Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Swarthmore, PA
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Quick Advice: Donating a boat ride for charity
I've been asked to donate a ride on my boat for 2-4 people for a fundraiser. This will be a silent auction where people bid on various goods and services, to raise money for a student trip to Europe. I need to decide whether to do this by 8 pm tonight, so I don't have time to consult a lawyer. But I thought I'd throw it up here for your ideas around whether I'm being too cautious.
I do not have a six-pack license. My insurance is a recreational policy, which excludes commercial use. People are telling me, "It's OK, you're doing it for charity. Just say you're not taking money from the people, you're providing a free service in exchange for a donation to the charity." But something tells me that the auction listing will say, "Buy a ride on a sailboat." My concern is "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..."
So my feeling is that I can't do this. If someone were hurt, I would be civilly liable and my insurance company would surely decline coverage. I could also be criminally liable as unlicensed boat for hire.
Compounding that, by auctioning this off, I have no control over who the passengers would be. They could be non-swimmers. They could do dumb stuff, like stand up while we're gybing.
That voice in my head tells me I can't do this. Am I being too cautious?
Rick S., Swarthmore, PA
USCG Certified Captain, OUPV and 50 Ton Master
ASA Certified 101/103/104/105/106
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2001 Catalina 34MkII Tall Rig Wing Keel Breakin' Away, Universal Diesel M35B, Mantus 35 lb. anchor, sailing out of Rock Hall, MD