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Old 07-16-2017, 09:42 PM   #221
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When fishing with friends we always split the Fuel, bait and other expenses related to the fishing trip.
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:58 PM   #222
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I think there's some cultural differences between the cruising and fishing communities. While cruising, we'd NEVER think of mentioning fuel reimbursement and would refuse any offer of fuel repayment. If I invite someone cruising for a day, we are the hosts and you are our guest. If you really want to contribute, we'll enjoy a restaurant meal together on you. It's much appreciated, but certainly not expected.

When fishing, the unspoken standard is to split fuel, bait and launch costs evenly. It probably grew out of friends going out together in smaller boats who want to pitch in on the expenses so the boat owner doesn't absorb all the costs. I never quote a figure, but if pressed, will share the day's fuel cost. At $10 per hr, it rarely exceeds $50 total for the day. If someone brings lots of great bait, I won't take their offered fuel $$.

Do folks in other parts of the world see it the same?
Can't speak as to other parts of the world, but that's true in South Florida where they often go out to fish the Bahamas just on a day or two day trip and the costs mount up pretty fast. Still, I know captains (husband and wife) who occasionally take friends with them on their Viking and refuse any payment out of just extra precaution since they do have licenses at risk and people talk. As to dividing the fish up, there are generally more than anyone wants so that's not an issue.

I think your approach is reasonable. Actually, nearly 30 years ago, I heard a lawyer warn college students regarding sharing rides to and from school. They were told to never set an agreement in advance, that any money had to be completely voluntary. Apparently, he was fighting an insurer who refused to pay in a case with serious injury, saying the driver was running an illegal taxi service. He thought he'd ultimately win assuming he was able to get it in front of a jury but it would have been at tremendous cost. This was when I was in a Law Explorer's group in high school.

Right now a legal quagmire is those renting homes out through AirBnB and not getting an endorsement on their homeowner's policy.
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Old 07-17-2017, 05:50 AM   #223
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Summation by Brown University on boating laws.....

On December 20, 1993 the President signed the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993 (public law 103-206), changing the legal requirements for passenger and charter operations. The act establishes for the first time the definition of passenger for hire and requires many vessels operating under bareboat charter to be inspected by the Coast Guard as commercial passenger vessels. The law also changes the inspection requirements for certain vessels over 100 gross tons.

The new law has relaxed the prior strict treatment of situations were a guest provided food or chipped in for expenses. Previous law treated such such guests as passengers, requiring operator licenses and possibly vessel inspection.

Under the new law a passenger for hire is is a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, agent or any other persons having an interest in the vessel.

Consideration is 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 07-17-2017, 06:35 AM   #224
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I think the bottom line from my experience, is that a lot of the people who own these gas guzzling sportfish, can't really afford to take them out much without taking along others to help pay for the fuel. That's fine, I knew the deal that day. I just never expected we would be trying to set speed records everywhere we went.

I've never asked guests to help with my fuel costs. If I can't afford it, I just don't go and I damn sure don't invite others when I can't afford it. I realize my view on that subject is not universal.
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:49 AM   #225
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Consideration is 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.
That's the key is that if the contribution is absolutely voluntary and it's sharing only of actual expenses then it's not a charter. But everything else with money or other benefit exchanging hands is.

Voluntary is a difficult word to define. We know it's voluntary if no mention of it in advance and no amount set. We know it's not voluntary when you're told in advance that it's expected as your share to make the trip.

Where it becomes difficult is when a captain mentions it but says it's strictly voluntary. Is it really? Just because you call it voluntary doesn't make it so. Does he take people who don't contribute on future trips? Does he treat the non-contributor differently on the trip? Does he tell people what is typical clearly implying it's expected?

