Q&A With the US Coast Guard
Stay safe no matter which outboard motor, boat or outboard motor oil you use.
Can I use a bigger motor on my boat than what it’s rated for?
It is not a violation of Coast Guard regulations to install or use an engine larger than specified on the capacity label, but there may be state regulations prohibiting it, and restrictions from your own insurance company regarding this.
There are no Coast Guard regulations against exceeding the safe loading capacity, however, there may be State regulations or restrictions from your insurance company which prohibit this. There is a Coast Guard regulation that gives Coast Guard Boarding Officers the power to terminate the use of a boat (send it back to shore) if, in the judgment of the Boarding Officer, the boat is overloaded. There is no fine for this, unless the operator refuses the Boarding Officer’s order. We certainly hope that you will abide by the rating, as overloading may lead to capsizing or swamping of the boat.
NOTE: The Coast Guard Capacity Information label is required only on monohull boats less than 20′ in length. The label is not required on multi-hull boats, pontoon boats (catamarans), or on any sailboats, canoes, kayaks, or inflatable boats, regardless of length.