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Old 06-10-2011, 19:38   #1
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Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

I was reading "Blue Water: A Guide to Self-Reliant Sailboat Cruising" by Bob Griffith and he was saying that the only way that one could make money with a boat while not having a captains' license was to have two separate contracts with the customer.
The first is to charter the boat (the customer is the captain)
The second hires the owner as crew.

Does anyone know if this is 1. still possible and 2. (more important for someone working on their OUPV) what will the CG think.

Thanks
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Old 06-10-2011, 19:44   #2
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Re: Chartering out your boat w/o OUPV

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Originally Posted by Ben M-P View Post
I was reading "Blue Water: A Guide to Self-Reliant Sailboat Cruising" by Bob Griffith and he was saying that the only way that one could make money with a boat while not having a captains' license was to have two separate contracts with the customer.
The first is to charter the boat (the customer is the captain)
The second hires the owner as crew.

Does anyone know if this is 1. still possible and 2. (more important for someone working on their OUPV) what will the CG think.

Thanks
I think the more important question is what will the insurance company think.
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Old 06-10-2011, 20:04   #3
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

I'm afraid I already know the answer to that. But I wasn't sure about the Coast Guard/LE side of things.
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Old 06-10-2011, 20:18   #4
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

It's called a Demise contract and it is not really a dodge to get around not having a Captains license but is instead used to get past the Jone's act for foreign flagged or built vessels chartering in the US of A.
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Old 06-10-2011, 20:45   #5
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

Interesting.
But does it work for the Captain's License issue?
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Old 06-10-2011, 20:55   #6
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

I rather doubt the USCG would be amused, they would probably view it as a sham, and therefore null and void. However, nobody can say for sure until a judge makes a decision on the matter.
It's not difficult to acquire a six pack license, and that has the added benefit of being legal.
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Old 06-10-2011, 21:06   #7
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

The demise contract turns the boat into a bareboat and as such the renter can crew with whomever he wants. The hiring part is simply between you and the renter...

Of course you can't call yourself Captain.

Most of the mega yachts chartering on the East Coast without US Flags or US builds use this system to get around the law and it is legal.
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Old 06-10-2011, 21:13   #8
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

As others have said if you, the owner, are on the boat then the supposedly "bareboat charter" might be suspect by the USCG especially if they see you at the wheel. If one of the group of "renters" was a licensed USCG captain that would make your situation more reasonable.
- - However, even if your "bareboat" charterers aren't careful they can get into big trouble. For instance, one of them "rents" the boat from you and then collects money in "advance" from the others for the "trip." That would be narrowly interpreted as a commercial operation requiring a USCG captain and maybe an inspected boat.
- - The distinction between "commercial" and private recreational seems to be centered around the word "actual" as in "sharing actual expenses" is okay, but predetermined payments are not. If the person who rents your boat adds up all the expenses "after" the trip is over and then each other person pays a share of that - then the USCG has stated an opinion that the trip is not a commercial operation.

See: Do I Need A Captain’s License | BoatSafe Blog
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Old 30-10-2011, 21:50   #9
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

There's more than UCSG to worry about. The port will want a slice of your profits, and there's probably some forms you need to fill out. By not having your master's ticket you're not going to be able to do those either, so you'll have some outstanding issues.

The guy who owns a fishing boat I work on told me how he ran charters for about three years with no license and nothing official. Another fishing boat (who was paying the money and doing things by the book) found out, called the cops, and the dude got boarded and cuffed on his own deck by the coast guard and harbor police, in front of his crew and passengers.

If you do it occasionally and aren't stealing customers from other operations I think you could probably get away with it, for a while anyway. Maybe claim ignorance.
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Old 31-10-2011, 10:12   #10
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

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Another fishing boat (who was paying the money and doing things by the book) found out, called the cops, and the dude got boarded and cuffed on his own deck...
BINGO!

The real problem for anyone, in almost any circumstance, who tries to do things "on the sly" is that if someone who is following the rules and paying the fees finds out that you are competing with them for business, they are NOT going to like it! They are not going to be amused, understanding, or sympathetic. And they are not going to hesitate to turn you in.
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Old 31-10-2011, 12:00   #11
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

Some folks do OK staying off the radar and in the cash economy. In Florida they say 25% of all car drivers are uninsured, and most of them get away with it. Florida says it would be too hard to police that problem, but in other states "policing" it means some emails from the insurers and some tow trucks, and the rate is 10% or less.

Now of course, the folks who "contracted" out the bareboat, the last thing they're thinking about is their own insurance, because the boat owner no longer has any, he's making commercial use of the boat. T-bone a megayacht, injure a few folks, add salvage and pollution fees...that could be a fast million-dollar surprise.

If you choose to play those odds, I'd suggest Vegas. Legalities aren't as big a concern that way.
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Old 05-11-2011, 00:00   #12
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

Just a clarification:
I'm not looking to go "under the radar" or "on the sly", I was wondering if it was a LEGAL way to operate.
Thanks for all the replies, I reckon I'll hold off till I have a OUPV (working on that anyway).
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:02   #13
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

Problem is that doing things "legal" can be to involved/complicated and expensive for a one time or infrequent activity. By the time you pay for licenses, inspections, insurance you need to charter your boat quite a bit just to break even. So then you are back into the "working for a living" world.
- - In a decade in the Caribbean basin (&Bahamas) I have seen a large number of "under the radar" charter operations all of which do quite well - mainly because of their near zero "legality overhead" costs. It is a risk and some folks are fine with it and others are not.
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Old 05-11-2011, 10:30   #14
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

Too many rules, laws, oversight and intrusion in to running a business whether ashore or afloat. i'm glad to be shot of the whole mess.
When I go to sea again it will be aboard my own vessel, flag of convenience in areas with no interest in what I do or who I am.
I'm sorry to leave behind a world in such bad shape to my kids and grand kids. Capt Phil
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Old 05-11-2011, 17:42   #15
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Re: Chartering-Out Your Boat without OUPV

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. . . I'm sorry to leave behind a world in such bad shape to my kids and grand kids. Capt Phil
Actually most of the world is not "that way" - it is relaxed and based on folks being individually responsible for their own safety, happiness, and fortunes. Which is one of the reasons long term cruisers love being "out there."
- - And don't like coming back to places where the citizens demand that they are not responsible for anything and "they" (the government) must protect and take care of everything so physical or financial pain and suffering doesn't happen to anybody.
- - So you still have a free choice to live out in the "real world" or chose to remain inside the "asylum" and be protected from yourself. Having a sound boat to live on allows you to get "out there."
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