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Old 07-24-2015, 04:59 PM   #1
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Bumming Fuel Money From Guests?

If I invite a group of people to come out for a day on the water. . .picnic, swimming, motor over the Waterside to watch fireworks, etc. . .can I ask for a fuel surcharge or should I eat the fuel costs?

Ok, let me rephrase that, since I can ask them whatever. . .is it rude, or is there any etiquette involved?

Not a big deal if I eventually ended up with a single diesel trawler. It would be a bigger issue with twin 454's

I know with any fishing boats I've had or have been invited out on, it wasn't even a question. . .you at least offered to chip in $10-$20. Just curious.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:16 PM   #2
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If you invite, you pay for fuel - ie for the boat. OK to ask for fuel for the guests, and hosts, ie food and booze.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:36 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool beans View Post
it wasn't even a question. . .you at least offered to chip in $10-$20. Just curious.
I've never had anyone offer to pay for fuel. You could ride with me anytime!
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:43 PM   #4
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If I invite for a local fun cruise, I pay for fuel, especially for short things like day trips. Guests generally bring food and drinks.

A gulf stream fishing trip with the buds, I expect for all of us to share fuel expense, at least somewhat. Or contribute somehow.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:03 PM   #5
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Don't be so cheap!


"You're invited to come on a day trip on my boat if you pay your way." ???


I wouldn't accept a guest's offer to pay for fuel costs on a day trip.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:13 PM   #6
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Do you charge guests that you invite to stay in your house a fee to cover some expense of your home?

When I invite guests, I expect to pay for everything. It never works out that way as my friends won't stand for that. So we tend to fight over who can grab the check at the restaurant first. Think it's a much happier time when there's a scuffle to grab the check as opposed to the host putting his hand out for money. If you have guests who don't offer to chip in, well I guess you have to decide if they are a friend or a freeloader.

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Old 07-24-2015, 06:15 PM   #7
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I wouldn't ask for, or accept, any contribution for a local cruise. I wouldn't do a local cruise without wives, and in that that context (couples socializing together) I think it would be inappropriate to expect or permit cost sharing. More likely people will bring some food or drink. But if you are going to ask, I strongly suggest that the request be made before with the invitation and not after it is accepted.

On fishing trips, which for me are always just a group of guys and involve multiple days offshore and thousands of dollars of direct, out of pocket expense, cost sharing is understood and expected (with exceptions for college kids and poverty stricken adults), but I always make that clear when the invitation is extended.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:15 PM   #8
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We have never asked our guests to pay for fuel nor have we taken any money from them when they've offered. Our philosophy is that my wife and I are going to make the cruise anyway and it doesn't require any more fuel for the boat to haul around four people as it does two. Just as we have never charged or accepted money from friends we've taken to SE Alaska on our floatplane trips. The extra seats in the plane are going anyway so somebody might as well sit in them.

We do, however, let our guests pay for their share of the food we all eat either on the boat or at a restaurant. We never ask them to, but we've never had guests who have not offered.

But the cost of fuel, be it a day trip to a nearby island or two weeks in BC, is not something we expect our guests to chip in for. If we can't afford the fuel it takes to run the boat then we shouldn't be boating, is our way of thinking.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:17 PM   #9
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If you have to worry about fuel costs, you probably cannot afford the boat.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:52 PM   #10
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Nope, never. I burn 1 to 1.5 gph, single engine trawler. So, at 1.5 gph*8 hours cruise*$3/gallon=$36.00. Pretty cheap thrills. I am a tightwad, no doubt, but I never ask. Booze & whatnot, byob.
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:52 PM   #11
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I had a friend and slip mate that had a Pacemaker sport fish with big 454 gassers. He and a friend were talking. They thought it would be fun to take the boat from Chattanooga to Huntsville, AL to see a mutual friend. This friend knew nothing about boats, so offered to pay for the fuel. His offer was accepted. They were all happy loading the boat for the trip. When they got to Huntsville they put 300 gal. of fuel in the boat. I think the color drained out of his friend's face. Upon returning it was another 300 gal. I never saw his friend around his boat again.

We have had couples cruise with us for thousands of miles. We have taken some to the Bahamas. Never asked or accepted money. I did have one guy slip up to the marina office and pay the slip rental. That was a nice surprise.

I don't like the idea of turning guests into paying passengers.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:05 PM   #12
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After purchasing the boat, my sister offered to give me a fuel fill-up for my birthday. Told her she should rethink her offer because the bill would be in the neighborhood of $1200. She did!
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:15 PM   #13
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As others have said, for day trips we pay. For offshore fishing trips (we did one last week) we split the bill. We are all friends and have been doing this for over 20 years together. If a new guy came along we would let him know the rules before hand.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:17 PM   #14
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If you ask for money before the trip...the USCG looks as that as a charter.

