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Thread: commercial use only sticker??!

  1. #1
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Default commercial use only sticker??!

    I am looking at a 1991 20' Alumacraft(?) flatbottom to purchase from a private seller and I see it has a sticker on it that says "for commercial use only". The current owner said that sticker is necessary by law because he removed all of the factory installed floatation material to be able to haul more weight in the boat.

    Has anyone seen this before? Would it affect your decision to purchase this boat?
    Thanks in advance for your opinions.

  2. #2
    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    I've not heard of this but I think it definitely warrants more research. My initial concern would be insurance/liability issues. How/would you be able to get "normal" insurance, if something happened would you be held solely liable for your passengers due to this? Do you plan on using it in the salt at all? How would it affect that? I can't quite totally wrap my mind around that either, removing floatation in order to increase hauling load? I understand decreasing weight but at the same time decreasing bouyancy? Seems like a lose/lose to me? I don't know but good luck, maybe I'll do some research online here see what else I can find.

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    Member Rod in Wasilla's Avatar
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    Me? I'd just take the sticker off and run it. There is no USCG requirement for the foam, except that the manufacturer must provide bacic flotation on inboard powered boats under 20 feet long and level flotation on outboard powered boats under 20 feet long. Once in the owner's posession there is no such requirement.

    However, if you are concerned about it, find out how much foam there is supposed to be and replace it. Or, if you are really concerned about it, you could run through the level floatation calculations yourself...
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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    My only thought is the manufacturer of the boat might not have a warranty on a commercial use only boat vs. a pleasure boat. But for a '91 hull, it's well out of warranty.

    I'm curious about the removal of the flotation, as I don't see how that ties into the commercial only use, and who applied the sticker and when.

    My main concern would be the condition of the boat, and how much use it's seen. I'd imagine a commercial boat has seen alot of hard use, and hence should be priced accordingly, i.e. cheap.

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    Moderator AKmud's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fishnhuntr View Post
    I can't quite totally wrap my mind around that either, removing floatation in order to increase hauling load? I understand decreasing weight but at the same time decreasing bouyancy? Seems like a lose/lose to me? I don't know but good luck, maybe I'll do some research online here see what else I can find.

    The foam actually doesn't affect bouyancy, it is only there in case the boat fills with water or sinks. It is designed to keep the hull afloat so she doesn't go to the bottom. Bouyancy is determined by water displacement only. Removing the foam simply gets rid of some weight (the weight of the foam itself) which increases load capacity by the same number. We took the foam out of my father in law's Alumaweld after we found it was waterlogged. Total weight of the foam we took out was around 150#s. Not a lot, but worthwhile.
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    New member fishnhuntr's Avatar
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    Interesting, but makes sense. I guess really there's not enough foam in a boat like you say to really affect bouyancy, more of a if you go down still have something to hang on to kind of thing. Still don't get the sticker though...

  7. #7
    Member akiceman25's Avatar
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    Talking thank u

    Thanks for all the replies guys!
    I have tried contacting the coast guard regarding this and they keep switching me between telephone extensions with noone actually being able to help me out.
    From what I've been told by the owner this boat has not been used commercially at all and he is the 2nd owner.
    I would only be using this on inland water bodies.
    I think I'll contact an insurance company now(didn't even think about this aspect).

    Rod, It's interesting that that there is no uscg requirement for this floatation material once in owners possession....seems similar to those little tags that were on my bed!!?

  8. #8

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    I don't know anything about the "for commercial use only" sticker, but I had a 18' Hewescraft River Runner I bought new in 1983. It had a bench seat on each side towards the stern both full of floatation. I'm sure many of you are familiar with these. There was a ton of them around. The 1st thing I did was remove them (and the floatation). In 1999 I refurbished the entire boat that winter, replacing the floor. All the floatation under the flooring was rotton. I didn't replace any of the floatation, thinking it would just rot again. I owned that boat for 23 years. It was / is still a great boat. A friend has it and loves it. I am certain it would sink if submerged, however.

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