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Guest Etiquette

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Old 08-24-2010, 10:09 AM
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I have had discussions on this topic with many people and opinions vary...So here is the scenario:

You invite guests onboard your go-fast boat. Do the guests help pay for gas, bring food, bring alcohol, or nothing?

I have always wondered this (sorry if this topic has been covered before)...Personally I tell guests upfront that they have to split the cost of everything including: food, fuel, and alcohol. Honestly our boat doesnt consume much fuel so it ends up being only $25 per person for fuel. I also expect to split the cost of food, etc, as weekend would become too expensive to manage. On our boat we also dont charge females to come onboard (IDK why). For poker runs it is expected that everyone splits gas and entry fees.

What do you guys do?
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:21 AM
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The owner of the boat covers the fuel and guest pay or provided everything else like food, docking fees etc. If someone offers some money for fuel to help that is always appreciated but not expected. On the other hand if a bunch of guys are going out for the day fishing then all cost of the trip is split evenly and if you catch a fish that is able to be sold, the money is also split evenly.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:27 AM
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It is tacky to ask for fuel money. You enjoy driving your boat don't you? You should pay for the gas IMO. I do hint that it would be appreciated if a guest could provide some beverages and bring at least enough money to pay his own way if going ashore for dinner, etc. is planned. Money offered is also appreciated but I never ask for gas money. Also, if they don't already have enough sense, all guest are asked to remove shoes before boarding.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:29 AM
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As a recreational boat owner, you need to know the difference between a passenger and a passenger for hire. Otherwise you may find yourself at odds with the authorities, a circumstance that could lead to fines and/or inadequate insurance coverage.

The Federal Safe Boating Act of 1971 advises that a passenger is a guest onboard a vessel that is being used exclusively for recreational purposes (non-commercial) who does not contribute any consideration, either directly or indirectly, for his or her passage. If there is consideration paid, the boat is a commercial venture and the captain and any crew must have the U.S. Coast Guard license designated for that purpose. This sounds simple enough, but there are shades of gray that can cause the unwary captain some difficulty.

For instance, if you take out a group of people for an afternoon on the water, charging each a certain amount of money for the privilege, it is an obvious case of passengers for hire. But what if your passengers decide to chip in for gas? Are they contributing consideration? What about if they bring food or beer?

For legal purposes, "consideration" includes economic benefits, inducements, rights or profits accruing to the owner and/or the captain. In 1999 Congress refined that definition to permit voluntary sharing of expenses on a voyage via contributions of money, fuel, food, drinks or supplies.

The key word, here, is "voluntary." If a passenger offers to help with expenses in some way, that is a voluntary act. If, on the other hand the owner/captain initiates the topic with a requirement for a contribution or even a suggestion that a contribution would be appreciated, the donation would no longer be considered a voluntary sharing of expenses, and the passenger(s) would then become passenger(s) for hire.

Keep on the right side of the law. If your passengers volunteer to share expenses, express your appreciation, but let them know they are under no obligation nor is there any expectation that they do so.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
As a recreational boat owner, you need to know the difference between a passenger and a passenger for hire. Otherwise you may find yourself at odds with the authorities, a circumstance that could lead to fines and/or inadequate insurance coverage.

The Federal Safe Boating Act of 1971 advises that a passenger is a guest onboard a vessel that is being used exclusively for recreational purposes (non-commercial) who does not contribute any consideration, either directly or indirectly, for his or her passage. If there is consideration paid, the boat is a commercial venture and the captain and any crew must have the U.S. Coast Guard license designated for that purpose. This sounds simple enough, but there are shades of gray that can cause the unwary captain some difficulty.

For instance, if you take out a group of people for an afternoon on the water, charging each a certain amount of money for the privilege, it is an obvious case of passengers for hire. But what if your passengers decide to chip in for gas? Are they contributing consideration? What about if they bring food or beer?

For legal purposes, "consideration" includes economic benefits, inducements, rights or profits accruing to the owner and/or the captain. In 1999 Congress refined that definition to permit voluntary sharing of expenses on a voyage via contributions of money, fuel, food, drinks or supplies.

The key word, here, is "voluntary." If a passenger offers to help with expenses in some way, that is a voluntary act. If, on the other hand the owner/captain initiates the topic with a requirement for a contribution or even a suggestion that a contribution would be appreciated, the donation would no longer be considered a voluntary sharing of expenses, and the passenger(s) would then become passenger(s) for hire.

Keep on the right side of the law. If your passengers volunteer to share expenses, express your appreciation, but let them know they are under no obligation nor is there any expectation that they do so.
thats a good point. i have never heard of this law before. nice post. thanks.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:35 AM
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Guests are just that - guests. I do not invite people to boat with me to subsidize my hobby. I enjoy the company. I do not ask anything of those I invite to come boating with me. I find with very few exceptions that most folks offer gas money. I always decline the offer. If we stop for food/drink, most will offer to pick up my tab. I sometimes will accept that offer. If we are planning to anchor and eat on the boat, we work out who is bringing what ahead of time with everyone contributing equally.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:39 AM
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i am now starting to agree with members, the cost of gas should be covered by the owner because you guys are right...guests shouldnt have to help support my hobby.

i do agree though that food and beverages should be split equally.

sometimes though when the same guests are aboard, it seems as though they should start to cover additional expenses as they frequent the boat as much as the owner...
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:48 AM
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My invited guests pay for nothing on my boat. Lunch or a couple cocktails afterwords are always appreciated, but I expect nothing.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knot 4 Me View Post
Guests are just that - guests. I do not invite people to boat with me to subsidize my hobby. I enjoy the company. I do not ask anything of those I invite to come boating with me. I find with very few exceptions that most folks offer gas money. I always decline the offer. If we stop for food/drink, most will offer to pick up my tab. I sometimes will accept that offer. If we are planning to anchor and eat on the boat, we work out who is bringing what ahead of time with everyone contributing equally.
plus one

I dont require anything from my guests. I am going to be out there anyway with or without them and already budget my weekend to cover 100% of it. The people i invite is because i enjoy their company and know it will be a good time. I was always refuse gas money but if someone wants to pick up the tab for dockage or dinner thats a nice way for them to say thanks and i do appreciate it. Luckily pretty much all my friends are boaters and it all seems to work out, no one gets left on the dock and its always a good time.
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Old 08-24-2010, 10:52 AM
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Knot4Me is spot on with what we do:

I will not accept money for fuel - ever.

My wife and I only drink liquor and most people drink beer so they generally bring their own anyways, but we always have a case or two of the generic stuff on board (Bud Light/Yengling). Truth is most people that come on board bring beer and end up leaving some of it so alot of the beer is "house beer".

If we go to lunch I will certainly ALLOW people to buy our lunch but will always put up a fight.

The people that come on my boat are good friends of mine, and most of us have known each other since we were in elementary school so none of us worry about a few dollars between us.

Poker Runs - I pay for fuel, dockage, and Captain/Mate entry fee - if others want to join they have to pay their individual fee.
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