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  #1  
Old 05/31/09, 11:45 AM
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Hill Country, Texas
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Bigger Outboard on Boat than Boat Rated For

How much trouble can I get in if I put a 4 HP motor on a boat that is only rated on the boat plate for up to 3 hp. Can I get a ticket for doing this??

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  #2  
Old 05/31/09, 11:56 AM
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i dont think you will get in any trouble.. its a safety rating for the boat. and I doubt that 1 hp will make much difference as far as safety is concerned. now if you run 12 hp on a lake posted for 10hp max thats a horse of a different color.

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  #3  
Old 05/31/09, 12:02 PM
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I have never heard of it being illegal here. Scanned and didn't see any references to it at your Texas Wildlife Department website either.

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  #4  
Old 05/31/09, 12:02 PM
 
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Location: Hill Country, Texas
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I am not worried about the safety aspect. The weight difference of the motor is minimal if any at all. I am just worried about the Texas Game Wardens doing an inspection and citing me for having an OB that is in excess of the boat plate.

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  #5  
Old 05/31/09, 12:28 PM
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We used to run an 'oversized' motor on our pontoon boat so we could ski. Never had a problem with game warden and we talked to plenty on the water here in Texas and in Oklahoma. That includes a few times they inspected the motor for plant matter. That's also been a few years though, so things could have changed.

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  #6  
Old 05/31/09, 12:44 PM
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My brother logged 40 years with Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks.

He would have enjoyed a telephone call with a person asking an "IF" question a whole lot more than he ever enjoyed giving a ticket. Just place a call and find out as I suspect you will find that, yes, you would get a ticket.

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  #7  
Old 05/31/09, 04:24 PM
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The reason for hp ratings on some older boats was the weight of the motor .
an old 5 hp out weighs a new 10 hp .
if you've ever seen the flat bottom racers they strap 40 hp on 8 ft john boats very fast and very dangerous

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  #8  
Old 05/31/09, 05:42 PM
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
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Yep, I have a CDROM of old boat plans and back in the 50s, all the rage was a little flat thing of two sheets of plywood, with a huge engine. The pilot would squat on it with his knees up around his ears, hanging on to the steering wheel. And there must be 50 plans for that style on the CD.

Unless it is illegal, I wouldn't worry about an extra horse on the boat. And you don't have to go full throttle if you don't want to.

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  #9  
Old 05/31/09, 06:48 PM
 
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I'm hardly worried about the boat and motor. I just am not interested in getting afoul of the Fish and Game folks. Here they will ticket you quickly for a missing life jacket or fire extinguisher - just wondered about over horse powered. I'll call F&G tomorrow and see what they say. I'll let you all know too.

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  #10  
Old 06/01/09, 12:18 AM
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Yeah, we got a ticket for missing fire extinguisher, and they counted all the life jackets and checked lights. Just never questioned the motor size.

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  #11  
Old 06/01/09, 01:01 AM
 
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The biggest issue besides safety in some circumstances is that insurance wont cover you if you exceed the rating for your boat. Most modern outboards have actually gotten heavier for the same HP ratings than older outboards due to switching from 2 stroke to 4 stroke.

The difference in weight and performance between a 3 and 4 hp outboard is negligible (they may even have the same block) in most circumstances so you should be fine. I dont know of any jurisdiction or federal or state law that regulates motor size based on transom ratings or boat ratings unless its clearly overloaded and then they will cite you for operating an unsafe watercraft.

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  #12  
Old 06/01/09, 07:00 AM
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well even if it is illegal...you just "gun" that big ol 4 hp hoss and outrunnem!!!

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  #13  
Old 06/01/09, 09:49 AM
 
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Texas Parks and Wildlife says I can just mount that big ol 4 HP hog and have a great time. They say that they don't check nameplate to motor size. I guess if I was to put a 50 HP on the boat (other than sinking the boat duue to weight) they might try to cite me under a general "UNSAFE BOATING" clause but if reasonable they don't even check.

ZOOM ZOOM ZOOM.

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  #14  
Old 06/01/09, 01:24 PM
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Isn't it a lot easier and more comforting to ask rather than stew about getting a ticket?

Glad that it will work out just fine for you. When is the fish fry?

