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Old 23-06-2011, 22:49   #1
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Crew Question: Logistics

Hey all,
Quick question (is there such a thing in the sailing world?):

My fiance and I are getting ready for a voyage from San Diego to Seattle. We will be using our boat, which is in good condition according to the recent survey, and have upgraded safety and navigational equipment.

We have hired a captain and have two crew members. One is a friend of the captain's and the other we found on this forum. They seem like nice, friendly folk who would never sue us. They seem to know what they are getting into.

Okay, here's the question: Is it ever acceptable to have a crew sign a release of liability or hold harmless form? Is it even legal if they are unpaid volunteers? Is it legal if we're outside of territorial waters at one point?

Although we are not new to sailing, we are new to the world of having people we barely know on our boat. I do not want to offend but I don't know what's a standard practice.

We do have insurance, so maybe that's enough?

Thanks!
Pleione

P.S. Sorry for posting this under "Crew Available" but I didn't know where else to post it. I thought this would be the best place because most people know about crew matters here. So sorry for the confusion.
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Old 23-06-2011, 23:25   #2
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Re: Crew Question: Logistics

What you are asking for here is partly cultural and partly bordering on legal advice. Most people here couldn't really give you legal advice, of course, since these things can be unexpectedly tricky and risky. And, there's the danger of writing something without competent legal advice that doesn't pass legal muster and could get thrown out by a court. Owie. The legal advice you get here might be worth what you pay for it. Or less.

What I could see working pretty nicely is having talks about your and your skipper and crew's expectations, ship rules, and everyone's responsibilities -- duties, financial obligations, behavior for which you have zero tolerance, what happens if things go wrong, break, get delayed, people get sick, etc. Then write these up, give people a chance to comment or amend, and have everyone sign them.
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Old 24-06-2011, 00:20   #3
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Re: Crew Question: Logistics

If you just shanghai your crew then dump them overboard before you get into port then you don't have to worry about all the legalities or paying them.
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Old 24-06-2011, 03:07   #4
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Re: Crew Question: Logistics

Quote:
Originally Posted by rgscpat View Post
What I could see working pretty nicely is having talks about your and your skipper and crew's expectations, ship rules, and everyone's responsibilities -- duties, financial obligations, behavior for which you have zero tolerance, what happens if things go wrong, break, get delayed, people get sick, etc. Then write these up, give people a chance to comment or amend, and have everyone sign them.
This!

You want to make sure that you, the hired skip, and the crew, all have a common understanding of expectations, responsibilities, limitations, etc... This is accomplished by taking to time to communicate extensively, and it may be very helpful for you to write down in advance your thoughts on these issues as comprehensively as you can (don't take anything for granted). FWIW, here's an old example of mine: Delivery Planning
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Old 24-06-2011, 03:17   #5
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Re: Crew Question: Logistics

is it american flag,,,,is the captain the person in charge or did you hire him as a consultant?If he is in charge than that changes things. A contract for every crew member is advisable, does not matter if you are outside the territorial waters,(flag of boat), offend if you have to but protect yourself,,,how are they getting home,,,this should be written in a contract along with who pay what. how about medical insurance,,,if something happens on the boat you can be held responsible for the bills in certain situations.

In the US as you know when an accident happens they go after the person with the money.
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Old 24-06-2011, 20:31   #6
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Not sure about US law but in English law a disclaimer or waiver of responsibility is simply a waste of words - you cannot waive your legal obligations or agree that another person does so. You either have legal obligations or not - period. The rest is fluff. Maybe different is US but logic probably applies there too.
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