The US Coast Guard has updated its regulations, increasing the average weight per passenger for stability and loading calculations of tour and charter boats from 160 pounds to 185 pounds.
Lard ahoy! Coast Guard estimates average weight of cruise passengers has gone up by 25lbs to 185lbs
‘People have just gotten heavier,’ Coast Guard spokeswoman Lisa Novak told the Los Angeles Times.
The new rule means boats will be able to carry fewer people. Otherwise, according to the Coast Guard, they might tip over.
For example, under the old measure, a boat with a 16,000-pound capacity could handle 100 passengers. Under the new 185-pounds-per- passenger rule, that vessel could only carry 86 people.
The regulations don’t cover recreational boats or cruise ship lifeboats, but tour operators said it will affect their business.
‘If you’re licensed for 400 people, with the new rating you may only carry 370,’ Haley Sofge, a manager with Biscayne Lady Charters, which operates out of West Palm Beach and Miami, told the Sun-Sentinel.
Another Florida tour boat owner says to make up for fewer passengers operators may have to charge guests more.
The Coast Guard used statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to reach their weight standards.
According to the CDC, for people over age 20, the average weight for men is 194.7 pounds and for women 164.7 pounds.