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Old 02-07-2012, 15:27   #16
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

Quote:
if you determine the actual costs for the particular trip and use that as your basis for each passenger's "share."
Hmm..., how about the real cost of the trip? Some change for the fuel, mooring and dinner, is not really a material amount. The real cost shows at the end of the season, or after 2-3 seasons, when boat maintenance and equipment items come up at big $$$, as a result of cumulative wear from all those trips... would the Coast Guard allow that into the "share"? Expense sharing sounds too shady I think, especially when I will have no negotiating power arguing against "the boss".

What I'm getting from the discussion is that I will have to be licensed according to the regulations that prevail on the grounds that I pickup up customers onboard..
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Old 02-07-2012, 15:37   #17
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
Hmm..., how about the real cost of the trip? Some change for the fuel, mooring and dinner, is not really a material amount. The real cost shows at the end of the season, or after 2-3 seasons, when boat maintenance and equipment items come up at big $$$, as a result of cumulative wear from all those trips... would the Coast Guard allow that into the "share"? Expense sharing sounds too shady I think, especially when I will have no negotiating power arguing against "the boss".
In a fractional ownership arrangement - yes. Sole ownership - no.

Quote:

What I'm getting from the discussion is that I will have to be licensed according to the regulations that prevail on the grounds that I pickup up customers onboard..
Yes - that is correct.

Now you might know why I have never owned a boat, and probably never will.
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Old 02-07-2012, 15:51   #18
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
Hmm..., how about the real cost of the trip? Some change for the fuel, mooring and dinner, is not really a material amount. The real cost shows at the end of the season, or after 2-3 seasons, when boat maintenance and equipment items come up at big $$$, as a result of cumulative wear from all those trips... would the Coast Guard allow that into the "share"? Expense sharing sounds too shady I think, especially when I will have no negotiating power arguing against "the boss".

What I'm getting from the discussion is that I will have to be licensed according to the regulations that prevail on the grounds that I pickup up customers onboard..

Also in the link I posted earlier, so yes you instend to act as commercial:

Boat payments, insurance, haulouts, and maintenance do not qualify as trip expenses. The "actual expense of the voyage" is the cost associated with that specific trip, and not for any expenses that occurred before or after the trip in question.
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Old 03-07-2012, 00:49   #19
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

A couple of items to be aware of
1- isnurance. If you are taking paying passengers then you will need commercial insurance. I haven't got the faintest idea what that costs but it is probably expensive. Also, as a paying passenger vessel, many countries will insist on your vessel meeting inspection standards etc etc etc.
2- You mentioned getting an RYA Yachtmaster Ocean on a fast track. I have the Danish equivalent, a Yachtskipper Grade 1. There is no fast track. Figure you'll spend a couple of years getting it and a couple of more years sailing all the miles necessary it.

Best way to help finance your cruising? Learn to write and take pricutres. Make a deal with a yachting magazine and write artless for them. Write cruising books (all this, of course, can only be done if you really can sail and are good at writing)

Good luck
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Old 03-07-2012, 03:06   #20
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Originally Posted by welljim

Not a ferry or anything like that, just a regular sailboat. I'm trying to work out a strategy for subsidizing somewhat my cruising plans, I was thinking more along the lines of expense sharing, or perhaps crewed chartering.

Are you positive about that? Even if I'm operating on a different country? Don't I have to comply to regulations of that country? In that case, probably best strategy would be to register boat in country with relaxed regulation to go through the licenses quicker?

If the above is not true, i.e., if I do need to comply to individual countries' regulations, then how about an RYA Yachtmaster with commercial endorsement? Looks like it has the widest recognition. Would that suffice?
Registering ina foreign country may not work. You need to be a resident of Singapore to register a boat here and to skipper a Singaporean registered vessel. Other countries may not be so strict.

Also - a couple with one "sharing" crew looks legit.

A skipper with 7 sharing mates not so much... You better be able to show you are not running a charter boat in disguise. Most countries don't slap you on the wrist and say, "shame. Don't do it again."

They impound your boat and fine you big bucks...

Thirdly, my observation is that pick up crew is notoriously unreliable. My brother has had 3 in a row crap out for one reason or another. (there are a lot of fruit loops trying to hitch rides out there). Finding 6 or 7 all the time to keep up with boat expenses is a risky plan financially.

Finally a boat that can sleep 7 or 8 is a serious boat. Most pick up crew don't know a halyard from a hamburger, you better be able to sail it on your own.

Good luck with this and don't feel bad. You may not be the first person out there to have the idea to finance your dream with passengers.
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Old 03-07-2012, 05:27   #21
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

Rather than an argument over splitting hairs about "sharing" I think Dan hits the bigger picture. If you are making extra money then you will "look" like a charter boat and people could think you were one. You might pass along for a bit without a problem. If however you had an accident with people injured or property damaged then you are suddenly on the radar officially and the questions start coming up very fast.

To be in the charter business is also being "in business". Not evryone that wants to make money from passengers does even if they are legal. You still have to advertise and handle bookings and all the other business details. You suddenly are a business and that too brings all sorts of other licenses and official problems. If you choose to work as an illegal immigrant then you need to do what they do and don't advertise the fact you are one! Real local charter boats will easily notice you and have you arrested just because they can't see sharing the business with you!

The idea of sailing off and doing charter work is almost as common as anything that comes up here on the forum. The only thing more common is charter fishing. They all require a full time job effort to be in business. It really is working for a living.
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Old 03-07-2012, 07:42   #22
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by welljim View Post
The real cost shows at the end of the season, or after 2-3 seasons, when boat maintenance and equipment items come up at big $$$, as a result of cumulative wear from all those trips... would the Coast Guard allow that into the "share"?
Absolutely and specifically NOT! The only costs that can be shared are those directly associated with the particular trip. No on-going expenses, maintenance, insurance, or anything else like that. So, yes, you would need a license for the sort of thing you are thinking about.

