In 1960, the Coast Guard established 140 pounds as the "Average Assumed Weight Per Person" in America. That average remained unchanged until December, when the agency implemented a new assumed average of 185 pounds, regardless of gender, said Lt. John Downing, chief of the inspection division in Pittsburgh.
"This is something we're going to have to continue to watch and deal with because the reality is Americans will only continue to get heavier," said Terry Wirginis, president and CEO of Gateway Clipper, told the Pittsburgh Tribune Review (http://bit.ly/JL77QS). "We just have to follow the regulations and operate safely."
Mark Schiller, owner of the Miss Pittsburgh riverboat, said the regulations are hurting his bottom line.
He scaled back the number of passengers aboard his boats, which run shuttles for the Steelers, the Pirates, University of Pittsburgh football games and other events. The Miss Pittsburgh now carries 39 passengers, 10 fewer than before.
Chris D'Addario, co-owner of Just Ducky Tours, hired a naval architect firm to conduct stability testing on the company's six DUKW amphibious trucks. General Motors designed the vehicles during World War II to transport supplies and troops. Now they haul sightseers on hourlong tours.
"It's a testament to how well-built these boats are and how thorough the research was done when they were designed," D'Addario said. "The stability of each boat is excellent."
Information from: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, http://pghtrib.com