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Is there a good rule of thumb for number of people in a boat?

I looked on the Hull Idendification plate, but it only had the HIN and max horsepower on it.

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This is very general, it will vary from country to country and probably even US state to US state. Can you provide some more details? What kind of boat are we talking about? – Pekka 웃 Jul 3 '12 at 19:53
It is very general, that's how a "rule of thumb" works. – Homer Jul 5 '12 at 14:06
What's with the down vote? – Homer Jul 5 '12 at 14:07
@Homer -- Please make this clear. Are you asking about safety or legallity? At least put what style of hull, as both stability and laws are generally written for hull types and there will likely not be a general rule that spans all hull types. – Russell Steen Aug 29 '12 at 14:07

A good rule of thumb would be: Can you move around and have easy access to everything you/everyone need to manoeuvring the vessel.

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For commercial vessels, such as ferries, most countries do have regulations which boats are assessed against, and a maximum number of passengers are defined for each boat.

There are also a number of countries where this doesn't apply, or where regulations are not enforced.

Update - removed the rest as I see now you are looking at regulations, not physical capacity

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