Voluntary contributions of food, booze and help pay gas are OK as long as it isn't a prerequisite to come along.

Good friends understand your money situation and the costs of running a boat...hopefully
they will contribute one way or another. Anyone else will just be a cost unless they are savy to the whole thing.

Even if it is only token...some people can't afford boating at other people's level.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:19 PM   #15
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Two answers. The friendly one: Sure. It helps defray the cost.

The legal answer: (In the U.S. At least).
Exchanging anything for a ride (fuel, food, money, dockage fees, expenses) makes the 'fee for hire'.

Are you licensed? Is your vessel up to passenger carrying safety levels? Does your insurance cover this?

Very boring, mundane stuff. But, 'if' something happened, you are treated in court in a whole different way as if you just 'brought someone along'.
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:21 PM   #16
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I am Dutch but this question is double Dutch..
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Old 07-24-2015, 07:27 PM   #17
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Two answers. The friendly one: Sure. It helps defray the cost.

The legal answer: (In the U.S. At least).
Exchanging anything for a ride (fuel, food, money, dockage fees, expenses) makes the 'fee for hire'.

Are you licensed? Is your vessel up to passenger carrying safety levels? Does your insurance cover this?

Very boring, mundane stuff. But, 'if' something happened, you are treated in court in a whole different way as if you just 'brought someone along'.
old news...check with the USCG.....

Guests can contribute...it just can't be a contingency of the voyage...in other words "voluntary"......


From USCG WEBSITE......

The question of when an individual becomes a “passenger for hire” has caused confusion
but is actually straightforward. “Passenger for hire” means a passenger for whom
consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage, whether directly or indirectly
flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having interest in the
vessel (46 CFR 24.10-1). For example, requiring strangers to share expenses constitutes
a “passenger for hire” operation.
“Consideration” means an economic benefit or profit including payment
of money or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or supplies. It does NOT
include a voluntary sharing of the actual expense of the voyage (46 CFR
175.400).
Therefore, if a passenger provides any money, fuel, or supplies as a condition for them to
get underway with that vessel, the vessel is operating as a passenger vessel and requires a
Coast Guard-licensed operator. If more than six passengers are carried, the vessel will
require certification as a Coast Guard inspected vessel in addition to a licensed operator.
In both situations, if an individual gives the owner, charterer, operator, agent or anyone
else who has an interest in the vessel any money, fuel, or supplies that the passenger did
not freely choose to share as part of the actual cost of the trip, the vessel is carrying a
passenger for hire and must meet the following requirements:
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:26 PM   #18
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Cruising: I never ask, nor would I accept, money for fuel. If you'd like to buy lunch or dinner after the cruise, that will be graciously accepted and appreciated. I've invited you along on my boat for a pleasure cruise. I'm treating to the boating expenses. But feel free to bring your own beverage of choice as we have limited variety onboard.

Fishing: We all share the cost of bait and fuel...it's the unwritten rule of fishing with a buddy on one or the other's boat. Sometimes I'll cover the launch fees on a friend's boat and he'll pass on the fuel repayment. But we share the fishing costs. If you fish on my boat, we normally share the bait and fuel, but I always round down. Oh...and when we fish, it's always BYOB and food.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:39 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cool beans View Post
If I invite a group of people to come out for a day on the water. . .picnic, swimming, motor over the Waterside to watch fireworks, etc. . .can I ask for a fuel surcharge or should I eat the fuel costs?

I know with any fishing boats I've had or have been invited out on, it wasn't even a question. . .you at least offered to chip in $10-$20. Just curious.
Were it only so easy cool beans... the straight answer is no. Legalities are involved. Look up chartering to see if it is something you want to do.

The way I've seen it handled is to have a friend of the owner pass around a hat collecting for fuel while on the way back to the dock. Sometimes the net is okay, but if you're hoping to break even, well, good luck with that.

Having someone chip in is great when it's all are contemporaries with similar backgrounds. Once you buy a boat, especially a larger one, and suddenly you're Richie Rich. You're perceived as wealthy and the offers for fuel stop -- just when you could use them the most!

At least that's what I've seen. YOU cannot/should not pass the hat. Let a buddy do it for you.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:54 PM   #20
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I`ve had offers of contributions. I tell them no thanks, we were going anyway and it costs no more for fuel with a couple more people onboard.
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