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Old 07-06-2018, 10:34   #1
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Trouble with paying crew?

I plan to bring paying crew once in a while. I have thought about to ask for 15-20 USD per day, food and marinas are excluded. Somebody say you are doing charter as soon as you ask for money and have other laws and regulations to consider. Others say that as long as you don't earn any money, just a contribution to the expenses, you don't have to worry.
Have someone heard about a sailor who actualy got trouble because he or she had paying crew onboard?
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Old 07-06-2018, 10:49   #2
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

Yes, Those I know did charters with a six-pack license but without marina permit for commercial use and were evicted from the marina. Check your marina contract to see if it specifies "recreational use" only. It gets the attention of CG and local agencies here.
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:19   #3
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

Lots of boats charge and while illegal in most jurisdictions it is not a problem until something goes wrong and you get sued for your net worth.
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:36   #4
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Trouble with paying crew?

However Iíd go so far as think that sharing expenses is allowed.
I base that on the FAA, to charge is a whole different level of airman cert and aircraft maintenance etc.
However a private pilot is allowed to take their friends flying and they share the expense, of course logically it has to be that the share canít be in excess of the expense, and I know of one case where it went bad, real bad. Although this is not aircraft of course, I believe the Government has set a precedent.
I have no idea if that would float in court of course
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:42   #5
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

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Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
Lots of boats charge and while illegal in most jurisdictions it is not a problem until something goes wrong and you get sued for your net worth.
Can you give us an example?
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:50   #6
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

The USCG issued a formal statement clarifying their enforcement policy back in the 90's. If your friends or others VOLUNTARILY chip in to cover expenses, they are allowed to do that. Previously, yes, there had been citations for illegal chartering when it was just a matter of "Hey, you took us out, let us at least pay for the gas." The clarification stated that the renumeration had to be VOLUNTARY. If you tell strangers "Gimme $20 before we leave" that's a paid charter. If they don't have the chance to walk off the boat without giving you anything, that's a charter.

Can you get away with that? Sure. Unless the circumstances become known to the USCG, unless someone files a complaint, unless there's an accident and liability comes up, because your liability to a guest may not be at all what it is to a paying charter guest. And, unless YOU pay THEM, they are not "Crew" under the law. Crew have special legal standing.

Fly under the radar, go ahead. Just know what laws you are breaking. And what the results might be.
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Old 07-06-2018, 15:45   #7
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

While I cannot document I remember reading of a boat being fined heavily in The French Caribbean for being an illegal charter under a similar arrangement.

My own attorney in Florida advised me not to take ‘fare share guests’ because of the potential liability.
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Old 07-06-2018, 15:55   #8
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

A few years back, we knew a guy who took backpackers out for sails, for money. This was in a popular area in Qld, Australia.

What happened is that he was accosted ashore by a group of the local skippers who took out paying charter guests legally. It was explained to him that he was unfair competition, because his boat did not have the expenses of meeting the regulations that applied to the rest of them. I believe they beat him up, because of his demeanor when he told the story, but I don't know. However, he did leave the area, and discontinued the practice.

People at cruising destinations tend to want to protect their rice bowl, and foreigners interfere with that at their peril. It is human nature.

Ann
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:19   #9
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

Quote:
I have thought about to ask for 15-20 USD per day, food and marinas are excluded.
Don't understand what you mean by "excluded" but,
if I'm on someone else's boat I do usually pay any mooring fees and food and drink ashore. Let them buy you dinner, a mediocre steak is $25.
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Old 07-06-2018, 16:21   #10
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

I think shared expenses can work but we have met at least two shared expenses crew that were not happy and were just making the most of a bad situation until they had reached their destinantion. Both crews had paid upfront and the skippers could not afford to give them refunds as the money had gone into ships stores and they were broke.
The funniest one was on a 50 foot plus yacht and we thought the guy was loaded with four paid crew on board the way he ordered them around during drinks and nibbles. Turns out they were paying for the experience and the guy was just a scammer.
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Old 07-06-2018, 18:54   #11
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

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Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
A few years back, we knew a guy who took backpackers out for sails, for money. This was in a popular area in Qld, Australia.

