To handle a load significantly higher than what it is rated for, just for the manufacturer to be on the safe side legally. Lots of factors might affect what kind of load a boat can physically handle, including age of the boat, water conditions, how the weight is loaded, etc. having a big cushion between that actual maximum and a rated maximum can help handle all those. So if you're right at or even a little above a rated weight you might to be okay most of the time, though I don't feel right to suggest it's a good practice to do so.
1 Canoe/Kayak Trailer
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