Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!
Steel, if your friends voluntarily chip in for expenses, that's something the USCG has no interest in. Key words: FRIENDS, VOLUNTARILY.
If you make a BUSINESS arrangement with STRANGERS that REQUIRES them to pay something, now that's a commercial relationship no matter how much you wink and nod and try to say it isn't. And that IS a liability issue, and something the USCG is very miuch interested in.
Yes, it really is that simple. Friends can buy you lunch, but when you cross the line into business arrangements with strangers, the only question is how well you can fly under the radar.