Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 24-09-2014, 11:55   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Private Charter Rules

I have recently acquired my bareboat chartering certificate from ASA so I can rent sailboats for awhile to help me purchase a sailboat in the future.

I would like to rent sailboats and would also like to defer the cost if I can.

If I invite 4 friends and collect $100 each to rent a $400 sailboat, am I legally doing some kind of chartering business? Can you charge friends to offset the cost? What if I were to offer, "I don't care who has the $100", if your willing to pay, I will take you. Where is the line drawn as a business?

I would like reasons to sail and would like to do it at minimal cost. I am not out for a profit, but also would not mind if others cover my portion as well.

Advice here would be appreciated.
__________________

__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:08   #2
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: Private Charter Rules

if they are renting the boat, then yes you are in business, if they are helping you crew and defraying some of your costs, then they are not. Its a grey area


dave
__________________

__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:12   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Private Charter Rules

I would ultimately rent the boat...and some friends just want to ride and not really "crew" the boat. This topic does not seem to come up to ask friends to spend $100 for gas, but with sailboats it seems to be a "gray area" as you mentioned.

Thanks for the first response.
__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:13   #4
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,949
Images: 6
Re: Private Charter Rules

There is, indeed, a lot of grey. What is not grey (at least to me) is that they cannot cover YOUR portion of the expenses. You can share the expenses, but you have to cover your own portion. If they pay for all of it, I strongly suspect that the USCG will consider that you are hiring yourself out to them to captain the boat, which would clearly be illegal without a license.

Of course, internet legal advice is worth exactly what you pay for it... NOTHING! You should familiarize yourself with the laws, and perhaps even check with your local Coast Guard office.

Good luck.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:16   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Private Charter Rules

I like checking with the Coast Guard idea....is this the only authority for chartering questions?
__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:17   #6
Nearly an old salt
 
goboatingnow's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 13,649
Images: 3
Re: Private Charter Rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucechidester View Post
I would ultimately rent the boat...and some friends just want to ride and not really "crew" the boat. This topic does not seem to come up to ask friends to spend $100 for gas, but with sailboats it seems to be a "gray area" as you mentioned.

Thanks for the first response.
Getting together with the "lads" to rent a charter is incredibly common. Just do it and don't over think it.


dave
__________________
Check out my new blog on smart boat technology, networking and gadgets for the connected sailor! - http://smartboats.tumblr.com
goboatingnow is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:22   #7
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Private Charter Rules

I hate missing something really obvious, but things are only "obvious" to those that know the difference.

I was kinda going with the "just do it" attitude, but don't want to be "challenged" when I should have known better.
__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:30   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Private Charter Rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by denverd0n View Post
There is, indeed, a lot of grey. What is not grey (at least to me) is that they cannot cover YOUR portion of the expenses. You can share the expenses, but you have to cover your own portion. If they pay for all of it, I strongly suspect that the USCG will consider that you are hiring yourself out to them to captain the boat, which would clearly be illegal without a license.

Of course, internet legal advice is worth exactly what you pay for it... NOTHING! You should familiarize yourself with the laws, and perhaps even check with your local Coast Guard office.

Good luck.
Not so sure that having others cover your cost is paying for your service. I see your point, and at first it made sense. Once I worked it out, if everyone else paid for the boat, there would be $0 left over to pay the captain, and I think it would be hard to justify that you were being paid to captain a boat. Ultimately you might be right anyway. Thanks for the post.
__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:37   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Private Charter Rules

I think the "take-away" here is this: If I am not "making money" and trying to run it like a business, then "go for it".
__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:45   #10
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,949
Images: 6
Re: Private Charter Rules

Read the Coast Guard regulations. This is my interpretation of them.

It is very similar to the way the FAA interprets sharing expenses for those with only a private pilot's license. I can assure you (because case law exists) that if you have your buddies pay for every last penny of the expenses on a flight in your private airplane, instead of actually sharing those expenses, the FAA will be happy to charge you for operating commercially without the appropriate license. Doesn't matter that you are not making any net cash profit on the deal.

