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.
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.
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.