Originally Posted by DHLyman
Crews pay $3500 all expenses onboard included, except travel to and from the boat, for a 3 week voyage offshore. The slippers are some of the best in the yachting community.
Under these arrangements in the USA, each of the crew, READ PASSENGERS, are legally "passengers for hire" when they leave Newport
. And the vessel and the Owner and the Master are required to meet USCG regulations
vessels. Note: Crew typically are paid to operate the vessel. Albeit there be a definite cross over between Passenger for Hire & Crew. Crew involves anyone taking on a responsibility for operating the boat, galley
hand, helmsperson, watch keeper, anchor
watch keeper, navigator, medic, movable ballast, bilge
pumper, keelhauler, etc. If they "crew" there be major legal
and liability issues for both the owner of the boat, the Master of the boat and the individual crew member
. By way of example, if you are crewing
as the watch keeper or helmsperson and the boat has a collision
or allision, you will or likely be held responsible. If it capsizes due to your poor seapersonship you could and likely will be responsible for the loss of the vessel and those on board. Maritime law is complex, when you step aboard you are subject to it.
Paying $3,500 is less than a typical per passenger fee for a 3 week charter
voyage, but heck those had better be really comfortable slippers
issued to each of the crew
. I'm thinking exotic shearling wool slippers, which I happen to be presently wearing here in Montaña, this being our winter, [the four seasons of Montana, June, July, August and Winter]
While the law of the yacht's country of registration
, the flag state's law, regulates employment
on board, local port state laws can also have a bearing, especially when an aggrieved crewmember seeks redress.
As to the UK, snipet copied below for informative purposes from Crewkeepers website. The most obvious difference between the UK and the USA is if the contribution be strictly voluntary and not requested, or if it is requested, be that in money
or wine, or other forms of contribution, such as service
"It’s important to be clear about money in advance. For some crews, this is based on individuals paying for their own travel costs and agreeing to share direct onboard living costs such as food
, drink, fuel
, and mooring
costs, and the owner paying for maintenance
Beyond this, it’s sometimes the case that onshore costs such as meals
and transport are also shared out equally via a boat kitty. In other cases, a generous owner might pay for all of the onboard costs, or might even agree to pay crew travel costs to or from the vessel.
Where there is to be an agreed contribution this may be a daily amount or an equal share of accrued costs at the end of the trip.
For skippers, this allows them to offset their cruising costs and have help running watches and hopefully have some pleasant company, and for the crew, it allows them to go sailing and gain valuable experience for what amounts to a fraction of the actual or commercial
However, there is an important distinction to be made between boats run on this basis and commercial sailing operations. Amateur sailing opportunities seeking crew contributions that are posted on Crewseekers should not be run for a commercial gain. They should not include a passage
fee or contribution to the capital costs of the vessel but can include a reasonable share of the actual voyage costs.
Whatever agreement is reached it is sensible to have a written record
of this, and this may be as simple as a note in the log book, or for longer passages with more costs incurred you may wish to consider a written Crew Agreement (an example is included here).
What is a reasonable contribution?
In line with current
UK legislation, Crewseekers advises that any contribution sought from crew should be a reasonable amount to cover the direct daily running costs of the vessel. Other countries have similar rules, however, Crewseekers cannot offer information on each legislative territory.
The amount that Crew contributes can be a contentious issue attracting many differing opinions amongst skippers and crew. There is no absolute answer, and different types of vessels sailing in cruising areas throughout the world will each have a different level of expenditure. For some, this might be around £20 per person per day, e.g.: this could include a modest lunch and dinner aboard plus fuel costs and a marina for the night. But for others, perhaps in more remote
cruising areas, that might not reasonably cover the daily costs. For instance, cruising to Galapagos
requires a permit
that can cost up to $1500 for 60 days. Dividing this by, say, 3 crew, would add $500pp to the shared contribution.
There is no prescribed ‘reasonable amount” and Crewseekers does not seek to be the arbiter of what that might be. Skippers must ensure that they do not unintentionally find themselves operating on a ‘quasi’ commercial basis and prospective crew should satisfy themselves that they are paying a fair share of actual daily running costs – without any contribution to the capital costs of the vessel.
Some crew might think that they are providing crewing
services and should make no contribution, whilst some skippers/owners take the view that they are offering a sailing experience for which they are covering considerable capital costs and a contribution to the daily kitty is very welcome. In most cases, the skipper of the boat is looking for additional hands on board to share the enjoyment of the voyage and it is not unreasonable to expect to share some costs. Although of course there will be cases where the crew can reasonably expect to be paid for their services – such as a commercial delivery requiring suitably qualified sea staff, or a chartered vessel looking for crew to assist in the safety
and welfare of the guests, for instance.
You should agree what these financial arrangements are in writing before setting sail. Whatever the agreement reached, there is no doubt that everyone aboard will operate more harmoniously if they feel they are contributing to the voyage – no matter how that is gauged.
Pleasure or commercial?
There should not be an element in any contribution to cover the capital costs of the vessel or any financial remuneration for the skipper/owner – if there is then the vessel is deemed to be operating for commercial gain and anyone paying such a fee is not classed as crew but as a passenger. This will alter the legal
relationship and have insurance
and liability implications.
British flagged vessels operating commercially must comply with the relevant Codes of Practice. These detail both the equipment
a vessel must have on board and the Certificate of Competence required by the skipper (and in some cases the crew) of the vessel (other countries will have similar legislation).
Pleasure vessels are exempt from the Small Commercial Vessel Codes of Practice.
To be regarded as a pleasure vessel, rather than a commercial vessel, it is necessary, amongst other stipulations, to comply with this extract from the Merchant Shipping
(Small Commercial Vessels and Pilot Boats) Regulations
“Pleasure vessel” as defined in the Merchant Shipping
(Small Commercial Vessels and Pilot Boats) Regulations 2004 includes the following extract
"the owner of the vessel engaged in the voyage or excursion may only receive money for, or in connection with, the operation of the vessel or the carrying of any person in the vessel as a contribution to the direct expenses of the operation of the vessel incurred during the voyage or excursion.?
Read the full legal definition of a pleasure vessel:
As you can see, therefore, the owner of a vessel requesting more than a contribution towards the direct expenses may be deemed to be operating the vessel commercially, however, the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency does not specify what represents a reasonable contribution. It is up to each skipper and crew to agree what that figure might be with due regard to the nature of the voyage, the sailing area, the size and type of the vessel, and the expectations of the living standards aboard!
These financial arrangements may affect how the crew works together – if a crew pays a passage fee or daily rate, are they part of the working crew or on holiday? If the owner pays for everything, are the crew effectively employees without the benefits that might be expected of that position.
If crew contributions are in excess of what could be considered reasonable, then the sailing opportunity should be posted in the Crewseekers Directory section which serves to promote commercial sailing ventures.
For my own part, I always feel more comfortable aboard someone else’s boat if I’m paying for my own food and drink – regardless of how hard I’m being worked, yet on my own boat I’m quite happy to treat the crew to a drink ashore in reward for a hard days crewing – but I find it a bit rich if they come aboard empty handed! I’ve sailed with my bank manager aboard an old 28 footer (which he managed to sell to me ) and been offered cheese and a raw onion for lunch, and I’ve crewed across the Atlantic on a luxury Oyster
72 with wine for dinner, In each case I made a similar contribution to the daily kitty, as requested by the skipper. You’ll already have worked out which was the better deal!
This information is based on UK legislation and different regulations may apply in other countries. The information and views contained herein are not offered as legal advice
and Crewseekers does offer any warranty implied or otherwise as to the legality or fitness for purpose of this information."