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Old 23-04-2016, 21:27   #1
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Who pays for what ?

So, I am going to be doing a lot of cruising over the next few years, some in the Med. some passage making and some in the Caribbean. My question is who pays for personal expenses. I know that if I have a hired professional crew, I would typically pick up their total costs (food, transport, and daily negotiated rates). However, if I have friends also joining as crew, is it reasonable to expect them to pick up their similar costs. Kind of an open question; however, comments are welcome.

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Old 23-04-2016, 21:41   #2
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Humm...depends on how you worded the invite to your friends. Did you say hey, we could split all costs? Or hey, I would like you to come along.

If the later I can see them paying very little.

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Old 23-04-2016, 21:51   #3
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Would never charge an invited guest anything. That said, however, our guests have always paid their own plane fare to come visit; and usually, while visiting, pick up some of the grocery bills, or a dinner out, or leave a bottle of whisky. But, see, these are friends, the same kinds of guys that bring a nice bottle of wine or two when they would come for dinner if we were on land.

Unless you have a commercial license for whatever area you are in, it may be illegal and lead to hassles of various kinds if you're taking people out for day charters, so somewhere between true guests (everything's covered while you visit me) and paying guests (you get what you paid for). If they're your friends, you work it out beforehand.

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Old 23-04-2016, 22:24   #4
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Re: Who pays for what ?

If they are actual friends, sort it out ahead of time. Generally, if they are actual friends there is no legal issue as long as it's not a mandatory payment or what they pay is on the order of what a charter would run. If it looks like a business, they may consider it a business.

One possible hang up: If you are a US citizen, search the forum for EU VAT rules. A US friend is unlikely to create an issue. An EU friend has a rare but potentially expensive possibility of triggering VAT on the boat.

The reason we clarify "friend" is because in the uber/airbnb world...some people try to get around the licensing and legal requirements of chartering by claiming they are friends. Works great...until it doesn't.
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Old 23-04-2016, 23:26   #5
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Re: Who pays for what ?

I really don't charge anybody. I always buy the fuel, dockage and have plenty of basic supplies, frozen fish and meat. Real friends usually get some of the groceries. Especially foods, snacks or booze that I don't have or want
Invited non-friends only buy things for personal needs and wants. Sometimes I take out veterans and I cover everything 100%. If they can, they help line handling or cooking. Qualified people can stand a watch.
Uninvited people get shot and quietly dropped overboard.
But to charge money you need a party boat license, captains license and proper commercial insurance. There may need to be a person on board that is schooled in marine firefighting and expanded first aid. (Depending on number of passengers and boat size)
Years ago, a commercial fishing boat owner/captain I know took some friends out sport fishing. Everyone chipped in for fuel and supplies. As chance would have it, they got a "routine safety inspection". Someone mentioned the financial arrangement and it cost the owner several thousand dollars. The CG is probably less rigid for yachts than commercial boats.
The moral of the story is, if you're going to cheat a little, make sure everyone has a proper story and understands the legalities.
The Coast Guard is just doing their job. I always found them to be professional and often don't issue citations when they could. They also risk their lives going after some fool that red too many sailing adventure books and should have watched the weather and properly prepared.
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Old 23-04-2016, 23:51   #6
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Usually everybody splits consumables. Nobody "pays" as a guest but we all split the grocery bill, etc.


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Old 24-04-2016, 09:04   #7
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Re: Who pays for what ?

I've invited all sorts.
Some have been close friends and family who I would never expect to pay anything, but usually insist on contributing something, even if it is only some grog.
Some have been young friends from disadvantaged backgrounds who could never afford it and would never ordinarily get to sail on a large yacht and in those cases I have even covered their on shore costs as well.
Others have been recruited through the "crew wanted" forum. In these cases it is easy to make sure they understand they are responsible for their own onshore expenses, I am responsible for all boat running costs and we all throw into a kitty for food and grog.
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Old 24-04-2016, 09:04   #8
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Re: Who pays for what ?

I am sailing with friends for many years (20+).
Started as shared charters where there was no issue - everybody shared costs equally.
For several years now (about 5) I have friends coming over to private boat - we still share running expenses (not on a day-sailing outings, periods of week or two at a time).
We share everything that is incidental to the days we sail together - food, mooring, their share of fuel, their flights.
No one complains and everybody feels it is fair, as it is a shared vacation where I provide the "floating hotel/car" but no one of the guests feels we are supposed to finance their living expenses.

We do not ask to cover the basic costs of the boat (and no one offers to...) like maintenance, insurance etc. When something breaks - it is my problem as a skipper/owner to cover the expense even if a guest broke it.

The basis of this understanding is the idea that we do not NEED them for delivery. They come to join in the fun.
If and when I shall need a crew for delivery of the boat - then I would consider bringing the crew at my expense.
Although, I have friends with boats, and we usually help each other when deliveries around the Med are required. When we help each other - we usually pay our personal costs and share running costs as described above.
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Old 24-04-2016, 09:55   #9
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Its a tricky business if the scumsucking PI lawyers get involved. If you pay the crew, then you are responsible for their injuries. If the crew pays you, they become passengers, with a whole new set of rights. Its better that they are 'friends who are guests aboard', but its a very grey area.
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Old 24-04-2016, 10:40   #10
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Re: Who pays for what ?

