you are looking at the capt. as a independent contractor as in construction. The captain is not seen as a contractor but as an independent employee. In the marine industry the Captain has no choice but to be able to make independent decisions so it sort of is like a contractor per your definition but is also sort of exempt due to the nature of the job. Think commercial captains, they must be allowed to make decisions independent from the owners. Obviously the captain of a cruise ship could not carry insurance for the ship and passengers! Most marine insurance is based on maritime laws dating back hundreds of years and is based on commercial needs. Also most insurance companies will view a paid captain as being more qualified than the owner. I know there are many very well qualified owners but there are equally many unqualified. From an insurance point of view the risk is less with a professional operating the boat.Hope that makes sense.
Capt. Wayne Canning, AMS
Project Boat Zen - Boat and Yacht Repair and Restoration