The paddlesports industry has no meaningful standard to compare relative capacities. The USCG freeboard rule is meaningless. No canoe is maneuverable or seaworthy so loaded. Placid Boatworks canoes are measured and rated for displacement in one-inch draft increments. We feel solos should not be loaded past 4 inches draft, nor tandems past 5 inches.
Placid Boatworks canoes flare above designed waterline for a geometric increase in resistance to load. Rocker also helps control and maneuver a heavily burdened canoe. Our canoes are designed for people plus gear, but paddler skill is always a factor. It is best to test canoes with the intended payload. Bring along your camping gear on a test paddle or use our pre-measured sandbags to approximate your tripping loads. Consider that testing canoes in windy conditions will give more useful information than a paddle around the pond in calm weather.