Can I donate a "sunset cruise" to a charity auction??? - Page 3 - SailNet Community

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  #21  
Old 08-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lydanynom View Post
LOL....yep!...spell check got me again..
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  #22  
Old 08-07-2010
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Sure is a slippery legal slope.
My boat partner offered a lunch time trip for auction for a school benefit about 2 years ago. We have still not taken the lucky winners out for their sail yet and the charity was paid. The winners of our auction have not made any noise about taking us up on our offer. I would like to take them for a sail on my boat to make good on the offer but I would consider these people as 'guests' rather then 'passengers' (paid or otherwise). No money would change hands between me and the winners of the auction and if nothing happens it would be a done deal; same for any other guest that is on board.
If anything bad happens though you could end up with a sharp stick poking you in the eye. If you do this then just spill more wind and reef earlier then you might normally do for your 'guests'.
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  #23  
Old 08-07-2010
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Bene, these guys are missing the forest for the trees. Donate your boat for an evening and volunteer to accompany the winning bidder to help sail the boat. Then your not chartering or captaining with out a license. Your not even renting out your boat since your not being paid for the loan. The same as if you loaned your boat to a buddy to take out friend, then decided to go out with them.

And for the record I've known a few captains and boat charter companies who've used the same trick and even had run ins with the coast guard with out getting in trouble. On those occasions, it was the boat rental company that would then give over phone numbers of local captains it recommended. This get's you around the six passenger rule. But only on un-inspected vessel. This works under the same rules that govern a private yacht. If someone owns a boat and hires a captain to drive the boat then invites twenty of his friends out for a trip then it's not illegal. Same if the boat was rented.

So donate your boat for the evening and go along for the cruise. Since your not getting paid your insurance company should view it as taking out a couple of aquaintences. And since you both support the same charity, it would be pretty hard to argue that They're not your aquaintences.
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  #24  
Old 08-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalebD View Post
Sure is a slippery legal slope.
My boat partner offered a lunch time trip for auction for a school benefit about 2 years ago. We have still not taken the lucky winners out for their sail yet and the charity was paid. The winners of our auction have not made any noise about taking us up on our offer. I would like to take them for a sail on my boat to make good on the offer but I would consider these people as 'guests' rather then 'passengers' (paid or otherwise). No money would change hands between me and the winners of the auction and if nothing happens it would be a done deal; same for any other guest that is on board.
If anything bad happens though you could end up with a sharp stick poking you in the eye. If you do this then just spill more wind and reef earlier then you might normally do for your 'guests'.
This happens to us almost every time we donate our services....we now put a 1 year expiration on the auctioned service....so its use it or loose it and they know it.

I don't like having it hanging over my head any longer then that.
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  #25  
Old 08-08-2010
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I think there's been a bit of apples and oranges comparing on this thread. In my original post I was referring to the legalities regarding the vessel owner/operator not having a captain's license. I did not intend to refer to any insurance/liability issues.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bubb2 View Post
You can disagree all you wish, But the the public is paying for a cruise and that puts you in the charter business as far as the USCG is concerned.

This issue is not about, if the Capitan gets paid or not. The pubic is being charged it makes it a charter. You in turn are being "hired" at no compensation by the charity to provide the service. ---"

I disagree. My point involves only any problem with not having a license. If you are not getting compensated you are not in the charter business so you don't need a license. Please note there is a difference between "compensation" and "reimbursement", as in reimbursement for any out of pocket expenses. -fsmike-

"A legal opinion:
By: David Weil, Esq.
January, 2010
------
As noted ---- a licensed captain is required when the economic benefit directly or indirectly flows to “the owner or any other person having an interest in the vessel.” In this case, since the charity (presumably) has no interest at all in the vessel, a license would not be required — even if the charitable gift is a condition of carriage."




"Personly I would not willing to risk my house, boat, and such on a "Grey area of the law." Thats why I am licensed and have commercial insurance.
I diagree with the attorney also, as the charity has a vested interest in
economics of the sunset cruise. Therefore you as the caption of the vessel are acting as a agent of the charity and should something happen, you all could go down with the ship."
I get to disagree again. In the situation given, I see no indication that the vessel operator is acting as an agent of the charity. Barring the presence of a written contract to that effect I do not think the courts would find such a relationship.

