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Question for the Captains here

By: smlobx
4/6/2021 3:41 PM

I know that the maximum number of individuals that can be brought on most boats is 6 but was wondering if that includes babies as well.
We’ll have 6 adults and a 10 month old and trying to figure out how we can all go offshore...or are we SOL? My family will be coming down to our house in September...
Also what’s biting around the middle of the month...?



By: SwampDuck
4/6/2021 4:41 PM

I am not a Captain but I know the Country Girl out of Pirates Cove can carry 8. Sure there are a few others.

September = White Marlin and Tuna!


By: Mikec
4/6/2021 4:44 PM

A call to the USCG would likely give you the absolute answer but according to a FL charter boat site the infant counts as one of the limit. What about a party boat? Good luck.


By: NC Mtn Pirates
4/6/2021 6:17 PM

Are you sure taking a 10 month old offshore is a good idea? It's a long trip to and back from the Gulf stream for adults. You'll have to get a infant life vest because I bet most charter boats don't have them.


By: Pickle
4/7/2021 7:45 AM

Pickle here aka Captain Paul Sr of STOLAT Fishing Charters. You basic question about the 6 Passenger Rule is very common and Frustrating to small fishing parties over 6. The Coast Guard Regulation is 6 passengers, regardless of age, fishing or not. The reasoning and explanation is a bit complicated. First it has nothing to do with the boat size (well yes but that comes under construction), it has to do with the Boat's Construction (water tight bulkhead, deck hatches, railings, fuel tanks and more) and Equipment (Life Raft etc.) and periodic " Very Detailed" Inspections. On larger vessels such as Headboats there are stability tests and the boat gets a COI and rating for number of passengers and limits on Navigation Area. Second the Captain must have a Coast Guard Masters License which many Captains have already. 99% of all Outer Banks Charter Boats are 6 passenger boats, which is strictly enforced. There is also a minor point. All Charter boats must have a CG Type 1 (Commercial) PFD (Life Vest) for each Passenger and you are required to have a Childs PFD for 20% of your carrying Capacity (6 x 20% = 2). Here's the "rub". Children's PFD are rated for under 90 lbs. They are clumsy, restricting and uncomfortable. I have never ever seen a PFD to fit a 10 month old. You cant use a Type II or III bought in Walmart or West Marine. These are for private, recreational use. Lastly, I understand you wishes for everybody to go, BUTTTTTT why would you ever take a 10 Month Old OFFSHORE. It's a minimum of a 10 to 11 Hour day. A boat ride up to 2 Hours going 35 to 40 miles out. You can not leave the child alone for one minute even if sleeping. The child would need to be held virtually the whole time. If I was posed that question I would suggest a 4 hour Inshore trip and even then a full time caregiver would be necessary. I would not allow jump seats or other child holding devices. On my boat your Comfort and Safety is Number 1, Fish Catching is a very, very close Second. Mid September is Dolphin, with very scattered Tuna and Wahoo. Yes White Marlin, but if you wanted Marlin you may get away from anything else. You can be a Hero or a Zero. What do you want Meat or Marlin? Good Luck

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By: John Bull
4/10/2021 1:12 AM

Please don’t carry your infant offshore. It would neither be safe nor enjoyable for anyone. Pickle is the guru on this. A baby might be fine on a short boat ride in light weather, but thirty or forty miles offshore all day on a rolling boat is a very different story.


By: smlobx
4/10/2021 8:04 AM

Thanks everyone particularly Pickle.
When our kids were small we took them offshore with us and this included times when they were less than a year old. The movement of the boat and the engine noise meant that they slept almost the entire time in the cabin. We brought our own life preserver for them and a devise similar to a little bean bag and they were fine. At the time there were a maximum of 4 of us.

Now we’re in the grandparent phase and of course our family is larger hence my question. My DIL is not really into fishing and she may elect to stay home which would solve our problem but I thought I would throw it out here in case my views on the subject were off base. In years past when our party was larger (10) we chartered 2 boats whose Captains worked together (as many do) and we were able to watch each other catch fish. That was also a blast.

We love to go meat fishing and finding a school of Mahi and having all hell brake out is a great experience!


By: John Bull
4/10/2021 10:32 AM

If you're staying in Hatteras, give the Albatross fleet a call. There's three boats so perhaps you could get two of them for a day. That's a great idea.