

    Do I like my Wooldridge "Yes" I think an AK-XL 20' opti 200 is the best boat on the market.



    Do I think other boats suck "NO" other boats do not suck, they do "for people" what my boat does for me.

    Will I do another ride along with Bob and Marley (Phantom owner) or HCL (SJX owner) or would they with my (AK-XL),,,,Yes I will, and I'm sure they would too....."LOAD and or WEIGHT TESTING" is for the boat owner to know if a questionable load in his boat will be safe.

    (or to be used against you in someone boat war)

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    Good call Tony... Please don't take my comments the wrong way. I meant no disrespect towards the wife at all. Just making a point about these tests... I know that wives enjoy these boats just as much as we do... "fishon"


    Quote Originally Posted by Armed_alaskan View Post
    Hell ya I did , My boat was purchased for the following reasons and in the following order.

    1. Sightseeing with the wife (or without the wife or friends)
    2. Fishing with the wife (or without the wife or friends)
    3. Hunting with the wife (or without the wife or friends)

    Do I like my Wooldridge "Yes" I think an AK-XL 20' opti 200 is the best boat on the market.



    Do I think other boats suck "NO" other boats do not suck, they do "for people" what my boat does for me.

    Will I do another ride along with Bob and Marley (Phantom owner) or HCL (SJX owner) or would they with my (AK-XL),,,,Yes I will, and I'm sure they would too....."LOAD and or WEIGHT TESTING" is for the boat owner to know if a questionable load in his boat will be safe.

    (or to be used against you in someone boat war)
    "Fisherman for Life" and "Phantom owner Forever"

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    Member skybust's Avatar
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    I think that just about covers it all thanks for posting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Armed_alaskan View Post
    Hell ya I did , My boat was purchased for the following reasons and in the following order.

    1. Sightseeing with the wife (or without the wife or friends)
    2. Fishing with the wife (or without the wife or friends)
    3. Hunting with the wife (or without the wife or friends)

    Do I like my Wooldridge "Yes" I think an AK-XL 20' opti 200 is the best boat on the market.



    Do I think other boats suck "NO" other boats do not suck, they do "for people" what my boat does for me.

    Will I do another ride along with Bob and Marley (Phantom owner) or HCL (SJX owner) or would they with my (AK-XL),,,,Yes I will, and I'm sure they would too....."LOAD and or WEIGHT TESTING" is for the boat owner to know if a questionable load in his boat will be safe.

    (or to be used against you in someone boat war)
    Is it opening day of duck season yet
    Member of Alaska Waterfowl Association

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob the fisher View Post
    ... I know that wives enjoy these boats just as much as we do... "fishon"
    Right On! We wives are part of the team ...

    Tammy

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    Buying a boat to take my Sweety Pie on boat rides, Is there any other reason to own a boat?
    Mike

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob the fisher View Post
    Good call Tony... Please don't take my comments the wrong way. I meant no disrespect towards the wife at all. Just making a point about these tests... I know that wives enjoy these boats just as much as we do... "fishon"
    None taken, just wanted to join in....

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    We'll be doing it again this summer....

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    We just drug the boat to Homer for a couple days. The wife loved it. Even in the winter.

    27' Wooldridge Super Sport Offshore Pilothouse PRIME TIME!
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    Halibutgrove already said it best in his lengthy post, so I'll not repeat everything.

    I'll say this once (because you all expect me to...) The Coast Guard does not recommend loading any vessel beyond it's manufacturer's limits as stated on the Compliance sticker.

    Now for the 'interesting' part: We know that a large majority of recreational (and commercial) vessels are often loaded and operated beyond their recommended limits in Alaska. We know that because accident investigations often reveal overloaded conditions at the time of the accident.

    Given the manner in which Alaskans utilize boats, overloading is as commonplace as changing lanes on the freeway without checking your mirrors...and, sometimes, no less deadly. Where I'm going here is our basic risk management and the habits we build when we repetatively 'cheat death' by pushing the envelope. Overloading is simply an example of that.

    If we're successful enough times, we end up building a 'mental model' that tells us overloading is OK...until that day when the load shifts or the wind picks up and quicker than you can say, "Oh Crap!" or put on a lifejacket, you are swamped or capsized...and, if you don't survive, the rest of us will toast you at your wake.

    Reality is this: Yep, your boat will likely carry quite a bit more than that little tag on the stern says...and, yep, you might get away with it indefinitely...like Clint Eastwood says, "Did I fire six or only five?"...willing to bet your life? Boat Safer! Mike

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