"Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat. - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 73 Old 10-15-2013 Thread Starter
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"Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

It's been mentioned and asked of me a few times, usually after I go off ranting how hurt and angry I am about my situation of not being able to afford to keep me, my life, house, and boat Like I did when I got the boat almost 10 yrs ago.

"Denise; why don't you just take people out on your boat and have them pay you for the day, weekend, trip, etc?"

I usually mumble something like "I would need a captain's license to do that."

I actually don't know this and wonder, now that I'm looking at the winter and lots of time to decide if I want to sell or find a way to at least break even with keeping her on the Chesapeake. I do quite well with other lady friends and many of them have suggested it's a cheap way to get away compared to motels hotels and driving long distance. Assuming I could find a way to get the word out, would I be breaking some kind of law? Basically the rational would be $ to offset the cost of having the boat for "guests"

I know the responsibility of things going wrong is great.. yet it's just as great with "just friends" on board too.

I'm tending to think and feel it's a BAD idea because if it were that easy everyone would be doing it.

Your input will be much valued on this friends!

Denise, Bristol PA, Oday 30. On Tidal Delaware River, Anchor Yacht Club.
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post #2 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

I'd be more concerned about insurance than the CG. There may be an exclusion you are getting paid.
Sorry about the tight dollars (and friends)
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post #3 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

Liveaboard? Kill two birds with one stone?

Ludington, Michigan - Lake Michigan
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post #4 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
It's been mentioned and asked of me a few times, usually after I go off ranting how hurt and angry I am about my situation of not being able to afford to keep me, my life, house, and boat Like I did when I got the boat almost 10 yrs ago.

"Denise; why don't you just take people out on your boat and have them pay you for the day, weekend, trip, etc?"

I usually mumble something like "I would need a captain's license to do that."

I actually don't know this and wonder, now that I'm looking at the winter and lots of time to decide if I want to sell or find a way to at least break even with keeping her on the Chesapeake. I do quite well with other lady friends and many of them have suggested it's a cheap way to get away compared to motels hotels and driving long distance. Assuming I could find a way to get the word out, would I be breaking some kind of law? Basically the rational would be $ to offset the cost of having the boat for "guests"

I know the responsibility of things going wrong is great.. yet it's just as great with "just friends" on board too.

I'm tending to think and feel it's a BAD idea because if it were that easy everyone would be doing it.

Your input will be much valued on this friends!
Don't know your local laws but would be careful about liability issues, especially if you have any assets. If someone formally "pays" you, other than with sandwiches and beer, and can prove it, it may put you in a vulnerable position, possibly voiding your liability insurance, especially if you are in non-compliance with local or Coast Guard rules or laws.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a "free lunch".

Paul T
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post #5 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

Yes, you need to have a captain's license ("Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessels License" specifically) to accept payment to take people out on your boat.

Without that I think your only legal option would be to put the boat into a charter fleet.

I'm no longer participating on SailNet.
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post #6 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

there are many ways around laws dealing with this -- UNTIL -- someone gets hurt, overboard etc. suddenly your friend is no longer a "yeah dude it's all cool" kind of person. You have no legal way to ensure they won't sue you for liable (their first statement being "she was operating illegally as a captain") because than they would have proof you were paid and on and on.


a lot of laws I'm willing to bend but not one where I have to count on others to remain on my side. It never works out.

are there other options, sell a share of the boat?
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post #7 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

What about AirBnB? Plenty of people appear to have their boats listed as informal hotel rooms. See for example:

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/629731

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post #8 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

I noticed a story in the local boat paper that a marina was cracking down on boat owners who were advertising the use of their boat as a bed and breakfast . When he finds them, their out . The owner that is . There is a boat owner in my marina that takes people out for a inner bay wine and cheese cruise . He has a six pack license , insurance , alcohol license, and he had to pay for and take a food handling class . He also has some kind of deal with the marina ie. he pays a extra fee to the city . IMO if you are going to charge a customer for the use of your boat in any way . You will need to do it properly ( licenses, insurance ) Plus you should talk to the marina manager . IMHO

Last edited by Markwesti; 10-15-2013 at 06:17 PM.
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post #9 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

Denise,

The law on this is a little unclear since the have been relatively few cases dealing with is since the USCG published a clarification a few years ago. However the simple answer is that if someone contributes a pro rata share towards the cost of the trip, it does not count as commercial operation. In other words, a guest can pay their share of the cost of fuel, provisions, slippage (if while on the trip you stay at a marina), ect. However the moment a dime more than this is handed to the skipper, it becomes a commercial undertaking , and you need a OUPV license, and commercial insurance.

Note that this should not be taken as legal advice, and there is no attorney client relationship formed by this response.
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Last edited by Stumble; 10-15-2013 at 08:09 PM.
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post #10 of 73 Old 10-15-2013
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Re: "Paying" friends wanting to go on the boat.

Connecticut sailing charters, Long Island Sound Sailing, sail lessons, yacht charters, birthday celebration, sailing school, captain for hire, yacht delivery, boat handling

This lady does exactly what you are proposing.
I've sailed with her. She may be willing to let you know what the options are.

The lesson from the Icarus story is not about human failing.
It is a lesson about the limitations of wax as an adhesive.
If you have an engineering problem solve it.
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