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As waistlines expand, boat capacity shrinks

When a paddlewheel dinner boat called the Crystal Queen sailed its maiden voyage in waters off the coast of Atlantic City in the early 1990s, the Coast Guard certified 153 passengers and crew members as a safe load.

Today, that same boat — which was renamed Island Time and will begin cruising the waters off Key Largo on New Year’s Eve — is permitted to carry only 134 people.

The 78-footer didn’t shrink. Americans got bigger around the waistline.

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