My feeling is that by mentioning it in advance in such a way that it doesn't sound voluntary, then it isn't. I'm not aware of any cases on borderline situations. I am aware of a charge where a college kid was charging his friends $200 for the day. I'm also aware of a captain who intentionally let his license lapse and continued to occasionally take people out. Funny thing is the only reason the CG even checked was he kept running his mouth about the cost of renewal and said he wasn't going to do it and he said that for everyone to hear, including a CG officer.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:29 AM   #226
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I would say its a little gray when friends discuss a trip and talk about splitting costs upfront....as in planning, not demanding.

As far as I know, that is very common and one of the reasons for the change.

I didnt look uo the CFR or whatever, but I dont believe the wording "prior to sailing" is used either way.....just voluntary, not necessarily completely equal, and that the contribution is actually a portion of the trip.

My guess is somehow "intent" got mixed into the reason for the new law and that can make things gray.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:42 AM   #227
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Scott

Your 100% correct and that's how lawyers make their money, very little is black and white or as my dad always said the words always and never should be removed from our vocabulary (except he was tight and I wasn't). LOL
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:49 AM   #228
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I would say its a little gray when friends discuss a trip and talk about splitting costs upfront....as in planning, not demanding.

As far as I know, that is very common and one of the reasons for the change.

I didnt look uo the CFR or whatever, but I dont believe the wording "prior to sailing" is used either way.....just voluntary, not necessarily completely equal, and that the contribution is actually a portion of the trip.

My guess is somehow "intent" got mixed into the reason for the new law and that can make things gray.
Intent, believe of the guests/passengers. I used prior to sailing simply because that can sometimes indicate whether it's voluntary or not. If you have to agree before I'll take you, then it wasn't voluntary.

While the law change, which wasn't a change for me as I didn't know anything about the law regarding this prior to 1993, it was clearly to allow some voluntary sharing of expenses by friends.

I think in person dealing with a specific situation it would be much easier to see if it complies with the law. If this is the first time the passengers have ever met the owner, then it's charter. If they're four college kids who have been friends for decades then it's likely not charter. If it's advertised anywhere, then it's charter. We know it when we see it, even if it's hard to put on paper.
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Old 07-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #229
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If I were going out with friends on my boat and I felt that before we left for the excursion, fishing or not, that I'd could welcome at least a little assistance on fuel costs: I'd tell them before we departed [actually well before the day began] that if when we return and fuel up any amount they may like to chip in would be appreciated. Then they could come or not and chip in or not. I've never asked for that... but then again our boats do not guzzle any where as much fuel as that fish-monster does.


Couple of interesting little anecdotes:


On one boat, at beginning of season, we put a "Fuel Cost Donation" box with slit in its top labeled and in plain site on a table in center of salon against a wall. Figured we'd simply leave it there non mentioned and unopened for the whole year... just to see what type of cash assistance was donated. Also must mention here that year there were not too many times [maybe four] we took friends out on cruising excursions in SF Bay. When we opened the box at beginning of the next year... there was about eight dollars and some change inside. We thought that test for passengers self actuated altruism had pretty comical results.


One time some friends took us on an excursion in SF Delta from Stockton up to Old Sacremento on their 23' Searay "Signature" speed-cruiser boat. We stayed on the "Delta King" for a couple nites. When returning Michael stopped about half way to fuel up. Cost rang in at $200 +/-. I immediately whipped out a $100 bill and tried to hand it to him. He would not accept it and said this was his gift to us. I said thanks and my wife gave it to his wife about an hour later! She took it in her and said what's this for... Linda said for anything you want. Mike mentioned I'd tried to "pawn" that off on him when he fueled up. Jen tried like heck to give it back but neither of us would accept it. We all got a good laugh.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:01 AM   #230
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Captains . licensing , and accepting money for boating.....


In our experience there is never a problem accepting money for a boat trip/plan/fishing/excursion/transportation/ect until there is a problem.

