Effective December 1,2011, the United States Coast Guard increased the average weight per person that commercial boat operators must assume when calculating the number of passengers they can carry. At 185 lbs., the new assumed average weight per person updates the old average of 160lbs, which was established in 1960. The Coast Guard is following the trend that Americans, as a society, are becoming heavier. This is confirmed by the current administrations’ increased concern with our society’s overall obesity.
Not withstanding the subtle comment on the fitness on Americans today, the Coast Guard’s new regulations will clearly affect all commercial boat operators. For instance, dive boats are restricted by weight and can only carry a certain amount of passengers by virtue of the size of the boat. The increased weight limit will mean that the dive company will be able to carry less passengers per trip. The only conclusion that can be drawn from this is that the dive company will either make less money or charge more per passenger for the pleasure of diving aboard their vessels. In other words, our fatness as society is going to translate into higher fares paid by passengers boarding commercial vessels. The long reaching effects may carry into ferries, small cruise ships, and other forms of sea going transportation governed by the United States Coast Guard weight limits.
If we enjoy diving, traveling by commercial vessel or other sea-going activities, the fatter we get, the thinner our wallets get.