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Old 31-10-2013, 06:14   #16
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

I am not an expert on maritime law, but I have never heard of the Jones act, or a rule that would require a boat to be built in the USA to run a charter business.

In regards to the captains license:

After you pass the USCG captains test, you must verify your experience on a boat by turning in prof of being on a boat. When you provide said prof, you will give the USCG the tonnage of the vessel's that you have experience on. Based on that, the USCG will normally issue a license as large as the vessels you have experience on up to 100 ton. I don't believe that because you once took an ocean cruise on a ocean liner that they will count that experience.
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Old 31-10-2013, 08:03   #17
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

Merchant Marine Act of 1920 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't think the Jones Act would apply to charters, unless perhaps they were one-way trips between two points.
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:06   #18
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

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Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
Merchant Marine Act of 1920 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I don't think the Jones Act would apply to charters, unless perhaps they were one-way trips between two points.
This got me thinking so I did some digging (intetnet source so take it for what it's worth). Based on this, you can do bare boat charters but if you do commercial work with staff on board, you are subject to the Jones Act. It does appear that there is a waiver program available for small vessels.

Of course this is also one of those gray areas where you might get away with it because that isn't the primary focus.

The Jones Act

Small Vessel Waiver Program
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:09   #19
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

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I am not an expert on maritime law, but I have never heard of the Jones act, or a rule that would require a boat to be built in the USA to run a charter business.
.
Yes, if you plan on being the captain on board your vessel of 5T or more and accept any compensation, it is considered coast wise trade and if your vessel is not US-built, you must get a Jones Act waiver ($500/about 60-90 days). We confirmed this from 2/3 Coast guard offices, including the office that handles the Jones Act waiver, and from 2/2 Admiralty lawyers.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:20   #20
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

Bear in mind that as a USCG license holder, you will be held to a higher standard of judgement and performance that a non-licensee is, even in some situations other than you acting as captain.

This can be a very important consideration in some legal procedures or suits.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:31   #21
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

Thanks for the information about the Jones act. I had no Idea, even though my boat is USA made.

As long as we are getting an education hear, can anyone tell us why this rule is in place. Or about the Jones case.
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Old 02-11-2013, 07:46   #22
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

[QUOTE=Rocketman;1378332]Konakoma

Thanks for your advise.
Since I posted this thread, I went to a captains school and received my 50 ton master captains license with sailing and towing endorsement's and the TWIC card.



Did you get a master inland, master near coastal? I believe 720 days with 90 in the past 3 years?
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Old 02-11-2013, 08:22   #23
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Thanks for the information about the Jones act. I had no Idea, even though my boat is USA made. As long as we are getting an education hear, can anyone tell us why this rule is in place. Or about the Jones case.
It was enacted in 1920 to protect domestic ship building and commerce. Now they extend it to small vessels and cite "national security" and have a nice bureaucracy built around it. It is nearly impossible to get govt to remove or change outdated laws.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:13   #24
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

[QUOTE=Sailing Cowboy;1380615]
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Konakoma

Thanks for your advise.
Since I posted this thread, I went to a captains school and received my 50 ton master captains license with sailing and towing endorsement's and the TWIC card.



Did you get a master inland, master near coastal? I believe 720 days with 90 in the past 3 years?
I received a Master near coastal, and yes you need to prove 720 days of experience to receive a masters license or 360 for the 6 pack license. If you want to add the sailing endorsement, you also need to prove 360 days on a sailboat, which can be part of the 720 for the masters or 360 for the 6 pack.

I have many years of experience and have owned many boats over the years so proving experience was not a problem.
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Old 02-11-2013, 09:26   #25
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

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It was enacted in 1920 to protect domestic ship building and commerce. Now they extend it to small vessels and cite "national security" and have a nice bureaucracy built around it. It is nearly impossible to get govt to remove or change outdated laws.
Thanks for the information, and I would agree compleatly that removing any rule or law is nearly impossible.

I remember, about 20 years ago, the state of Kansas wanted to outlaw the use of out houses, outdoor latrines, for use in the citys and rural towns. Then someone found out that there was actually an old law on the books prohibiting human waste being deposited inside of a home or house. Both laws were scraped.
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Old 02-11-2013, 11:31   #26
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Some of the legal aspects have been covered in previous posts so I will add some operational considerations based on many years in the charter/sailing school biz.

Web site. You mention building one in your first post. If you [only] build it...they won't come...because they wont find it. Just having a web site won't book jack because no one will find it. To get found on the 'net these days you must pay. I've used services like Google Ad Words to promote sailing school/charter biz with good sucess. Also using companion services like Google Analytics helps you analysize your traffic and better design your promotional campaigns. Ive seen too many charter hopefuls try to save a few bucks by having their unemployed nephew build their web site and then wonder why they sit at the dock when nearby boats are humping. Having a pretty web page is not nearly as important as having a well promoted one...keep it simple and promote it well.

Bookings. You can't close bookings if you are out on charter. Just like any other business, working leads and closing sales is critical. Use agents and have someone (not you/the charter captain) ashore working leads.

If you really want to run charters as a business the above are critical. If you just want to do it for fun and to cover some expenses then not so much.
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Old 02-11-2013, 17:09   #27
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

There were many reasons for the Jones Act.

The Jones act protects the jobs of American seamen, American shipbuilders, and American shipping companies.

All of the above provide a pool of competent labor, building yards, and management, for US Navy ships in time of war.

This is not new. The first tree species protected in the USA was the Live Oak, from which was cut the grown frames so necessary in the building of wooden ships for the naval and merchant fleets..

The Jones act also protects cruisers. If you see a ship with an American flag and American crew, you can expect a fairly high standard of seamanship. If you see a Liberian flag with a crew of Bangladeshi or similar crews, you might need to prepare to take evasive action.
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Old 02-11-2013, 17:18   #28
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Re: Wanting To Setup A Small Sail Charter Business

Anyone who is sitting for a master's license (tonnage) is wise to also sit for an Able Bodied Seaman's license.

The time requirements can be very similar, as is the exam, and they used to be covered in the same exam with only additional elements.

An AB ticket opens job opportunities, workaway opportunities, can serve much like a passport in some countries, and is excellent ID.

The pay for an Unlimited AB is often very close to that of a 100 Ton Master.
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Old 25-12-2013, 08:04   #29
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Noob questions: how does one prove/document one's sea time when applying for licensure?
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Old 25-12-2013, 08:25   #30
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Noob questions: how does one prove/document one's sea time when applying for licensure?
There are forms on the uscg site to show seatime. 8 hours of operation( not anchored) constitutes 1 day of seatime a 24 hour day does not mean 3 days of seatime . All dependant on where you are at ie offshore or inland etc. The forms have year make and hull id or document nmbr for the vessels of which you spent your time captaining. And owners information for those vessells not owned by you. The forms also have the tonnage calculations for each vessel so they can calculate what level license you qualify for. Its alot of paperwork and forget it if you.either have heart or health issues or have ever had a dui.
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