I am currently looking for a new boat and have been monitoring craigslist, boattrader, boats.com, etc... looking for a deal on a used center console. Everything I have looked at has been 19-20' in length with similar transom width but the maximum capacity on the coast guard capacity plate has varied significantly. I have done research online about how they calculate this number and best I can tell they use a calculation to get to a weight and then divide that by 150lbs to determine maximum people.
So my dumb question is if I have kids that weigh less can I go over the maximum person rating? One of the boats I am looking at says maximum 5 people or 787 lbs. Can I take my fishing partner, both of our wives, and my 2 sons (4&6 years old) out on that boat (6 people total)? We would be under the weight capacity but over the person capacity. Also safety is my primary concern but would I also be at risk of getting a ticket? My research says some states have laws against going over the coast guard plate and some don't but couldn't confirm for Texas.
Thanks in advance for any feedback you can give.
One of the online resources I found but have read a few and other forums but couldn't find much local info:http://www.boatingbasicsonline.com/content/general/3_7.htm