Otherwise said - nothing ever comes of any of these events unless/until there is a problem such as a boating accident , a breakdown, a personal injury or a ticket as a result of that days events.
There have been more than a couple of these within our extended boating acquaintances over the years and they do not end up with a good ending.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:04 AM   #231
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One day I took some good friends out in the boat and decided to fuel up on the way back in. My friend said as we tied up that he would pay for the fuel. When the pump read over $1000.00 he looked at me with a blank stare. I laughed and told him not to worry I didn't expect him to pay anyway. But it was funny!
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:17 AM   #232
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One day I took some good friends out in the boat and decided to fuel up on the way back in. My friend said as we tied up that he would pay for the fuel. When the pump read over $1000.00 he looked at me with a blank stare. I laughed and told him not to worry I didn't expect him to pay anyway. But it was funny!
Yes... that is funny.

Actually, unless a person is pretty well accustomed to the "power" boat world it is great fun to watch their reactions at cost of a fuel up. Unless you've been there and seen/done that the cost of fuel for a boat is earth shaking. Many people who do not know fuel costs for doing marine cruises are used to filling up their 40 mpg mini car with 10 gallon tank or the likes for $25 bucks. When the cost at fuel dock goes over the $200 mark and ends up in the $500 to $1000 range an inexperienced person is flabbergasted! The look on their face and the few words they murmur is nearly worth the cost of the fuel... almost that is!
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:38 AM   #233
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When it's an agreed payment, then it's chartering. If you have an agreement they'll pitch in, it's a charter. Doesn't have to be direct. If you agree that in return for you taking them out, they'll pay for dinner, that's chartering. Any payment that is part of an agreement to take them out.

If you take people out and they with no advance agreement just decide out of the goodness of their heart to pay for fuel or meals or something, then that's permissible.

The better process is just to take friends out, expecting nothing in return, then perhaps totally separate they take you out another time for dinner or theater or something.
BandB,

That's kinda what I thought.

We have a very similar situation in aviation charter operations and it's quite strict. If there's a benefit to the owner (or even a renter), then it's charter.

If a bunch of people share a ride in someone's plane, with a common destination, they can share direct expenses only... fuel, oil and consumables for that trip. No depreciation or ownership costs. Not charter.

And, a bunch of people and share a rented plane with someone and share the total rental cost. Not charter.

Also, a bunch of people can rent a plane and hire a pilot. The rent is paid to the owner and the pilot is paid directly. Not charter. If the pilot provides the plane, it IS charter.

I had an aircraft charter company a long time ago, and it was a hoot. Had great customers and a back up pilot. Also flew corporate at the same time and ran a printing company. One of the best times of my life. Busy but fun, and all made money. I had one flamboyant lawyer customer that would have me stop at the bank on the way to the airport and he'd get 10 $100 bills. If I gave him a good ride, I'd get one on each leg. (He went broke, BTW). My corporate guy would have me drop him somewhere, like NY or DC and say take the plane, expenses paid for a few days and pick me up later and take me home, and my wife was the copilot.

Now, back to boating.....
Suspect, from what you say, it's real similar to aircraft charter.
I'm thinking of chartering my boat when I'm done with the loop instead of selling it, a few years down the road and getting another "day" boat for cruising the ICW. The trawler is too big for the ICW stuff, restaurants, sandbars, etc., but would be nice to have for an occasionally trip somewhere. I'd hire a captain to do the charter. We'll see.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:33 AM   #234
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Captains . licensing , and accepting money for boating.....


In our experience there is never a problem accepting money for a boat trip/plan/fishing/excursion/transportation/ect until there is a problem.

Otherwise said - nothing ever comes of any of these events unless/until there is a problem such as a boating accident , a breakdown, a personal injury or a ticket as a result of that days events.
There have been more than a couple of these within our extended boating acquaintances over the years and they do not end up with a good ending.
No, they end up illegal and uninsured. Now, in South Florida, the CG does check boats that they suspect are carrying passengers as charters. Most turn out fine. I know a couple of people who charter 26' or so boats for evening cruises but fully licensed in every way.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:46 AM   #235
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No, they end up illegal and uninsured. Now, in South Florida, the CG does check boats that they suspect are carrying passengers as charters. Most turn out fine. I know a couple of people who charter 26' or so boats for evening cruises but fully licensed in every way.