As an aside, I feel that the courts frequently are a bit lenient with legitimate non-profit charitable organizations in the performance of their normal functions, such as fund raising.

As was pointed out, taking a tax deduction for the value of your time is prima facie evidence that you hold yourself out to being a professional captain, and that's a whole different ballgame. Taking a deduction for a charitable contribution in the amount of your out of pocket expenses directly related to the cruise in question should not be a problem.

An illegal opinion:
By: FSMike, Boat Bum

One thing we can probably all agree on:
The law is what the judge says it is. Your results may vary.
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Last edited by FSMike; 08-08-2010 at 10:35 AM. Reason: trying to make the quotes clear
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  #26  
Old 08-08-2010
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"A legal opinion:
By: David Weil, Esq.
January, 2010
------
As noted ---- a licensed captain is required when the economic benefit directly or indirectly flows to “the owner or any other person having an interest in the vessel.” In this case, since the charity (presumably) has no interest at all in the vessel, a license would not be required — even if the charitable gift is a condition of carriage."


It petty straight forward to me. and I disagree with the attorney. The owner or any other person having an interest in the vessel.” The Charity has an interest in the boat as the Charity does not get the money unless they supply the service, namely the boat ride.

Ask yourself this, can your write off the cost of the boat ride as a charitable deduction? The answer is no! The amount over and above the reasonable cost of the sunset cruise is deducible not the entire total. This again makes it a charter and needs a licensed Capt.
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  #27  
Old 08-08-2010
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Mike: Go for it then...

Personally Id rather risk a fine from the CG for acting as a captain when Im not, then risking getting sued by some charity giver that got injured on a boat registered in my name with out proper coverage...so just donating your whole boat and claiming not to be the captain as Danjarch suggests is not going to relieve you of any liability...That is why DMV wants you to send in a report of sale of any motor vehicle...so you as the seller aren't on the hook for parking tickets or worse, if the buyer dosent transfer ownership before anything happens.

If that dosent scare you then who cares about a licence in the first place.....Go for it!
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Last edited by Stillraining; 08-08-2010 at 11:42 AM.
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  #28  
Old 08-08-2010
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I would also state that letting them bid on using your boat is different then a cruise on your boat. What if they win and say no thanks to your being a guest? If they did not bid on your boat with you on it they would not have to take you up on your offer.

Think bumper boats on the way out of the marina.
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  #29  
Old 08-08-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stillraining View Post
Mike: Go for it then...

Personally Id rather risk a fine from the CG for acting as a captain when Im not, then risking getting sued by some charity giver that got injured on a boat registered in my name with out proper coverage...so just donating your whole boat and claiming not to be the captain as Danjarch suggests is not going to relieve you of any liability...
Stillraining -
Are you talking to me? As I stated previously, none of my posts on this thread have anything to do with insurance/liability issues. Is there some part of that you don't understand?
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  #30  
Old 08-08-2010
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[QUOTE=bubb2;630125]
Ask yourself this, can your write off the cost of the boat ride as a charitable deduction? The answer is no! The amount over and above the reasonable cost of the sunset cruise is deducible not the entire total. This again makes it a charter and needs a licensed Capt.[/QUOTE

What you say above applies to the person who "bought" the boat ride from the charity. I am ONLY talking about the vessel owner/operator. One person's personal tax situation does NOT determine another person's licensing requirements.

Apples and oranges.
I am not talking about IRS tax regulations.
I am not talking about insurance.
I am not talking about potential liability issues.
I am not talking about anybody other than the vessel owner/operator.

The ONLY thing I am trying to discuss is whether or not the vessel owner/operator is required to possess a captain's license in this case. I agree with the attorney bubb2 quoted, who said a captains license was not necessary.

Everybody got that?

Thank you.
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Last edited by FSMike; 08-08-2010 at 01:25 PM. Reason: punctuation
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