Now, I'm not aware of any existing case law concerning boat charters to establish things quite that clearly. On the other hand, the wording of the FAA rules, and the USCG rules, are strikingly similar as regards this sort of thing. Hence, my opinion that they would be interpreted similarly.

But... Your life, your choice. Good luck.
__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:50   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Boat: Tayana 58 DS
Posts: 661
Re: Private Charter Rules

If you own the boat, and they are paying you for a ride on it (chartering it), the vessel had better have the appropriate "coastwise" endorsement from the CG and you will need an OUPV or master's license, depending. Even if they don't pay you directly, but take you out to dinner after, you are being compensated which triggers different rules.

If you are part of a party that is renting the boat (that someone else owns), how you divide up the costs are up to you. (Bigger berth pays more, single person alone pays less than couple, etc.) You cannot be compensated for it, though.
__________________
accomplice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 12:58   #12
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Orleans
Boat: We have a problem... A serious addiction issue.
Posts: 3,940
Re: Private Charter Rules

Denver,

You hit the nail on the head. I did a big research project on this, and case law is sparse, but it basically boils down two ways...

1) if you don't own the boat then slitting the charter fees and costs by the number of people on board is fine.

2) if you do own the boat then you can split the costs for the time the boat is being used. So all your marginal costs for a day at sea are fine typically this is just going to be gas (particularly for power boats) and no one raises an eyebrow. If you start trying to collect for per diem splitting of fixed operational costs... Well you might be able to do so, but it gets to looking suspicious and I would recommend against it.
__________________
Greg

- If animals weren't meant to be eaten then they wouldn't be made of food.
Stumble is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24-09-2014, 13:10   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 8
Re: Private Charter Rules

I think that dividing up the cost is fine in my situation. It sure does make me sick how difficult the system is on those trying to make a living.

I don't own a boat in my case.

I appreciated more good advice.
__________________
brucechidester is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2014, 08:41   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,923
Re: Private Charter Rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by brucechidester View Post
I would ultimately rent the boat...and some friends just want to ride and not really "crew" the boat. This topic does not seem to come up to ask friends to spend $100 for gas, but with sailboats it seems to be a "gray area" as you mentioned.

Thanks for the first response.

Technically my interpretation is that if you receive any form of compensation (whether cash or not) then that makes it "passengers for hire". Whether you make a profit is not relevant. Power or sail is also irrelevant...same laws apply regardless...and the same gray areas. I think the duscussion comes up more often regarding sailing vessels simply because charter of sailing vessels is more common.

To be on the safe side you could have them pay their share directly to the charter company. This way it is clear you received no direct compensation.

But from a practical perspective, unless you end up in court for some other reason, this issue is not likely to come up. Its not like the Coasties are out there actively looking for folks in the "gray area". I've been a charter captain since 1994 and have never had the Coasties check my papers or ask about the nature of a charter.

The only cases I know of where this distinction became critical was after related legal action had already been initiated. If the court decides it was technically "passengers for hire" then the rule of law changes substantially (as do the rules of insurance too).

Note that outside the USA officials may indeed be actively looking for folks operating in the gray area. It is not uncommon for cruisers to run illegal charters for which their clients posing as "friends" pay. This usually works OK until they piss off a local who then drops a dime on them...as they should.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 25-09-2014, 08:44   #15
Registered User
 
denverd0n's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 3,949
Images: 6
Re: Private Charter Rules

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Its not like the Coasties are out there actively looking for folks in the "gray area".
That's true, though if you are doing it repeatedly you may begin to attract some attention. Most especially, if other charter boat captains in the area become aware, they may not appreciate the "competition."
__________________

__________________
denverd0n is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
charter, rule

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Charter Rules and Regs in Australia mausgras Boat Ownership & Making a Living 19 17-01-2014 18:13
BUI Rules on a Charter davefromoregon Provisioning: Food & Drink 16 17-02-2011 11:20
Affordable 'Private Charter' - Caribbean cbcat Atlantic & the Caribbean 3 28-05-2009 05:28
Private Charter 38' Sail Cat in Belize ? Xylophil Multihull Sailboats 0 12-01-2008 16:05



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:01.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.