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  Topic Review (Newest First)
02-22-2012 11:27 AM
rgscpat Let's quote from the Coast Guard, since they're the ones who interpret the requirements, advise on their creation, and arrest violators. They're really very clear on the subject.
The ultimate source, for US boats and boats trading in US waters would probably be US Code Title 46 (Subpart C is mentioned in the USCG doc below). The sobriety requirement for skipper and crew would eliminate some sailors I know from legally carrying passengers for hire, even if they did have a license!

Passenger means an individual carried on the vessel except:
a. The owner or an individual representative of the owner or, in the case of a
vessel under charter, an individual charterer or individual representative of the
b. The master; or
c. A member of the crew engaged in the business of the vessel who has not
contributed consideration for carriage and who is paid for on-board services
(46 U.S.C. 2101(21) (A)).

Passenger for hire means a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a
condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner,
charterer, operator, agent or any other person having an interest in the vessel (46
U.S.C. 2101(21a)).

Consideration means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including
monetary payment going to an individual, person, or entity. It does not include a
voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or
donation of fuel food, beverage, or other supplies (46 U.S.C. 2101(5a)).
U. S. Coast Guard Requirements for Uninspected Passenger Vessels of Less Than 100 G.T. and Carrying Six or Less Passengers
(and yes, I would have nitpicked it as "Six or Fewer Passengers" but does anyone see an angry grammarian around)

Other snippets...

Licensing (46 CFR 15.605, 46 CFR 26.20-1 and 46 CFR 15.401)
Each self-propelled, uninspected vessel carrying not more than six passengers as
defined by 46 U.S.C. 2101(42) (B), must be under the direction and control of an
individual licensed by the Coast Guard
While on board an UPV, a crewmember (including a licensed individual), pilot or a
watchstander who is not a regular member of the crew:
a. Shall not perform or attempt to perform any scheduled duties within four hours of
consuming any alcohol;
b. Shall not be intoxicated at any time;
c. Shall not consume any intoxicant while on watch or on duty; and
d. May consume a legal non-prescription or prescription drug provided the drug
does not cause the individual to be intoxicated.

A hazardous condition can be Operating without a license, operating beyond the scope
of the license, or operating with insufficient crew for the intended voyage. Boarding
officers shall review the licenses of all licensed personnel required. A licensed operator
may not turn the watch over to an unlicensed person while sleeping or resting off the
bridge. The practice of permitting passengers on uninspected passenger vessels to
"take the helm" should be discouraged, however, it is not prohibited by regulation. The
licensed operator is responsible for the safe navigation/operation of the vessel at all times.
02-22-2012 11:04 AM
Originally Posted by JordanH View Post
If we must hijack this tread to talk about the interpretation of the USCG definitions, then the rule (5a) above has some fudging areas... It mentions "profit", how would you prove it was a profit or a loss? It mentions voluntary, how do you define voluntary?
I think that defining "voluntary" is pretty easy. If the captain will let you come along regardless of whether you pay anything or not, then it's voluntary. If the rule is, pay or you cannot come, then it is very clearly NOT voluntary. In the latter case payment is a condition of being allowed to come along and as such you are clearly a paying passenger--captain must have a license, and vessel must be inspected.
02-21-2012 10:28 AM
Never2late Well presently I own a sport fishing boat and am looking to go over to sail because of high fuel cost. I've done the payed crew thing for a fishing trip from Louisiana down to Bimini were just my friends and I cover cost. I have to say the whole thing was a disaster. 2 of the 4 crew thought because they were on the boat that they were going to be treated like friends and share in the fishing. And Ever since then I've given a choice to either be payed and work or share the cost and have fun.There 's no middle ground here as I see it. Bottom line trips cost. If you want to have fun it will cost and as I told before I don't presently own a sail I have power but it seems to me that $30 a day is a very low sum to spend time Paradise. As for what I take from reading the law even if a boat owner tells up front that crew member has to pay it will be up to that person as to agree or decline. I've been thinking of joining a boat recently just to see if switching to sail would work for me and see nothing wrong with paying my share.
02-21-2012 10:25 AM
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
This is clearly a for hire situation, to operate in US waters the Captain would need a US mariners license.
I just read through the site again and although I think he has reworded some of the info on there, his responses to people posting on his site still implies it is a "for hire" situation.

We´re not paying. Rather, we will rent you a cabin for the Caribbean cruise.
Winter 2011-2012 Caribbean Explorations «
The site also claims the ship is US flagged.

So... In this situation, he would need to comply with US regulations no matter where he goes, even in international waters?

In my case, being a Canadian, if I achieved whatever licence requirements we have then I would be allowed to operate in US waters? That doesn't sound right to me. I have a hard time believing the US would accept Canadian rules. Heck, even for maritime VHF they won't sign a reciprocal agreement even though the US rules are more lax than ours. Outside of this discussion, I'm sure there are tax and VISA issues that we'd face if we tried to pick up US passengers. I imagine other countries, lets say in the Caribbean, would also not be ok if a ship pulled in and picked up paying passengers without paying taxes - everyone wants their piece of pie.

