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post #1 of 72 Old 12-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Teaching on YOUR boat?

I stopped by my "summer" employer yesterday. While there they told me that they are changing the organization dramatically. They have decided that they are a cruising school, and as such they will teach cruising on cruising (30 foot) boats (with a wheel). The school is getting rid of all but two 30 foot boats, and these will be used for ASA 101 (sailing) and 103 (docking and anchoring). All other courses will be taught on the instructor's boats, and the instructor will be compensated for the use of their boat.

My take on this is; owning, and maintaining a boat will be a condition of employment, at least to teach 104 & 106. Because I am one of the 104 instructors, the change in policy also seems to push me toward putting my boat's ownership into a company, that I will work for. The boat expenses (maintenance, storage, slip, insurance, depreciation, equipment) will be borne by the company that owns my boat, and not me personally.

Also, related to another thread; because I would be teaching on MY boat, gratuities will be refused.

Thoughts?

And, how would one go about doing this??


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Last edited by eherlihy; 12-08-2016 at 07:59 AM.
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post #2 of 72 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

wow, that's interesting!

My first reaction is why stay associated w/their business. If you provide the instruction and the boat, the only thing left is advertising. I guess some folks "want" a "certificate" from the mother ship, so maybe that wouldn't work, but if I was starting out I'd be much more interested in learning from the right instructor than organization. Don't know how ASA works, but could you issue certs as an independent entity?

I'm no lawyer, but have run some small companies. The advice I get is always the same, LLC's, S-Corps, C-Corps provide minimal protection against personal liability. Anyone can sue you for any reason at any time. I'm not sure a complex structure does anything but enrich the legal profession.

I think however you'll need to get your insurance company involved to cover liability and make sure the boat insurance covers this commercial operation, even if all you do is run a sole proprietorship.

From your posts here my guess is you're a very good instructor. Best of luck!
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post #3 of 72 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

I'd want to carefully read the contract before commenting .... way too many variables.
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post #4 of 72 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

On the surface this SEEMS like it might be a good situation for an LLC, but mostly I agree with boatpoker. Get thee to a lawyer before you sign anything!
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post #5 of 72 Old 12-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

Great questions guys! Here are some answers;

There are no contracts... Clients must sign a waiver of liability (and yes, I know that these waivers are BS - but that does not stop either of the schools for which teach or every ski areas that I ever visited from using one).

ASA provides an umbrella liability insurance policy that protects the school and the instructor. I also have a damage and liability policy on my boat. The current liability insurance that I carry on the boat is not a commercial policy, however.

ASA also prohibits their instructors from issuing ASA certification. Instructors provide instruction, assess skills, administer tests, and sign the log book; but only an ASA affiliated school can offer ASA certification.

Finally, I currently own my boat as personal property. I was recently advised to transfer the ownership of the vessel into a trust.


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Last edited by eherlihy; 12-08-2016 at 08:52 AM.
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post #6 of 72 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

Regarding gratuities, would you be actually earning significantly more money? I can't see why you would turn down a thank you in the form of money, especially if it is unsolicited.
Anybody can thank you profusely, smile and shake your hand, not really meaning any of it, but giving you some of their hard earned money, especially after forking over a significant amount for the class, shows more than common civility.
I regard tips as a gauge of how well one does their job, especially when they are not compulsory. Refusing a tip can be terribly awkward at times and just gracefully accepting them is the proper thing to do.
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post #7 of 72 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
............ or every ski areas that I ever visited from using one).
Probably would apply to sailing instructor pursuits .... at ski areas the use of waivers for 'volunteer' employees (instructors, ski patrollers, etc.) is usually accompanied by carefully crafted legal 'fine print' in the required waiver: (paraphrasing) the volunteer employee becomes an 'agent', not an actual employee. An 'employee', by most state corporate statutes, is protected from liability due to actual (legal) employment and is usually covered by the corporate liability policies ... by law; 'agents' can be considered as independent contractors.
In such situations (as an 'agent') the 'volunteer' (or 'agent') is or may not be protected from liability by the employer; although, the employer/contractor of 'the agent' may have 'the agent' included in their liability coverage ... Get such in WRITING !!!!!!!

Just for a moment ask yourself: exactly why such a 'school' is requiring you to expose yourself and your boat to such potential liability?
I think when a corporate entity is demanding that you and your boat is being used to 'teach' .... you are entering a legal limbo that may have grave consequences for your own position vs. responsibility of liability, etc. Methinks you've got to have these legal/liability issues all worked out in advance and agreed to, long before you begin.
You're going to need a lawyer and you're going to need at least supplemental personal insurance vs. potential liability, unless you have a clear WRITTEN contract that assigns all such liability responsibility to 'the school'. - IMO.
Repeat - Just for a moment ask yourself: exactly why such a 'school' is requiring you to expose yourself and your boat to such potential liability?
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Last edited by RichH; 12-08-2016 at 09:42 AM.
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post #8 of 72 Old 12-08-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

... and technically I am not an employee, but a contractor (1099) to both schools.


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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

Quote:
Originally Posted by eherlihy View Post
... and technically I am not an employee, but a contractor (1099) to both schools.
then YOUR boat and YOUR liability responsibility - IMO.
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Last edited by RichH; 12-08-2016 at 09:52 AM.
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post #10 of 72 Old 12-08-2016
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Re: Teaching on YOUR boat?

"Eherlihy School of Sailing"

Has a nice ring to it!
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