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This public forum is the first ever put on by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol concerning transportation of oversize boats on the North Carolina Highways. It would be very beneficial for all fisherman in this area to attend and show interest and concern in these regulations. There will be officials from the US DOT enforcement in attendance. Members or Staff members of State and Federal Representatives have committed to attend This is the time for anyone that is concerned or unsure about these requirements to be in attendance. I have worked with the State Patrol Motor Unit Command Staff and have been able to get them to provide this opportunity to the recreational boaters. Please, if you can assist in getting out the information for this event I would be very grateful. This has taken 3 months of work to get in place. This may be a one time opportunity and the concerned recreational boaters should attend and show their interest and concern. All the rules and regulations are not going away, so we must inform and work toward amending some laws with Representatives that are not applicable. Please give me a call if you need any further. I realize this is not a nationwide effort, but we must start somewhere by educating and trying to make some changes. Thanks for any assistance you might can provide.

Al Morris Jr.



April 20, 2008



MEDIA ADVISORY


TO: News Directors, Editors

FROM: Lt. Everett Clendenin

RE: Public Forum on the Transportation of Oversize Commercial and Recreational Boats

The Highway Patrol will conduct a public forum on Monday, April 21st discussing the rules and regulations of transporting oversize recreational and commercial boats on North Carolina highways.

The forum will be conducted at 6:00 p.m. at the Warwick Center, located on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, 601 South College Rd. Wilmington, N.C.

The public is invited to attend the event.

For additional information contact Captain George Gray at 919-715-8683.
 

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(I don't figure anything here will be relevant to transporting a kayak, will it?)

Do you expect the forum to address the topic of whether a boat used in a tournament is a commercial vessel or not? Or will it focus more exclusively on the towing requirements, once the commercial/non-commercial assertion has been made?
 

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Thanks for the info ICM.

Lefty - with the US DOT there I assume a lot of the info will be on the issue of trailer size and weighted license plates. Many folks don't know that the COMBINED weight of tow vehicle, boat, trailer, cargo and passengers can not exceed 5000 pounds unless you purchase a "weighted" license plate. There are other important considerations too like trailer width, time of day you can tow certain vehicles, etc.

My understanding is that this meeting is not a public hearing (where the public express its opinion) but rather a chance to learn about the actual laws and ask questions for clarification.
 

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Yes, that's the picture I got as well... a chance to educate the public on a poorly-understood topic, rather than pursue a change in policy... But I read a column in -- was it Southern Sportsman? -- about a guy who got pulled over for an overweight trailer, and when he mentioned having won $X in the weekend's tournament, the troopers decided that this was a commercial vehicle, and wrote additional tickets for requirements that apply to commercial but not recreational vehicles.

I don't recall if it was stated explicitly in that column, but I took away two points from that column: one, weighted plates apply to lots more boats than most people think, and two, the definition of "commercial vehicles" is either poorly understood as well, or is a gray area that's still being defined, when it comes to fishing tournaments.

It seems pretty clear that this meeting is aimed at educating the public about the requirements and responsibilities associated with hauling heavy loads like boats... I'm not so clear whether it intends to address either the requirements for driving commercial loads, or the definition of a commercial load...

Having said all that, I might be way out in left field, not even owning a trailer...
 

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I know there are size and weight limits, but I didn't know about the 5000lb limit or the need for a "weighted" license plate. If my memory serves me correctly, for any towed vehicle 10000lbs or above, one would need a commercial license. I have a class A commercial license and was under the impression that this was more than adequate for any boat that I am likely to ever tow. I am curious, to find out more on the subject of the 5000lbs law. Do you know if there is a website with this info?
 

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I have a CBL so that should mean that I can help anyone out who wants to take me fishing with their boat. A bus is much bigger then a truck and a boat so I should be good to go.:D
 
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I have a CBL so that should mean that I can help anyone out who wants to take me fishing with their boat. A bus is much bigger then a truck and a boat so I should be good to go.:D
I have a class A CDL with air brakes, tankers and Hazmat which includes explosives... Can we go fishing or WHAT!!!...:eek:.LOL!!!
 

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Al - the weight limit is for vehicle, contents (including passengers) and anything the vehicle is towing. A standard NC plate covers vehicles (and contents, tow, etc) up to 5000 pounds. After that you must buy a weighted plate - you pay extra for it depending on how much total weight you will have. The other rule that is being talking about on many boards are the US DOT rules (being enforced by NC Highway Patrol) related to width of towed trailers. The third discussion concerns boats towed for use in tournaments being considered a commercial use thus requiring a CDL (this one is real fuzzy and may be more of an isolated issue).

I guess next they will consider little ole lady's on their way to a bingo game as commercial drivers....lol
 

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Okay, got my weighted tag today. Finally got the rules straight from the horses mouth.

1. The state gives you up to 7,000lbs. This weight includes your loaded vehicle weight and the weight of what you are towing, loaded. So, for boats, that means gassed up, ice, rafts, gear, trailer, everything.

2. If the weight of your vehicle and whatever you're towing, loaded, is over 7,000lbs, then you must have a weighted tag or you can be pulled over and fined.

3. It is up to you to tell DMV how much total weight you'll need the plate for. And they will ask you to initial the weight when they print off your new registration.

4. I got my tag weighted for 12,000lbs. My truck is a little over 4,500 and my boat, gassed and loaded, is about 6,500-6,700lbs. I'm hoping the trailer doesn't tip the scales -- or, better yet, I get weighed coming in. :) I think 12K is good.

5. The 12,000lb plate will run $129/year I think she said. Today they pro-rated it and it just cost $30.

So, now I hope I'm street legal. I'd like to find some scales close by where I could actually weigh this mess. After going through these motions I'd hate to get a green stamp because I'm 12,050lbs....
 

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Thanks for the post, I would be interested in hearing what takes place at the meet. Will there be any transcripts available ?
Danny - this post started in 2008. It sort of ended last year when we got in to a tangential discussion about whether weighted tags were needed for towing boats. I thought I'd update it with my current information because there was a lot of discussion here on the topic.

Bottom line, the law to require permits for wide load boats was vetoed. :)
 
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