Originally Posted by enwulff
You will have some issues with the Coast Guard as well as they check the horse power and capacity rating when they do some safety inspections. You are looking at a world of hurt going with that much more horesepower on a boat that size. Just get a bigger boat.
Capacity, yes, in terms of payload and passengers; I believe the max hp rating is not on-water enforceable (as I recall.) In other words, the Max HP rating is a guideline for use when selecting an engine, and a limit for insurance purposes, but holds no other legal weight when on-water. In California, I am reasonably sure overpowering is not a citeable offense (note that it is in some states.) I cannot find anything that states this, but that's not a surprise. I also cannot find anything that says that overpowering is an offense.
Still, the CG tends to look for problems when things are out of the ordinary, so you're probably still right on the scrutinization process.