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Frequently Asked Questions

Bareboat Charter

The 7 points you need to know

Uninspected Passenger Vessel & Bareboat Charters – Miami·Sunday, September 9, 2018

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. The 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·Friday, June 28, 2019
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. A charter vessel is considered to be 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) Both U.S. flag and foreign vessels may be chartered. However, a foreign flagged vessel cannot carry passengers for hire between U.S. ports and must be chartered and /or operate as a recreational vessel (per coastwise trade laws enforced by CBP). 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 with passengers; refer to CPB and the MARAD small passenger vessel waiver program).

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