What happened is that he was accosted ashore by a group of the local skippers who took out paying charter guests legally. It was explained to him that he was unfair competition, because his boat did not have the expenses of meeting the regulations that applied to the rest of them. I believe they beat him up, because of his demeanor when he told the story, but I don't know. However, he did leave the area, and discontinued the practice.

People at cruising destinations tend to want to protect their rice bowl, and foreigners interfere with that at their peril. It is human nature.

Ann

Similar in other venues too. The authorities may not pursue you until the legal charter operators drop a dime on you.

As a former legal charter operator, I can tell you its very annoying to see illegals operating after going thru all the hassle and expense to get legal (especially if not in your home country waters).

In Belize for example, its the local legal operators who will likely alert officials first. Its a huge pain to get legal in Belize.

Its becoming a big issue in the San Blas islands of Panama...illegal operators are ubiquitous. The Kuna and Panamanian officials are now working to try and get things under control. As a cruiser, who does not run illegal charters, its very annoying because we get hassled because of the illegals.

A lot of illegals use the ploy of pretending that paying guests are just expense sharing friends. So, the rub becomes, how does a cruiser with actual visiting friends prove they are NOT an illegal charter...you cant! We had a lot of hassles this year due to the low life illegal operators. Example: had friends coming to visit denyed entry because officials assumed they were illegal charter guests.

Big sore spot for me as a former legal charter operator and now a cruiser who does not run illegal charters. I wouldnt resort to thrashing someone over it, as tempting as it might be, but I would drop a dime on them in a heart beat.

Karma...I would love to give it a little helpful nudge in the San Blas!
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Old 07-06-2018, 21:26   #12
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

Ok, there's guys that are doing illegal charters, this is different from getting crew that pay. The guys I know are cruising, moving around and crew chip in 30 bucks or so a day. They aren't taking people out for a day or overnight, they're actually going places. They label it contributing to running the boat.

I also know guys that do illegal charters, the guests aren't crew and pay alot more, and I understand locals getting upset with it. Crewing and chartering in my mind are different, they provide different experiences and different outcomes.
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Old 07-06-2018, 22:39   #13
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Moondancer View Post
not a problem until something goes wrong and you get sued for your net worth.
This. If you've got net worth, this point resonates.



Quote:
Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Can you give us an example?

You'll never hear some dogs barking. If you're running an illegal venture, and someone wants to go after you for legitimate or illegitimate reasons, merely threatening to report can put the skipper in trouble. Moreover if a real claim with injury occured, there's no leg to stand on. I don't think we hear about these cases as poor skippers have nothing to go after and wealthy skippers don't expose themselves to any risk for $15 a day.



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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Just know what laws you are breaking. And what the results might be.



Quote:
Originally Posted by JPA Cate View Post
hat he was accosted ashore by a group of the local skippers who took out paying charter guests legally. It was explained to him that he was unfair competition, because his boat did not have the expenses of meeting the regulations that applied to the rest of them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
As a former legal charter operator, I can tell you its very annoying to see illegals operating after going thru all the hassle and expense to get legal (especially if not in your home country waters).......I would drop a dime on them in a heart beat.

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Old 08-06-2018, 08:27   #14
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Ok, there's guys that are doing illegal charters, this is different from getting crew that pay. The guys I know are cruising, moving around and crew chip in 30 bucks or so a day. They aren't taking people out for a day or overnight, they're actually going places. They label it contributing to running the boat.

I also know guys that do illegal charters, the guests aren't crew and pay alot more, and I understand locals getting upset with it. Crewing and chartering in my mind are different, they provide different experiences and different outcomes.
And **lots** of people who don't identify as gay regularly have sex with people sharing similar bits in their nether regions.

The practical advice above is great, but let's not pretend there are hard-edged bright lines of distinction there, too many grey areas open to personal interpretation.
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Old 08-06-2018, 09:33   #15
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Re: Trouble with paying crew?

BoatSafe.com

Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting between paragraphs (5) and (6) a new paragraph (5a) to read as follows:

"(5a) 'consideration' means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity, but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies." Additionally, employees or business clients that have not contributed for their carriage, and are carried for morale or entertainment purposes, are not considered as an exchange of consideration.
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