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post #1 of 21 Old 11-24-2011 Thread Starter
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Having paying passengers - International

Hi All,

I've seen a number of "crew" postings in various forums that are asking for payment as "crew". I seem to recall reading about specific rules on this topic but can't seem to find the links. I thought I'd start this thread to gather information on what is required for a skipper to operate a boat with paying "crew" (passengers) internationally.

My personal interest is what is required by a skipper and boat to legally operate internationally if I ever jump on to be crew.

For example,
If a Canadian flagged vessel picks up passengers and sails into USA waters; Which licences are needed?

If a US flagged vessel leaves the US to travel through the Caribbean; Which licences are required?

I'm also interested in European and Australian rules for jumping on boats over there.

Lastly, in reality, do skippers follow these rules or are they lip-service?

Ok, prepare to start adding links... GO!
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post #2 of 21 Old 11-24-2011
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You will have to abide by your country's Maritime Laws.
Here in the states you have to have a USCG License and a Certificate of Inspection for your vessel.

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post #3 of 21 Old 11-24-2011
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The short answer, as far as the USA, is that money exchanged to share expenses, such as food, fuel or mooring is not considered payment. So, no license or inspection required.

Payment for passage requires USCG license and inspection.

I believe this precedent has been set in US courts. However, I never accept money from friends or acquaintances. I will accept beer and food

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
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post #4 of 21 Old 11-24-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RobGallagher View Post
The short answer, as far as the USA, is that money exchanged to share expenses, such as food, fuel or mooring is not considered payment. So, no license or inspection required.

Payment for passage requires USCG license and inspection.

I believe this precedent has been set in US courts. However, I never accept money from friends or acquaintances. I will accept beer and food

Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.
I seem to remember reading near the beginning of the Captain's License study guide that accepting beer, food, etc. was still considered payment. I don't have it in front of me (I gave the book away) but it was the guide written by Charlie Wing if I remember correctly. I remember being surprised that beer and contributing to food and provisioning was considered "payment".

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post #5 of 21 Old 11-24-2011 Thread Starter
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Ok, a real-life examples: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/crew-w...-december.html

Previous voyage looks like it was from Canada to USA, then this upcoming voyage looks like USA to the Caribbean.

The post requests crew, and reads like a routine crew post but then finishes up with a daily rate. If you read further into the linked website, it appears they are encouraging 'crew' to join for the adventure and sets down a price.

I'm curious to know what licences he would need to A) be allowed to pick up crew/passengers in Canada. B) if he needs the USCG licence for the "crew" or "passenger" situation and C) What happens once he is beyond USA waters? Do the USCG rules still apply? Perhaps the latter is a moot point.

As a Canadian, I would find it hard to believe that I could go to the USA with whatever licence I may have from Canada, pick up passengers and sail away... I would think the foreign country might have something to say about that. So therefore, I would think it's logical to assume that both home country and foreign country rules must apply. ... I can't find a single link to back up my intuition. And this is why I ask the question.

For the record, I don't know this fellow and wish him no ill-will and best of luck on his voyages. It was just the example that got me thinking about this question.

Last edited by JordanH; 11-24-2011 at 01:25 PM. Reason: editted phrasing of questions.
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post #6 of 21 Old 11-25-2011
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In the 80's if you split the gas bill with your friend after a day of fishing, you had just "employed" him and he was in big trouble if he didn't have a license and commercial status. The USCG didn't go looking but there were some court cases that forced the issue. The changes were in response to specific incidents and case(s). So then the USCG made some official pronouncements about that and some specific changes which probably cannot be taken out of exact context. Basically, if you bought a friend (someone you had an existing relationship with) a meal or split the gas, that was NOT commercial and would not be treated as such.

Absent the pre-existing relationship? You might want to ask the USCG directly what their boundaries are, and exactly what that is based on. And if your obligations are going to be verbal and not described or limited in writing...that's a whole other can of worms as well. For you or your estate to explore.

Outside the US and with non-US-flagged vessels? Your mileage may vary with the flag. There's an awful lot of them to choose from.
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post #7 of 21 Old 11-25-2011
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Ok, a real-life examples: http://www.sailnet.com/forums/crew-w...-december.html

Previous voyage looks like it was from Canada to USA, then this upcoming voyage looks like USA to the Caribbean.

The post requests crew, and reads like a routine crew post but then finishes up with a daily rate. If you read further into the linked website, it appears they are encouraging 'crew' to join for the adventure and sets down a price.
This is clearly a for hire situation, to operate in US waters the Captain would need a US mariners license. The fact that his web site does not reference that credential would make me believe he does not have one, and is thus simply skirting the law. A good reason to skip any consideration of going with them...

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post #8 of 21 Old 11-25-2011 Thread Starter
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to operate in US waters the Captain would need a US mariners license.
What about outside of US waters? I suspect flagged ships need to comply with USCG regulations beyond that. Do they also need to comply with the foreign countries licences/laws or are they usually exempt due to being flagged from another country?
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post #9 of 21 Old 11-25-2011
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In the U.S. The relevant rule is USC 2101 (5a):

(5a) "consideration" means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity, but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies.

My understanding is this:

The Key word is " Voluntary" If you board a vessel that has advertised costs and the costs are " conditions" of travel; then it's not Voluntary then you are a paying passenger.
The Captain and the Ship must comply with all relevant Rules of licensing and inspection.
The Captain's license will control the waters he/she's allowed to operate in under the Authority of their license.

For fewer than 6 passengers, the vessel may not need to be " Inspected" but must comply with all relevant regulations regarding carriage of equipment. Depending on the tonnage it may or may not need to be " Documented" ( under or over 5 tons) for use as a UPV. ( as opposed to a " Recreational" vessel)

Reciprocity is addressed in the code for foreign vessels..but I would research it.

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post #10 of 21 Old 11-25-2011
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What about outside of US waters? I suspect flagged ships need to comply with USCG regulations beyond that. Do they also need to comply with the foreign countries licences/laws or are they usually exempt due to being flagged from another country?
I think the country rules always apply within its boundries. Anyone operating in the US is subject to the US requirements.

Off shore is a good question, beats me...maybe that's UN regulatory territory. Somewhat of a moot question, as no one is going to begin or end a voyage not subject to some country"s regs.

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