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Old 10-06-2019, 04:41 PM   #1
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Boat AirBnB?

Thinking about future uses of the boat to make a little money to offset some expenses. I have heard some people AirBnB their boats as they travel. What would be the issues with doing this? Insurance is one. Would a captain license and CG cert for passenger duty be required, if the boat remains docked with guests onboard? I could do this under my SC business license (LLC) but what about outside of SC waters?


I know some people "accept donations" for rides to offset their costs. This is a gray area at best and possibly a bad deal if things go bad.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:17 PM   #2
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I used to insure these types of risks- the key words are “used to”.

No matter the contract, it was inevitable that a guest would try to operate the boat, or not comply with the contract. High loss ratios in this line of insurance- not worth it, so we dropped the coverage.

Your standard vessel insurance policy will not cover this type of vessel usage, as it is a commercial usage.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:23 PM   #3
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Insurance, licensing and liability issues will be your biggest problem. For land based rentals, some maybe most insurance companies will cover occasional guests, or if not I think AirBnB does. But for a boat, I am pretty sure that any insurance company will quote their policy where it says "no coverage for commercial use" And renting is commercial use. Will AirBnB cover you then? Better talk to AirBnB and get it in writing.


I don't think the captain rules apply to boats docked at a marina. But they sure do once you get underway. You will need at least a 6 pack license.


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Old 10-06-2019, 05:32 PM   #4
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Greetings,
Mr. b2. Is it really worth the potential hassle for any income you may generate? Extra laundry. Clogged/flooded heads. Damages, either accidental or willful. Guests slipping on a wet deck and resultant injuries. Extra wear and tear on the boat, in general...



To accept those type of things, personally, I'd only feel comfortable charging $5000/night and THAT'S with multiple good references and better insurance.


Where oh where are you going to put guests on a 28' boat?
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:36 PM   #5
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At Stock Island Marina they allow boats to be used for BNBs, and they split the fee. Not sure how it is done, but alot of catamarans and some trawlers are doing it. Even had a wedding on one in 100 degree heat.

I think it works cause hotel costs can be $250+/night. Boats seldom left the dock, some probably couldn't.
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Old 10-06-2019, 05:58 PM   #6
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At Stock Island Marina they allow boats to be used for BNBs, and they split the fee. Not sure how it is done, but alot of catamarans and some trawlers are doing it. Even had a wedding on one in 100 degree heat.

I think it works cause hotel costs can be $250+/night. Boats seldom left the dock, some probably couldn't.
Interesting- does Stock Island Marina cover the insurance risks?

Just because the marina permits it does not mean the insurance will automatically cover the exposure.

We used to require the following:
  • The vessel must be operational in all aspects, but be disabled so the overnight guest could not take the vessel out.
  • No BBQ or cooking fuel onboard- microwave usage only.
  • The vessel must be under the care of an on-site manager at all times.

And we still had problems.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:18 PM   #7
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No idea. Would not let anyone stay on my boat without me.
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Old 10-06-2019, 06:36 PM   #8
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I don't think the captain rules apply to boats docked at a marina. But they sure do once you get underway. You will need at least a 6 pack license.


David
Considerable legal debate over this. Some CG officers have taken the firm stance that if a captain or owner is on board, it's a charter and subject to all the rules of chartering, whether it moves or not.

There are sites covering person to person rentals. Boatsetter is one such site and they offer a Boat US Peer-to-Peer Insurance policy through Geico. Now, this may be something Pau Hana is saying is no longer offered.
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Old 10-06-2019, 09:36 PM   #9
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The issue with a boat is that it's just no user friendly like a house. Too many "boat specific" things that need to be done. Operation of the head for starters, electrical, AC, and on and on.


So you need to educate the guess. Too much of a PITA.



One would be MUCH better to just charter the boat out with an experienced captain and do things right.



For and Ab&b I could argue to just have a house. You'll get pretty close to the same revenue, have WAY less issues and much easier.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:24 PM   #10
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Considerable legal debate over this. Some CG officers have taken the firm stance that if a captain or owner is on board, it's a charter and subject to all the rules of chartering, whether it moves or not.

There are sites covering person to person rentals. Boatsetter is one such site and they offer a Boat US Peer-to-Peer Insurance policy through Geico. Now, this may be something Pau Hana is saying is no longer offered.
The peer-to-peer rental program is still available; itís a different program from the one I ran. Peer-to-peer requires the vessel owner to have 2 policies- a private pleasure program, AND a bareboat policy for the peer-to-peer usage.

These are day usage only.
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Old 10-06-2019, 10:33 PM   #11
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I've seen AirBNB listings for boats. Usually they say that no attempt is to be made to operate the boat away from the slip.

If you wanted to take the boat out, it'd be a charter and a whole different sort of deal.

