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Bareboat Charter

The 7 points you need to know

Uninspected Passenger Vessel & Bareboat Charters – Miami

The elements listed below are indicative but not conclusive of a valid bareboat charter arrangement. Conversely, a valid bareboat charter may exist where one or more of the listed elements is not met. In any particular case, each arrangement must be evaluated on its own merits.
1. The charterer must have the option of selecting the crew. Although a master or crew may be furnished by the owner, full possession and control must be vested in the charterer. This does not preclude the charterer from taking advice from the master and crew regarding hazardous conditions such as inclement weather, navigational obstructions, etc.
2. The master and crew are paid by the charterer.
3. All food, fuel, and stores are provided by the charterer.
4. All port charges and pilotage fees, if any, are paid by the charterer.
5. Insurance is obtained by the charterer, at least to the extent of covering liability not included in the owner’s insurance. A greater indication of full control in the charterer is shown if all insurance is carried by the charterer (of course, the owner retains every right to protect his or her interest in the vessel).
6. The charterer may discharge, for cause, the master or any crew member without referral to the owner.
7. Vessel is to be surveyed upon its delivery and return.
Any provision that tends to show retention of possession or control of the vessel such as the owner of the vessel being aboard during the charter of the vessel contradicts the claim that a valid bareboat charter exists.

Common Bareboat Charter Vessel Errors

Uninspected Passenger Vessel & Bareboat Charters – Miami
1) A chartered vessel may NOT carry more than 12 passengers without a Certificate of Inspection (COI).
2) A chartered vessel may NOT carry more than 12 passengers while moored. Charter vessel is carrying “passengers” whether moored or underway. This includes a Boat Bed and Breakfast.
3) The owner of the vessel may NOT be the vessel master or part of the crew. The vessel owner is not allowed on board during a charter.
4) A bareboat charter contract may not provide or dictate a crew. The charterer must be able to select a crew and have the ability to discharge the crew.
5) The charterer is not considered a passenger, and there can only be one charterer, even though the vessel may be chartered by several individuals. In this case, one person would be considered the charterer and the rest would be counted as passengers.
6) Chartered U.S. flag and foreign vessels for gust. Carry passengers for hire between U.S. ports are chartered and /or operate as a recreational vessel (per coastwise trade laws enforced by CBP). With passengers, foreign-built vessels (including U.S. state-numbered vessels) owned by U.S. citizens must meet coastwise trade rules before carrying passengers for hire (except if the vessel is moored; refer to CPB and the MARAD small passenger vessel waiver program).

FWC Clarification about New Livery Law Changes

Definition of Livery;

The term “Bareboat” is not defined or used in Florida Statutes, in the above definition, a person (i.e., owner, agent, firm, broker) is not a livery IF the renter is provided a specific captain and crew at the time of rental/lease contractual agreement. Regardless of if there are multiple individuals to choose from on the contractual agreement, if it’s actually a crew-provided rental this is not a livery as you are conducting passenger-for-hire operations which is exempted from livery regulations. As a reminder, if the contractual agreement requires the use of specific/named captain and crew you are not truly allowing the renter to select as required for a valid “bareboat” under federal definitions, you would be subject to Federal Regulations and Requirements as a passenger for hire vessel.
When a renter or lessee hires their own captain and crew or operates the vessel themselves as in a valid bareboat charter- the OWNER, AGENT, FIRM, etc., is a livery and must comply with livery regulations. (this would include if the owner, agent, firm etc. provides a list for referral of master and crew as required by bareboat charter requirements to which the renter has the option of choosing).
Plainly put, if you are a true “bareboat” by federal definition, you are a Livery by the State of Florida definition.
Lieutenant Seth Wagner
FWC/DLE Boating and Waterways
Florida’s Boating Law Administrator


Livery Law Changes – Definition “Livery” means any individual, partnership, firm, corporation, association, or other entity who advertises and offers for use by another a vessel in exchange for any type of consideration when such person does not also provide the lessee or renter with a captain, a crew, or any type of staff or personnel to operate, oversee, maintain, or manage the
For fall text see Florids Statute 327,5 4


Policy regs USCG consultant Captain Georges Brixhe, § reg USCG bareboat charters manifesto, cost analyses of charters city state and federal policy. Safety and economy. Chief information officer (CIO) mariner risk analysis § 46 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 175.400, 46 CFR 24.10 §


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