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  #15  
Old 06/01/09, 02:34 PM
 
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My ignorance

I don't even know what it is called, but the part where the boat motor connects to the boat in the back, but that is the part that I would be worried about.
I have an older friend of the family who was known as River Rat. He knew boats backwards and forwards. He explained to us as kids that the size rating had to do with the safety of that part and the size of the motor. If you oversize it more than a certain amount the mounting location could give and either sink the boat, or send the motor to the bottom of whatever water you were on.
Now, as you mentioned, it being rated for 3 HP and you have a 4 hp, probably is not an issue. But I would worry if you were fitting it with say a 10 hp motor, and see how long the mount would take to snap off.

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  #16  
Old 06/01/09, 02:44 PM
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not sure what trouble with the law but basically think of it this way the ratting can have to do with a few things weight , torque and stress generaly.
weight of both the motor and the boat , at certian speeds some hull desings become unsafe also some just are not long enought or have enough displacment to handle the wight of a heavier motor , tourge when an engine turnes it creats force that fource is tourque and it is applied to the transom of the boat just like if you put a high output motor in your car project you have to reinforce the motor mounts and fraim rails

we have all heard the stories of the guy who built a really fast camero then went to race it at the drag strip and cracked the t-tops this is the effect of tourque and it streeses the metal in the case of the t-tops it is tristing the car because the energy is not fully able to transfer to the wheels and the car stores up that connetic energy like a spring but this spring can only bend so far because glass doesn't bend the same as metal

so every time you start up your motor you apply this stress to the material lets just say metal think of a metal coat hanger you can bend it back and forth maybe 10 times then it snapps so when you apply these stresses to the transom of your boat it only gets to bend so many times the more horse power the more it bends the sooner it breaks

but with only a 2 hp difference if a transome would normaly last 10 years (actual use running every day of season several hours not sitting in the garage) as an example you may only shorten it's life by a few weeks to a few months

but double the stress and you are likely to cut it down to less than a 1/4 it's original life it is not a linear scale

this is why race cars built stronger than road cars only use a frame for a year or two thats 2 maybe 3 days a week for half the year before makeing a new one they are pushed to the absolute limits they get new engines every race they need to be rebuilt

also just like a car that has more hp they can be more difficult to handle and easier to capsize these are all things that figure into the equation , on smaller craft especialy they are making them for joe average - with is average ability and average skill he shouldn't be able to without trying do anything to cause the boat to capsize or be uncontrolable basicaly as idiot pruff as possable

so a few hores power can make a diffrence realy you say , have you evry tried a sail boat with a few extra yards of sail , takes twice the skill as the same craft with a bit less sail.

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  #17  
Old 06/01/09, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sirquack View Post
I don't even know what it is called, but the part where the boat motor connects to the boat in the back, but that is the part that I would be worried about.
I have an older friend of the family who was known as River Rat. He knew boats backwards and forwards. He explained to us as kids that the size rating had to do with the safety of that part and the size of the motor. If you oversize it more than a certain amount the mounting location could give and either sink the boat, or send the motor to the bottom of whatever water you were on.
Now, as you mentioned, it being rated for 3 HP and you have a 4 hp, probably is not an issue. But I would worry if you were fitting it with say a 10 hp motor, and see how long the mount would take to snap off.
That part is called the transom. It all depends on design. My pappy used to build wooden boats and he followed a set of plans to make a small [12'] run-about rated to 15hp. After testing w/ the 7.5 hp he found it hard to steer and proceeded to add a set of 1" chines to the planing surface.

My uncle [the stock car driver] after adding larger and larger outboards finally flipped it w/ a 75hp merc...
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  #18  
Old 06/06/09, 04:15 AM
 
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Back in the 80's , I had a 15 Ft. Checkmate with a 150 HP. Merc. on it . I did get a few tickets with the boat in Ma. , Nh. , and Me. , but it was never for to big a motor . LOL
Bob

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  #19  
Old 06/06/09, 06:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Norman View Post
Yep, I have a CDROM of old boat plans and back in the 50s, all the rage was a little flat thing of two sheets of plywood, with a huge engine. The pilot would squat on it with his knees up around his ears, hanging on to the steering wheel. And there must be 50 plans for that style on the CD.

Unless it is illegal, I wouldn't worry about an extra horse on the boat. And you don't have to go full throttle if you don't want to.
Called a Pumpkin Seed in Maine. At least what I am thinking of. Good way to maim yourself.
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