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Old 07-05-2014, 17:17   #31
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

OK, I'll bite, license for what?
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Old 07-05-2014, 21:42   #32
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

Maritime law is pretty clear. The debt for damage is owed by the boat, not the owner or captain. So the boat owner pays or the boat is sold to cover the damage.

The captain as an employee is only personally responsible for gross negligence. While his employee is liable for normal damage. The same as the driver of a company car. In this case the boat owner pays.

You can sue the captain, but I doubt he is personally responsible. What you can do is report the accident to the USCG. As a maritime accident.
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Old 08-05-2014, 00:02   #33
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

No different than an auto, the owner is always responsible to the other party. Now whether the captain has any responsibility to you, the owner, or not depends on your relationship with them. Are they an employee or contractor? If contractor how does the contract read. If you expected them to be insured, then you should have required that up front and confirmed it. Otherwise, don't act shocked if they aren't. If they're your employee then you should have included their actions as captain in your policies. But it is always other boater to you, the owner. Then anything further is between you and the captain.
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Old 08-05-2014, 01:10   #34
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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What is it with Americans?
Always looking to sue someone.
What is it with Swedes? Always looking to bash Americans.
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Old 08-05-2014, 02:26   #35
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

Respectfully, those who say the hired skipper should have insurance are wrong. The insurance follows the vessel, so the skipper would have to be endorsed into the vessel policy.

With regards to the damage- it's be fault of the vessel, and the vessel has to pay.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:30   #36
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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Respectfully, those who say the hired skipper should have insurance are wrong. The insurance follows the vessel, so the skipper would have to be endorsed into the vessel policy.

With regards to the damage- it's be fault of the vessel, and the vessel has to pay.
Yes and no. Always the damage is the responsibility of owner and owner always should have insurance.

As to the Captain, if he's running a business as an independent contractor, then he should also have insurance. Anyone operating a business should. For those who choose not to, they should make it clear and they also should make sure they're covered under the owner's policy. Regardless any liability they would have would only be to the owner they're working for.
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Old 08-05-2014, 11:45   #37
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pirate Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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Yes and no. Always the damage is the responsibility of owner and owner always should have insurance.

As to the Captain, if he's running a business as an independent contractor, then he should also have insurance. Anyone operating a business should. For those who choose not to, they should make it clear and they also should make sure they're covered under the owner's policy. Regardless any liability they would have would only be to the owner they're working for.
If they're working for a company then usually the company has insurance.. however a freelance skipper should advise the owner that HIS insurance is doing the biz..
In most case's the insurance company will ask for credentials and either approve or dis-approve.. in one or two case's the owners insurance has rejected me.. in each case they changed to Pantaenius and I got the job.. mind.. one big claim and they'd likely drop me like a hot potato..
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:30   #38
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

You can report the marine accident to the USCG, but they won't be interested, way too small damage. Your boat, your captain, your liability. And a USCG license does not the skipper make, I have seen plenty of LuLus out there with a license that had no business handling any kind of boat.
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Old 08-05-2014, 12:34   #39
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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Maritime law is pretty clear. The debt for damage is owed by the boat, not the owner or captain. So the boat owner pays or the boat is sold to cover the damage.

The captain as an employee is only personally responsible for gross negligence. While his employee is liable for normal damage. The same as the driver of a company car. In this case the boat owner pays.

You can sue the captain, but I doubt he is personally responsible. What you can do is report the accident to the USCG. As a maritime accident.
This is the legally correct answer. Ships are "persons" as far as the law is concerned; can even be arrested. So not like a car.

The only quibble I have is about whether or not the captain is an employee. Whether or not this is the case depends on facts we don't know. But it hardly matters -- whether an employee or not, the captain is probably not liable unless some degree of negligence is proved, possibly gross negligence. If the captain was doing his job, acting in the scope of his assignment, and got caught by a gust, for example, and nicked another boat, it might be that there is no negligence at all, not even ordinary negligence, much less gross negligence. In which case, he is not responsible at all -- the accident then falls under an ordinary risk of moving a 64' motor yacht around in close quarters, and is entirely the burden of the owner.

I agree with those who advised the owner to suck it up and move on.

For future reference -- and, as others have said -- this issue should be dealt with in a contract with the captain. If you expect him to be responsible for damage, you need to negotiate to what extent and under what circumstances, and specify it in a well-written contract. Beyond that, you need to think about your own insurance.
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Old 08-05-2014, 13:10   #40
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

Just goes to show that.....
"You are only as good as your last docking"... (or departure)...
**** happens for many reasons so explaining the details of the screw up often indicates who carries the moral responsibility for the damages?
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Old 08-05-2014, 13:19   #41
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

Interesting, because my insurance company required the delivery captain to provide a copy of his license and coverage.
Regardless, it is the ultimate responsibility of the owner as the responsible person. Time to go on to other things.
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Old 08-05-2014, 13:25   #42
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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Interesting, because my insurance company required the delivery captain to provide a copy of his license and coverage.
Not their first rodeo
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Old 08-05-2014, 13:37   #43
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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This is the legally correct answer. Ships are "persons" as far as the law is concerned; can even be arrested. So not like a car.

The only quibble I have is about whether or not the captain is an employee. Whether or not this is the case depends on facts we don't know. But it hardly matters -- whether an employee or not, the captain is probably not liable unless some degree of negligence is proved, possibly gross negligence. If the captain was doing his job, acting in the scope of his assignment, and got caught by a gust, for example, and nicked another boat, it might be that there is no negligence at all, not even ordinary negligence, much less gross negligence. In which case, he is not responsible at all -- the accident then falls under an ordinary risk of moving a 64' motor yacht around in close quarters, and is entirely the burden of the owner.

I agree with those who advised the owner to suck it up and move on.

For future reference -- and, as others have said -- this issue should be dealt with in a contract with the captain. If you expect him to be responsible for damage, you need to negotiate to what extent and under what circumstances, and specify it in a well-written contract. Beyond that, you need to think about your own insurance.
Indeed.

There is coverage available for the professional skipper, but it is prohibitively expensive, carries high deductibles, and almost never written. We're talking on he order of $5k+/year, with 10% deductibles.
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Old 08-05-2014, 13:45   #44
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Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

Greg-
"The captain as an employee is only personally responsible for gross negligence. "
How do you construe the delivery captain to be an employee? Last time I looked at the labor laws, and the IRS guidelines, I wouldn't have thought a delivery captain became an employee. That's a freelance contractor with their own business, isn't it?
Liable for his own actions?
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Old 08-05-2014, 13:52   #45
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pirate Re: Captain damaged neighboring boat- who is responsible?

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Greg-
"The captain as an employee is only personally responsible for gross negligence. "
How do you construe the delivery captain to be an employee? Last time I looked at the labor laws, and the IRS guidelines, I wouldn't have thought a delivery captain became an employee. That's a freelance contractor with their own business, isn't it?
Liable for his own actions?
So.. if the boat suffers severe storm damage on a delivery in the middle of the Atlantic.. the skipper is liable.. his actions took it out there..
If the owner can hire me.. and can fire me at any stage of the voyage.. he's an employer in my book..
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