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MN Greenheads

Legal Number of Persons?

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Is the number printed on the yellow tag in the stern of a boat the absolute maximum for number of people on that boat? If I took 5 kids weighing 50 lbs and another adult at 190lbs and I weigh 175lbs I would have 615lbs. way under the max weight but over by two people in the number of people listed on the yellow tag. Is it legal? Would I get a ticket? No guesses please as I need to know and follow the rules. Thanks.

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How big of a boat? 5 kids and 2 adults seems like your stretching it a little particularly in a 16 or 17 footer. There wouldn't be much room to fish or anything else for that matter.

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Originally Posted By: PierBridge
It is illegal.......


SAYS WHO? Source please.

The DNR...

Right from the Boating Guide.


It’s against the law:

 To operate a watercraft in a careless or reckless


 To operate a watercraft so that its wash or

wake endangers, harasses, or interferes with

any person or property.

 To operate a watercraft so it obstructs or

tends to obstruct ordinary navigation.

 To operate a watercraft within an area legally

marked off or set aside as a swimming

area, or within 150 feet of a diver’s warning

flag (see page 43).


 To operate a watercraft: 1) loaded with passengers

or cargo beyond its safe carrying

capacity, (persons or weight) or 2) equipped

with a motor or other propulsion machinery

beyond its safe power capacity.

 To ride or sit on the gunwales, bow, transom,

or decking over the bow, sides or stern of any

motorboat while underway, unless it is

equipped with an adequate railing, or to

operate a motorboat while any person is so

riding or sitting.

 To operate a watercraft so that it obstructs or

interferes with the take off, landing, or taxiing

of a seaplane.

 To moor or attach a watercraft to any buoy,

except a mooring buoy, or to any other marking

device or guide, or to tamper, molest,

remove, or destroy a navigational aid.

 To deposit or leave refuse in or upon the

waters of the state or at public access areas.

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Kids 50 pounds and under must be 3, maybe 4 year olds. Is it a good idea to have that many kids that young with only 2 adults? Maybe there's a reason for those restrictions.

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The odd thing about the ratings like that is the seeming inconsistency in them for different boats. For example, we have an 18' boat that is rated for 5 people, I would consider it a safe and fairly sturdy type boat. We also have a 16' fishing boat, more tippy, less floatation, less seating areas, etc. that is rated for 7 people!

Just an odd situation for many boats, but I bet the patrol mainly will count PFD's and people over what a tag says, but the regulation is the regulation.

Good luck,

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Maybe he has 5 kids? Leaving a few on the dock isn't really an option....

BoxMN, my 16 ft Rebel is rated for more people and similar amount of weight as a friends 1890 Warrior.....odd....but I think boats are now rated for the maximum number of seat bases=max number of people.

While it is illegal, if you are operating in a safe manor and have proper lifejacket requirements, I think most Water Patrols and CO's would be understanding. But that would be a risk you would have to take on your own, or buy a much bigger boat.

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I spoke with a woman working in the lobby of the DNR building. She said the question is asked alot. The official answer is that is illegal to be over either the maximum weight or number of passengers listed on the placard.

Unofficialy she said that she had never seen a C.O. carrying a bathroom scale but was fairly certain most of them could count.

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Friend got a ticket for too many people (kids) in the boat. They were on the river and all had PFDs on.

But now I'm curious if he was towing two kids on a tube behind the boat if he would be legal?

I would think so but looks like I need to do some research...

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usually the numbers on the boat. capacity and weight whatever come first. is what is legal those numbers are thier for a reason.

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I'd almost bet not too many read the boating guide,for rules or information.

This cat does, every year. What else am I going to do between hard and soft water periods? crazy


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