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Old 01-23-2019, 12:50 PM   #1
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Question Illegal Charters on Lake of the Ozarks MO

This is interesting. I have been on this lake and it sucks if you don't like constant wave action.

So according to the article, if you take friends out and they buy the fuel or the beer could you be considered an illegal charter?


https://www.workboat.com/blogs/the-n...NyT3gifQ%3D%3D
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Old 01-23-2019, 12:54 PM   #2
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As far as I know, as long as sharing of expenses is not a condition of carriage and the owner does not have monetary gain, then it is not a charter.....ie no passengers for hire
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Old 01-23-2019, 01:55 PM   #3
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So according to the article, if you take friends out and they buy the fuel or the beer could you be considered an illegal charter?


https://www.workboat.com/blogs/the-n...NyT3gifQ%3D%3D
I don't see that in the article. Can you provide a quoted text?

These guys had a dozen or more strangers aboard who were compensating them for the trip and they were unlicensed and not inspected. That's a far cry from my friends and me going fishing for the day on my boat and sharing expenses for the day's trip.

Please show me what I missed...
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:36 PM   #4
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The CG has for many years determined that friends sharingexpenses are not for hire. The examples cited in the story had 15 and 24 passengers on the boats, not exactly friends sharing expenses.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:38 PM   #5
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As far as I know, as long as sharing of expenses is not a condition of carriage and the owner does not have monetary gain, then it is not a charter.....ie no passengers for hire
Paul,

What are the details of sharing expenses? Can one ask for a percentage of "cost of operating", maintenance, insurance, depreciation, etc?

I'd bet that "sharing" is only consumables for the most part. There's probably a "common goal" required, where the owner must have an interest in the trip. If he takes a bunch to a restaurant where he is only going for the boat ride, could that could be considered charter?

How about if a guy just rents a boat and divides the cost between his passengers and himself, each paying an equal share. That "could" be a non charter operation, until they find his girlfriend owns the boat and he financed her to buy it.

And if the operator doesn't know the passengers, that's another red flag.

We see this in aviation all the time and the rules are VERY strict, and suspect boating is similar.

Now there's talk of Uber airplanes and I'd bet Uber boats are to follow.... so wonder how that will be regulated.
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Old 01-23-2019, 02:52 PM   #6
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Old 01-23-2019, 04:05 PM   #7
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U.S. Code Title 46. SHIPPING Subtitle II. Vessels and Seamen Part A. General Provisions Chapter 21. GENERAL Section 2101. General definitions

(30) “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.
(5)“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.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:04 PM   #8
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I've been fishing much of my life and we almost always without fail, share the cost of fuel and bait. Usually it's BYO food and drink.

When cruising, I NEVER accept money for the day's expenses. If the guest wants to buy lunch or dinner, I'm usually for it, but it's never expected.
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Old 01-23-2019, 05:47 PM   #9
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Paul,

What are the details of sharing expenses? Can one ask for a percentage of "cost of operating", maintenance, insurance, depreciation, etc?

I'd bet that "sharing" is only consumables for the most part. There's probably a "common goal" required, where the owner must have an interest in the trip. If he takes a bunch to a restaurant where he is only going for the boat ride, could that could be considered charter?

How about if a guy just rents a boat and divides the cost between his passengers and himself, each paying an equal share. That "could" be a non charter operation, until they find his girlfriend owns the boat and he financed her to buy it.

And if the operator doesn't know the passengers, that's another red flag.

We see this in aviation all the time and the rules are VERY strict, and suspect boating is similar.

Now there's talk of Uber airplanes and I'd bet Uber boats are to follow.... so wonder how that will be regulated.
See post #7.

If the passengers have no expectations of the skippers competence, I suspect that could be called into question.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:20 PM   #10
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See post #7.

If the passengers have no expectations of the skippers competence, I suspect that could be called into question.
Paul,

That makes a lot of sense.

I could argue that if the skipper is offering a cruise to an unknown party for the benefit of even receiving direct costs, it could be considered charter. If his friends are paying the whole fuel bill so he can get time on the water, not so, but the feds probably think otherwise.

There's an argument that a charter company taking unsuspecting passengers onto the great seas that are unaware of the risks should be held to a higher standard... as is the bus driver, airline pilot and guy who rigs your parachute for your sky diving lesson.
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Old 01-23-2019, 06:27 PM   #11
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Don't disagree.

Friends paying for everything probably wouldn't even get you in trouble as long as you can show they are well acquainted friends.

But things are getting cloudy as Uber, Lyft, Air B&B, etc, etc are acceptable despite flying in the face of well established laws.
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:06 PM   #12
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I think you have hit on a new business......selling BoatLyfts
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:18 PM   #13
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I require certain guests to donate their bikini tops....
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Old 01-23-2019, 07:44 PM   #14
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That change to the definition occurred in the early 1990's. Before that the official interpretation was "any" compensation required a license. It was routinely ignored.
I think your insurance co may have a problem with you if you have a claim while running under the table "for profit" charters. I would bet the IRS too.
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Old 01-23-2019, 09:24 PM   #15
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I require certain guests to donate their bikini tops....
You must still be young. If you traveled with my age group, you might not want to do that.

Just sayin'...

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Old 01-23-2019, 10:55 PM   #16
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First thing that happens is that the boarding officers separate the passengers from the crew. Since the passengers usually have no idea that the vessel is operating illegally, they usually provide the information required to demonstrate that the voyage is in fact a charter. Posts and ads found on the internet is just icing on the cake.
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Old 01-24-2019, 07:33 AM   #17
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USCG has been shutting down illegal charters heavily on the Great Lakes this past summer. I've gotten numerous emails from them on the topic.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:16 AM   #18
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I don't see that in the article. Can you provide a quoted text?

These guys had a dozen or more strangers aboard who were compensating them for the trip and they were unlicensed and not inspected. That's a far cry from my friends and me going fishing for the day on my boat and sharing expenses for the day's trip.

Please show me what I missed...
Sorry Al. Meant it more of a question than a statement. Good discussion.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:36 AM   #19
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We see this in aviation all the time and the rules are VERY strict, and suspect boating is similar.
And you would suspect correctly. The rules are not identical, perhaps a bit less strict, but they are very similar.


Very much a second-hand story, so take it for what it's worth, but...


I had a friend who went out on a fishing trip with a guy that he knew. There were five total on the boat. My friend did not know any of the others. They were all required to pony up a set amount of money before they went out. The boat-owner told them this was to "pay for gas," but it was just a set amount -- not fill-up after the trip and split the cost.


On their return the Coast Guard was waiting for them. Separated the owner from the others, and started asking questions. In the end my friend and the three others were sent home with the warning that they were involved in an illegal charter, and shouldn't go out with someone who requires payment up-front, unless that person has a CG license and is operating a legitimate charter business.


My friend never heard just what happened to the boat-owner, but the CG was still there, with no indication that they were leaving anytime soon, when my friend drove away from the marina.
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Old 01-24-2019, 10:52 AM   #20
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Quote:
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So according to the article, if you take friends out and they buy the fuel or the beer could you be considered an illegal charter?
Quote:
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Sorry Al. Meant it more of a question than a statement.
I can see why the question was misleading.
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