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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Destinations > Caribbean > Caribbean Islands > Host a Scientific Expedition!
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Topic Review (Newest First)
12-01-2012 10:33 PM
hellosailor
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

"On a US boat in US waters, by law, enforced or not, you may not accept ANY compensation from friends or others for a boat trip. "
You're about 25 years behind the times on that. The USCG expressly clarified that standard that many years ago, and it was big and welcome news. Anyone who has been boating since the 80's should remember that clearly, unless they've already started losing their memory.
The way the law has stood since then, is that your FRIENDS may VOLUNTARILY contribute for food, fuel, etc. and even take the owner out to dinner. But that's all got to be entirely VOLUNTARY and NON-COMMERCIAL.
If you go around soliciting strangers to render some compensation and you have an oral contract that says they'll share expenses--that's no longer voluntary, no longer casual, and you're in business.
My vague recollection is that there was no change in the laws--just an edict from a more rational USCG Commandant, the same way that a similar edict recognized that 'securing' a dump valve in a no-discharge area could be done with a zip tie, no padlock required.

Enforcing or substantiating oral contracts is a whole other can of worms, and if you had such an agreement and the folks later said "Thanks for the ride, goodbye" without giving yu anything, you'd be simply SOL.
12-01-2012 10:04 PM
capta
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Aren't you allowed to share expenses with others on your boat? So as long as the money given is just going to expenses incurred along the trip. I thought that's how it was now in the U.S., or are the people sharing expenses for fishing trips really breaking the law but it's not being enforced?[/QUOTE]

On a US boat in US waters, by law, enforced or not, you may not accept ANY compensation from friends or others for a boat trip. Not even a beer. Nothing, no sharing fuel costs, nothing. If you do, you are "chartering" in the eyes of the Coast Guard and you must have the appropriate license and type 1 life jackets, life ring, etc. for "chartering". I've not operated an uninspected passenger vessel in years so there may be other requirements, now. There are loopholes in these laws but you'll need an attorney to get the straight skinny.
Not a big deal unless there is a collision or injury significant enough to involve the CG. Then a severe prison sentence and loss of your boat are a distinct possibility. Also, a local legal charter captain may turn you in if he thinks you are taking business from him.
12-01-2012 09:34 PM
capta
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

We would be most interested in doing something like this, if only you were studying something other than spiders; I'm sorry. If you've associates who study almost anything else, please get back to us.
As for all that other "captain/charter" stuff, you've no need to worry outside of US waters. None of the Islands down here in the eastern Caribbean care anything about a foreign flagged vessel's charter legalities; they just want the extra income in fees, other than the BVIs.
Good luck and if you do get down this way and see us anchored near you, please stop by, sans spiders of course, for some of Nikki's rum punch.
10-29-2012 11:28 PM
hellosailor
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Steel, if your friends voluntarily chip in for expenses, that's something the USCG has no interest in. Key words: FRIENDS, VOLUNTARILY.

If you make a BUSINESS arrangement with STRANGERS that REQUIRES them to pay something, now that's a commercial relationship no matter how much you wink and nod and try to say it isn't. And that IS a liability issue, and something the USCG is very miuch interested in.

Yes, it really is that simple. Friends can buy you lunch, but when you cross the line into business arrangements with strangers, the only question is how well you can fly under the radar.
10-29-2012 10:46 PM
steel
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post

If you really want to get nervous, read Congressional Budget Office reports on the lack of accountability or monitoring of NSF grants. Once the money is out the door, they don't even check to see if the proposed research was actually completed.
Just like food stamps, or people getting on disability who aren't disabled, or welfare, or lowering interest rates and making home loans with no money down.

You can go to college and major in grant writing!

I think our government does like to study everything just to be sure of those unknown unknowns, and the research will never benefit the people.

Aren't you allowed to share expenses with others on your boat? So as long as the money given is just going to expenses incurred along the trip. I thought that's how it was now in the U.S., or are the people sharing expenses for fishing trips really breaking the law but it's not being enforced?
10-26-2012 09:39 AM
svHyLyte
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Following the end of World War II, and the dramatic defunding of the military (the folly of which was proven by the subsequent War in Korea) and much of the defense research the military had funded, members of Congress recognized the need for continued research/development in pursuit of national defense and therefore created the "National Science Foundation as an independent federal agency to...
"...promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…"
...all laudable objectives. In FY 2010, the NSF budget exceeded $6,900,000,000 (or $6.9 Billion dollars) of funding in pursuit (presumably) of such objectives.

Considering the current financial condition of the US Government (and, that the production of "silk" is beyond the capacity of arachnid fossils), this old fossil would like our young (also presumably) student to explain how his/her "research"... will/might "...advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense"? Or not...and merely his/her curiosity about "bio-diversty".

Here Homer Nods...
10-26-2012 09:35 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
.......

for 440k, heck, buy a boat for 50k and rent a skipper
And may very well have been a part of the original request.

If you really want to get nervous, read Congressional Budget Office reports on the lack of accountability or monitoring of NSF grants. Once the money is out the door, they don't even check to see if the proposed research was actually completed.

I know I'm fanning the flame here. Other than just educating some in how this works, I think anyone that considers offering their boat and services should know whether they are being taken advantage of. Again, I'm not accusing these guys. I just haven't yet heard what the money was earmarked for.
10-26-2012 09:23 AM
chucklesR
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

I'm neither a lawyer or a licensed captain, and I didn't even stay at any hotel last night.

But I'm a sailor and therefore have an opinion

All of 46 U.S.C 2101 applies, however the most pertinent parts are perhaps 21a and 5a.
The have slackened up in recent years so that friends going fishing, day sailing etc. are not considered a commercial enterprise, but this is clearly not the case here.
You are in fact offering at least partial compensation but have expectations on directing the boat (hanging out at islands for set periods of time, directing locations).

That's for US skippers - and applies in US waters. Other countries will of course have their own laws.
Bottom line is the skipper/owner of the boat offering the ride is the one that is taking the risk here.

A boom going errant and slapping a study member on the noggin can result in a lawsuit that can end a retirement sail off into the sunset as easily as a hurricane.

I'm not saying you won't find someone who will take you - maybe even a licensed and insured skipper; in fact I wish you all the luck you need.

for 440k, heck, buy a boat for 50k and rent a skipper
10-26-2012 06:26 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

To date, $439,622 has been allocated to this project.

Award#1050187 - Collaborative Research: The generation of a biodiversity hotspot: paleobiogeography of the Caribbean inferred from multiple arachnid lineages with differing dispersal abilities
10-26-2012 05:45 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Host a Scientific Expedition!

Just to be clear, I am not opposed to scientific research. I have scientists all around me, including my kids. My Father-in-law was a world renowned physicist.

But those that haven't seen inside the system, may be shocked at how your money is actually spent. Grants can be as political as anything on this planet. Sure, we need to do research. We need to draw the line on the budget somewhere, otherwise, logic above would justify every penny from the treasury in the name of research.

I ask about what the money is being spent on, because its entirely possible that the grant does include transportation. When they can figure out how to get funded pieces for free, the money may not be spent as honestly as you may like to believe. I'm not accusing them, I just asked the question.
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