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Originally Posted by Pblais View Post
If however you had an accident with people injured or property damaged then you are suddenly on the radar officially and the questions start coming up very fast.
Exactly. That is why it concerns me some that the Coast Guard interpretation seems to be at odds with the wording of the law. If you get into court as a result of something like an accident, will the judge and jury agree with the Coast Guard's interpretation, or with the law as it is written?

In the end, I think the only smart way to approach this is to realize that it is--as you say, Pblais--a business. Hence, it needs to be treated like a business, thought of as a business, and worked like a business. I've known a lot of people, and read about a lot more, who thought that they could cover their expenses and make a little bit of money off of a hobby that they enjoyed. The only ones who were successful were the ones who stopped thinking about it as a hobby, and started thinking about it as a business.
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Old 03-07-2012, 09:57   #23
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

if you are already yachtmaster ocean why not go yachtmaster instructor and take on passengers as training crew for the purposes of logging hours/at sea miles?

you might have to register with a school and subscribe to their groupl insurance policy and then your boat would be commercial so annual safety inspections etc etc though if your boat was completely up to spec i don't see that as being a problem...

just spitballing....
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:17   #24
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

Just curious, but does it matter if you are moving or not?

I know of a local couple that use their boat sort of like a bed and breakfast for people to spend the night on. I believe they say it includes a "free" harbor tour. If they don't charge anything for the sailing can they charge for the accommodation or are they still under the heading of paying passengers?
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:22   #25
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by Allio View Post
if you are already yachtmaster ocean why not go yachtmaster instructor and take on passengers as training crew for the purposes of logging hours/at sea miles?

you might have to register with a school and subscribe to their groupl insurance policy and then your boat would be commercial so annual safety inspections etc etc though if your boat was completely up to spec i don't see that as being a problem...

just spitballing....
alan
The OP has his Canadian Yachting Association Basic Cruising. He is some way from being an instructor.

From my own experience being an instructor is great way to get lots of boat time and meet lots of interesting people. When I was first certified as an instructor, the instructor evaluator welcomed me to the British Columbia hospitality industry; that is still part of my creed. Of course, you actually do not sail much as your students do most of the helm, trim, docking, etc. I do practice MOBs.

Most sailing organizations have fairly rigorous paths to become a basic level instructor and then work your way up to higher levels.

In Canada, it is possible to have your own school with one boat, I know a few folks who do that. As mentioned earlier, it is a business with all the insurance, business licenses, accounting fees, tax forms, etc.. My own business is a sole proprietorship.

Transport Canada is implementing new standards for Recreational Boating Schools.
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Old 03-07-2012, 10:56   #26
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by gwmort View Post
Just curious, but does it matter if you are moving or not?

I know of a local couple that use their boat sort of like a bed and breakfast for people to spend the night on. I believe they say it includes a "free" harbor tour. If they don't charge anything for the sailing can they charge for the accommodation or are they still under the heading of paying passengers?
Here is an example - Downtown Toronto Bed and Breakfast, Toronto B&B, Boat Hotel | Making Waves Boatel

Note they do not offer sailing as a part of the experience.

Quote:
Note: The Boatel remains dockside as you enjoy the access to downtown Toronto’s harbourfront. The Boatel does not offer charters or harbour tours. However if you wish to go for a day cruise or dinner cruise, please ask us and we would be happy to make arrangements for you aboard one of the cruise boats in the harbour.
Probably as a result of Transport Canada Regulations.
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Old 03-07-2012, 12:04   #27
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

Don't forget the skipper, and any crew, require work permits from Immigration.
Around here --we take your boat.
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Old 03-07-2012, 13:01   #28
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

Any chance of you actually asking the authorities from whence you hail???
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Old 03-07-2012, 13:08   #29
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by Hannah on 'Rita T' View Post
In the US, sharing expenses is a paying passenger. ...
Nonsense. You need to be pretty liberal in defining expenses to cross that line.
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Old 04-07-2012, 15:26   #30
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Re: Do I need a license to have paying passengers?

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
You're out of date, changed some time ago.

Letter to Latitude 38 by
M. P. Rand
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard
Chief, Office of Investigations and Casualty Analysis
Washington, D.C.

The Coast Guard’s interpretation is that it's completely acceptable for recreational boaters to share the common daily expenses such as gas, food, and other supplies.

Complete letter found here:
Latitude 38 Letters - March 2008
I think the letter spells it out well. I think part of the confusion comes from the fact that in the regs I've seen the definition of compensation (as quoted in the article) is written as a footnote, not in the initial information, so someone reading the paragraphs without the footnote could easily (and I believe incorrectly) assume that any consideration, even cost sharing would count as a commercial venture.

I personally find the comment about "voluntary" to be a bit ambiguous as well. If a friend asks to go out on my boat, and I say: "Sure, as long as we split gas costs" - Is that voluntary? I've made it a condition of going out with me, so in a sense it's not, but it's not like a put a gun to their head and forced them to contribute. Their decision to go boating and share expenses or not is their decision, so seems to me to be voluntary.

I find that whole issue very interesting because I used to charter with friends and we'd split the charter as well as gas and other costs. Now I own a boat in charter, so we just split the fuel and other similar costs, which saves my friends a ton of money and they think is great, but I know some feel that's somehow being commercial or taking advantage of them despite the fact I'm paying as much as they are and supplying the boat on top of that.
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