In the USA, the coast guard has clarified that sharing expenses among friends does not constitute a charter (hence requiring a captains license and commercial insurance).


So stories of a friend of a friend knew someone who got in trouble are at best out of date.
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Old 24-04-2016, 11:21   #11
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Re: Who pays for what ?

A "friend" invited me to cross the atlantic with him...he needed an experienced sailor (me) to complete his crew. I told him I couldn't go because of the cost...flights, missing work, etc. He offered to pay for everything, and offered to give me a little to cover the lost income too. I accepted him paying for my airfare (we travelled together) and all the boat costs, etc, but declined him reimbursing my lost pay.

He was true to his word, and the trip did not cost me a dime. I tried to be a good friend, and contributed some boat gear I had, purchased charts and cruising guides, and generally helped with the preparations and planning a lot. I also got him a pretty fancy multi-tool as a relevant "host" gift.

However, once aboard, I quickly realize that he had not invited me as a friend, as I had supposed, but as an "employee". He expected me to keep busy on boat work during the day, in addition to my watchkeeping/nav/comm/weather duties. For example, he assigned me to clean the head one morning, after his shower. Another day he had me pulling out, inspecting, and restowing all the extra sails (13 of them).

I never knew for sure, but the other two chaps (who spoke little english) who appeared to be his friends as well, I believe were paid crew, and were also asked to work during the day.

When we arrived in antigua, we three crew were still dependant on him for a place to stay (aboard) until our flights home, which we also needed from him. So we all stayed on polite terms while in antigua, to avoid being stranded there at great expense.

In the end it was a miserable trip, and I never spoke to him again once the trip was done. I thought I would be sailing with a friend, but he thought he hired a maid. The other crew were the cook and bartender.

So my advice to you....have the discussion BEFORE the trip. Let your guests know what you expect of them... watchkeeping, cleaning, costs. Especially on a long passage across and ocean, the polite smiles fade quickly once out of site of shore and everyone is really tired.
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:02   #12
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Re: Who pays for what ?

I'll bet real friends you would have to argue with the get the tabs away form them. If you don't your friends aren't like mine.
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:08   #13
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by valhalla360 View Post
In the USA, the coast guard has clarified that sharing expenses among friends does not constitute a charter (hence requiring a captains license and commercial insurance
If having a captain's license is required on safety grounds, does that mean that paying passengers have a right to be safer than friends and guests? In Spain we have similar regulatons and I've never fully understood the rationale behind...
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:11   #14
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Lepke-
"Years ago, ...Everyone chipped in for fuel and supplies.... Someone mentioned the financial arrangement and it cost the owner several thousand dollars."
In the US, by order of the Commandant, USCG, that changed back around 1990. At least for recreational vessels, passengers are expressly allowed to SHARE in the expenses without any licensing or penalities being involved.
Now, if you pre-arranged "Everyone is going to chip in $200" and that totaled more than the costs of the trip? You'd have issues. But if everyone chips in to refill the fuel tank, restock the bar, and buy the owner dinner?
USCG has no problem with that.
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Old 24-04-2016, 12:14   #15
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Re: Who pays for what ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hamburking View Post
A "friend" invited me to cross the atlantic with him...he needed an experienced sailor (me) to complete his crew. I told him I couldn't go because of the cost...flights, missing work, etc. He offered to pay for everything, and offered to give me a little to cover the lost income too. I accepted him paying for my airfare (we travelled together) and all the boat costs, etc, but declined him reimbursing my lost pay.

He was true to his word, and the trip did not cost me a dime. I tried to be a good friend, and contributed some boat gear I had, purchased charts and cruising guides, and generally helped with the preparations and planning a lot. I also got him a pretty fancy multi-tool as a relevant "host" gift.

However, once aboard, I quickly realize that he had not invited me as a friend, as I had supposed, but as an "employee". He expected me to keep busy on boat work during the day, in addition to my watchkeeping/nav/comm/weather duties. For example, he assigned me to clean the head one morning, after his shower. Another day he had me pulling out, inspecting, and restowing all the extra sails (13 of them).

I never knew for sure, but the other two chaps (who spoke little english) who appeared to be his friends as well, I believe were paid crew, and were also asked to work during the day.

When we arrived in antigua, we three crew were still dependant on him for a place to stay (aboard) until our flights home, which we also needed from him. So we all stayed on polite terms while in antigua, to avoid being stranded there at great expense.

In the end it was a miserable trip, and I never spoke to him again once the trip was done. I thought I would be sailing with a friend, but he thought he hired a maid. The other crew were the cook and bartender.

So my advice to you....have the discussion BEFORE the trip. Let your guests know what you expect of them... watchkeeping, cleaning, costs. Especially on a long passage across and ocean, the polite smiles fade quickly once out of site of shore and everyone is really tired.
I had a very similar situation come up, an old college roommate who has done well needed a hand with his boat on the Great Loop due to his wife and kids needing a break. Mine ended well, though.

He covered my travel expenses and everything on the boat (I couldn't have helped at the time anyway, I was out of work and broke) as well as meals out. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

Unlike your captain (or boat owner), my friend never made me feel like "crew" at all. We're still good friends to this day.

Discuss beforehand what expectations and duties everyone has onboard.
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