We were told by a bareboat skipper in Italy, that the reason we didn't see many sail boats near Positano was that Italy had some really strict laws about Captain's Licences. Whether that's true or not, I don't know. However, if International agreement applies, there *should* have been quite a few other flagged vessels in the area... there really wasn't, which was strange.

Do we have any links or is this still all conjecture?
02-21-2012 09:07 AM
Originally Posted by aeventyr60 View Post
Off shore most crew contribute to the costs.
Not on Auspicious. I pay costs from the time we leave the dock until we hit the dock again, and have even helped beyond that in some circumstances. Crew are not passengers. They have duties and responsibilities.

Sure there are a lot of people who want to sail with me, but not all are qualified. Not all will be available. Frankly, some are more talk than action and won't show up.

In my experience many of the really good and experienced crew (with some exceptions) have lots of rides to choose from.

If you're talking about day-sails then food and beverage contributions are always appreciated. I would never ask anyone to contribute to boat costs.
02-21-2012 08:55 AM
aeventyr60 Off shore most crew contribute to the costs. Nothing being said about a commercial enterprise. Up to you how far you want to take it, if you don't need any help with the costs then there are hundreds that will "crew" for you. Big question for you is do you want these folks on your boat? I found that those who contributed something were much better crew members. I don't need anybody to help finance my dream either, but for all the hassles with having crew on board, a paying crew member is better.

If your heading offshore then a whole new set of rules apply, mostly your own.
02-21-2012 03:14 AM
Originally Posted by sailingfool View Post
This is clearly a for hire situation, to operate in US waters the Captain would need a US mariners license.
Not so. If the master's license meets the requirements of the flag country I believe all is well. There are terms of reciprocity in International Maritime Organization (IMO is a UN agency) agreements. I suspect but don't know that some countries have laws that allow for additional reciprocity. For example, a Liberian-flagged ship might be owned by a German company, chartered to a US company with French-licensed officers and a Filipino crew.

Many countries including the US have additional requirements specifically intended to protect domestic industries. In the US, the Jones Act requires that cargo or passengers carried from one US port to another US port be aboard a US flagged vessel. The linked example earlier in this thread referred to this requirement when noting that they don't take crew/passengers between US ports.

Originally Posted by JordanH View Post
In international waters, I don't suspect licences apply. I still haven't found any solid information to back that up.
For a US flagged vessel you must comply with US requirements regardless of where you are, including international waters. I suspect most countries are similar and in fact the requirement may be codified by the IMO.
02-21-2012 01:55 AM
JordanH My original intent for this thread was to determine what the international requirements were all about. Which licences, which documentation and when you need them. I intended the thread to be helpful to the many of us that may run into this issue if we take guests or crew (paying/paid/volunteer) across a border.

My current thinking is the same as SailingFools; I would think that a professional captain must follow the laws of the countries in which he is sailing. In international waters, I don't suspect licences apply. I still haven't found any solid information to back that up.

I did not want to call out just one captain/boat as there may be plenty of boats that do this; I'll take those comments to his threads and not side-track this one. I linked to another thread where the specific captain is asked about the legalities but I don't think it was clarified.

If we must hijack this tread to talk about the interpretation of the USCG definitions, then the rule (5a) above has some fudging areas... It mentions "profit", how would you prove it was a profit or a loss? It mentions voluntary, how do you define voluntary? Skipper says it costs $30/day and you voluntarily choose to chip in that amount or is that payment? I know my opinion, but it does leave grey area without known prior examples.

To hijack my own thread further, I have to wonder if it's ethical or wise to try to supplement your cruising kitty, or offsetting cruising costs, by asking crew to pay? As a skipper, I look at crew as people who are helping me out so that I can go sailing. My boat, my dream, my costs. If I were chartering a boat, then it's our boat, our dream, our costs. These mixed shenanigans of "My boat, your dream, who's paying?" is where it breaks down into the grey area.
02-20-2012 10:38 PM
rgscpat Ah, it's all about THAT boat... I remember a thread that got deleted as it got contentious between an unhappy former "crew member" and one of the owners.
02-20-2012 10:27 PM
hellosailor Never,
If their contribution is VOLUNTARY and actually limited to a portion of your expenses while they were aboard, it is likely to be considered personal, not business. There would seem to be enough gray area on the laws so that a major question is: Did you know this person beforehand? Or did you solicit them with the understanding they'd be paying you?

The law used to be simple, any "consideration" including buying the beer for your uncle when you got back to the dock made the whole trip commercial. Then the USCG lightened things up--with the intention of allowing FRIENDS to buy lunch or share the gas with their friends.

I'd still say if you are advertising and making deals with strangers--that's commercial. Try it, have a problem that goes to court, and see how the courts rule. It is only their opinion that counts--but that's how the laws are intended.
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