Common Bareboat Charter Vessel Errors

Many boat owners and charterers do not fully understand what constitutes a true bareboat charter.  The following six rules will help this type of charter run smoothly, safely, and legally.

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, 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 vessel is moored with passengers; refer to CPB and the MARAD small passenger vessel waiver program).

If you’re considering a bareboat charter, these six guidelines, taken from the US Coast Guard, will assure the safety and legal boundaries necessary for a successful charter.  Let Blue Ocean Yacht Charters help you find the perfect boat for your next bareboat charter in beautiful Key West, Florida.