Yes - they end up illegal and uninsured and nothing happens unless there is a problem.
Many people do these things and it becomes 'common knowledge' to others who then think its AOK.
Until there is a problem.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:02 AM   #236
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10 years ago I looked into beginning a charter business in SF Bay. Had opportunity to purchase a truly beautiful Stephens 65' boat. And, had a couple of local captains. Figured that if I could make it so that at least if the business could break even, or maybe make a small profit, it would be great to have such a boat in SF Bay for also taking my business associates aboard and occasionally my family and friends.

Well... after I tallied up all costs to be completely legal and well insured along as keeping the boat in pristine condition it was just not going to work out unless either I got captains license and piloted the boat or the boat was promoted heavily needing to be chartered very often using hired captains.

Both those alternatives did not please me. Soooo... I shelved that concept!
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:21 AM   #237
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10 years ago I looked into beginning a charter business in SF Bay. Had opportunity to purchase a truly beautiful Stephens 65' boat. And, had a couple of local captains. Figured that if I could make it so that at least if the business could break even, or maybe make a small profit, it would be great to have such a boat in SF Bay for also taking my business associates aboard and occasionally my family and friends.

Well... after I tallied up all costs to be completely legal and well insured along as keeping the boat in pristine condition it was just not going to work out unless either I got captains license and piloted the boat or the boat was promoted heavily needing to be chartered very often using hired captains.

Both those alternatives did not please me. Soooo... I shelved that concept!
Wifey B: We have one friend who is licensed and does it simply because he's bored and he likes to have others boating with him. He says he meets very nice people doing it. We also have two friends who use to run fishing charters in NC. Husband and wife, each had a boat at one time.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:59 PM   #238
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Yes... that is funny.

Actually, unless a person is pretty well accustomed to the "power" boat world it is great fun to watch their reactions at cost of a fuel up. Unless you've been there and seen/done that the cost of fuel for a boat is earth shaking. Many people who do not know fuel costs for doing marine cruises are used to filling up their 40 mpg mini car with 10 gallon tank or the likes for $25 bucks. When the cost at fuel dock goes over the $200 mark and ends up in the $500 to $1000 range an inexperienced person is flabbergasted! The look on their face and the few words they murmur is nearly worth the cost of the fuel... almost that is!
A long time ago I had a Willard 30 which I kept in Michigan City, Indiana. One time our yacht club organized a weekend trip to Chicago (34 nm). The trip was to conclude with a barbecue back in Michigan City on Sunday night. Having a Willard I left early in the afternoon to get back to Michigan City for the barbecue. I took plenty of ribbing as boat after boat flew past me on the return trip. Several adopted the joke from one of my friends that I was the Vice Commodore of PowerLESS on the VHF.

My revenge came later in that I was the last to appear, but instead of pulling into my slip I pulled into the fuel dock which is right next to the barbecue area and with plenty of spectators filled my tank with 9 gallons of diesel for the 68 miles.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:11 PM   #239
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As a birthday present, my sister offered a "fill-up" for my newly-acquired boat. Told her not to bother unless she had $1000 to spare. Received a token gift instead.

Took some of our homeowners board members for a day trip on the boat. At the next board meeting unexpectedly received a box of "Two-Buck Chuck."
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:10 PM   #240
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Briefly saw 13+ knots SOG coming out of the Old Port in Montreal last week with the monster current running up there now. After that experience, I felt quite comfortable landing back at 7+ . We were passed by numerous express cruisers, fishing boats and even a few people on bicycles (Chambly Canal). My wife and I enjoy the slow boat and wouldn't have it any other way.

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