If it were my boat I'd disable the engine somehow just to be sure. Maybe have one of the mooring lines be a locked chain.
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Old 10-07-2019, 04:45 AM   #12
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USCG Regulations typically use the term "passengers for hire" when referencing charters, which the typical meaning would be transport or "passage."

Also I note on my Ocean Operator License that I am Licensed to "operate and navigate," not really specifying dockside use.

USCG Regulations do not typically apply to vessels taking 6 "passengers" or less.

There used to be a MacGregor 36 catamaran, basically a Hobie Cat on steroids, listed on Airbnb in the Lower Keys, it was moored and had a tent pitched on the trampoline and you got to it on a kayak. I guess it would be billed as "adventure lodging."

I don't know about how insurance would impact these rentals, but Airbnb seems to be kind of successful and liability exists in any accommodation rental, perhaps they have an insurance program or a requirement for a minimum liability policy.

I have use Airbnb in trips to Europe and have always been happy with the accommodations. The properties have always been accurately described and almost always overdelivered.

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Old 10-07-2019, 04:55 AM   #13
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I wouldn't even trust a dumb dirt dwelling monkey to operate a toilet let alone anything else aboard.
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:24 AM   #14
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Quite a few of the old square riggers and other attraction boats (Bounty as a good example) are inspected and approved as dockside attractions only. In other words, they are not sufficiently seaworthy to carry passengers beyond what a 6-pack allows.


By implication, this means that as soon as a paying person sets foot on the boat, it's subject to passenger vessel regs. Even if you can get away with it otherwise, should there be an issue l(law suit) you can be sure this will come up, and work against you. So I would assume you need to meet all the charter requirements, just like if the boat were to leave the dock.


I think the Air B&B thing could work, but not as a casual dabble. You would have to figure in all the costs to make it a ligit operation, and rent enough time to make it all pay. I don't know how much rental time would be required, but I'd guess it would be significant, require marketing and promotion, etc. When something looks like free and easy money, you can be pretty sure it isn't. There is a reason we call it "work".
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:55 AM   #15
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Nope couldn’t do it. Too much time and money went into my boat.

There are quite a few things you can do to pick up some extra money especially now with the holidays around the corner and most of those things are a lot easier than running a weekly rental on your boat!
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Old 10-07-2019, 06:56 AM   #16
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USCG Regulations typically use the term "passengers for hire" when referencing charters, which the typical meaning would be transport or "passage."

Also I note on my Ocean Operator License that I am Licensed to "operate and navigate," not really specifying dockside use.

USCG Regulations do not typically apply to vessels taking 6 "passengers" or less.

There used to be a MacGregor 36 catamaran, basically a Hobie Cat on steroids, listed on Airbnb in the Lower Keys, it was moored and had a tent pitched on the trampoline and you got to it on a kayak. I guess it would be billed as "adventure lodging."

I don't know about how insurance would impact these rentals, but Airbnb seems to be kind of successful and liability exists in any accommodation rental, perhaps they have an insurance program or a requirement for a minimum liability policy.

I have use Airbnb in trips to Europe and have always been happy with the accommodations. The properties have always been accurately described and almost always overdelivered.

USCG regulations certainly do apply for OUPV or ANY charter operation. In the 6 pack world, the license holder must be in direct command of the vessel at all times per 46 USC.

Twistedtree is absolutely correct in that USCG parameters for passenger vessels apply whether the vessel is dockside or underway as soon as payment is taken. A San Diego maritime attorney tackled this question in the Log newspaper in San Diego Back in 2009:

https://www.thelog.com/ask-the-attor...ast-operation/
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:49 AM   #17
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No idea. Would not let anyone stay on my boat without me.


Hotel rooms get trashed by 'guests' Think what they could do to your boat.

The only possible way you could make money is if the boat was big enough that you could stay on the boat to supervise the 'guests' and that's another can of worms with your insurance company and the USCG.
Per accepting donations to cover the costs, we see those folks on the 6pm news.... Accepting any donations of any monetary value may be considered a charter. Best advice, dont try it.
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Old 10-07-2019, 07:54 AM   #18
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I'd sooner let them drive my car.
I hear ya and my car is a 2 week old Mercedes!
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:00 AM   #19
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I hear ya and my car is a 2 week old Mercedes!
A Mercedes and a sizable boat? You must be wealthy. LOL
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Old 10-07-2019, 08:10 AM   #20
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There are a couple of marinas I know of in Maine which rent out boats. They never get underway. My guess is they're disabled so they can't. One has custom-made un-powered barges on moorings, and the barge rental comes with kayaks and small powered fishing boats. The other has regular houseboats and possibly converted cruising power boats at their docks. The first place rents through their own web site, the other I've seen on AirBnB.

I'm sure they've "dumbed down" all the on-board systems to reduce problems like clogged heads and dead batteries. They have commercial insurance for their business, and a full-time staff. For them, it seems to work fine. For the average boat owner, no way.
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