Horsepower Rating On An Outboard Boats

What Does The Horsepower Rating Mean On An Outboard Boats Capacity Plate?

The horsepower rating on an outboard boat’s capacity plate means the number of people that a boat can hold or the maximum capacity it can carry.

In most outboard boats, you can find the horsepower rating on the capacity plate.

Let’s find out more…

Must Boats Have a Capacity Plate?

It is not a must for all boats to have a capacity plate, but it is necessary. This is because capacity plates ensure the safety of the passengers and all those who are on board.

However, different countries have different rules on whether boats should have a capacity plate or not.

Some insist that boats that are twenty feet in length must have a capacity plate.

The capacity plate should be in a place where it can be easily read. You may decide to place it on the helm or the steering console.

More Info

What does the Boat’s Capacity Plate Consist?

The boat capacity plate consists of details that, if you do not take a closer look at, you will never know that they exist.

I often took my family out for a ride in the ocean, but I have never thought of looking closely at the capacity to see its details.

I think I just had the assumption that the capacity plate is there as per the manufacturer’s instructions.

I cannot believe that my family and I had trips in the ocean using the boat; it didn’t occur to me that I should at least keenly look at the boat’s capacity plate.

I think it was just a case of ignorance on my part. Well, I came to learn that that is not the case.

Here are some of the details that a boat’s capacity plate consists of…

The boat’s capacity plate consists of the maximum number of people it should have on board, and that is inclusive of their weight in pounds.

It has the maximum horsepower rating that is recommended for outboard boats.

After this, you will find the name, city and state of the boat manufacturer.

The maximum capacity per person and the gear by weight is also part of what is on the list.

Horsepower Rating On The Capacity Plate
Boat capacity plate example: see the max HP and number of persons or lbs.

What Does Horsepower Rating Mean?

In all outboard boats, when you talk of the horsepower rating on the capacity plate, it means the specific power the engine should use regarding the size of the boat, of course.

For you and your loved one to be safe, be sure to check on the maximum horsepower your boat’s engine can handle.

If you get a horsepower that exceeds what is recommended, it may affect the boat’s functionality.

How is the Horsepower Related to the Boat?

In most cases, you will assume that the horsepower rating on the capacity plate has relations to the speed of the boat. That is not true in this case.

Here, the horsepower rating on the boat’s capacity plate is only related to the weight.

The boat’s speed has no connection to the horsepower’s rating on the boat’s capacity plate.

The horsepower rating on an outboard boat’s capacity plate means the total number of people that an outboard boat should not exceed.

You need to be aware of the following:

  • Whether all boats should have a capacity plate.
  • What boat’s capacity plate consists of
  • What horsepower rating means


All product names, logos, and brands are property of their respective owners. All company, product and service names used in this website are for identification purposes only. Use of these names, logos, and brands does not imply endorsement.

It is our policy to make every effort to respect the copyrights of outside parties. If you believe that your copyright has been misused, please provide us with a message stating your position and we will endeavor to correct any misuse immediately.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we may receive an affiliate commission, at no extra cost to you. This helps us keep this website alive. Learn more here.

igor desperatesailors

Hi, I’m Igor, Skipper of S/Y "The Hooker". A decade ago, I conquered my childhood dream: to be a sailing skipper, own a sailing yacht. Yes, it knocked dullness out of my urban life — Read more →

Articles: 78

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Amazon Disclosure is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc., or its affiliates.

Please refer to our Privacy & Affiliate policy for more details.