Chartering Laws and Regulations


What determines if it’s a 6-pack or 12-pack?

What determines if it’s a 6-pack or 12-pack?


-> Size of boat.  If it’s under 100 tons then the vessel Is limited to a 6-pack.  

-> If it is between 100-300 tons it is limited to 12-pack.  This would be for UPV vessels.

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Do you need a USCG OPUV Operator’s License to Bareboat Charter?

Do you need a USCG OPUV Operator’s License to Bareboat Charter?


No, if the Charterer (person paying for charter) knows how to operate the vessel and they are not being paid to do so. However, a “Captained” charter (where the captain is provided by the boat owner or charter company) does require the operator (Captain) to hold an OPUV 6-pack or 12-pack licensed by the USCG.

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Does the boat need a Certificate of Inspection (COI)?

Does the boat need a Certificate of Inspection (COI)?


Bareboats may carry up to 12 passengers without a COI.

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How do you count passengers?

How do you count passengers?


Passengers are everyone except for a) Charter, b) Captain (Operator) and c) paid member of crew.

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What if I want a Captained charter and I don’t know any licensed operators?

What if I want a Captained charter and I don’t know any licensed operators?


Boats offered with Captains must have operators who are licensed USCG OPUV for 6-pack or 12-pac. The owner of the boat may select and pay the operator as this does not constitute a bareboat charter.

 

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Chartering Laws and Regulations

Chartering Laws and Regulations


Federal Laws

Administered by the US Coast Guard (USCG) - Federal Laws US Code

 

Certificate of Documentation

-> Vessels less than 5 net tons do not require documentation. *Weight may vary depending on multiple variables.  As an example a 26’ sailboat may be approximately 5 tons.  However this should only be used as a reference, your boat may surpass 5 tons at any length.  More details on how to measure your boats weight can be found here.

 

-> All other vessels require Certificate of Documentation GET CERTIFICATE

Certificate of Inspection (COI) is only required for SPV (more below).

 

State Laws

Each state may have additional requirements. The NASBLA has put together a guide that has State by State information.  

 

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Boat Owner Examples - What should I do?

 

Private Boat Owners

1.  Wanting to rent without a captain - Bareboat

2.  Wanting to rent with a captain but I don’t need to choose the captain - Bareboat

3.  Wanting to rent with a captain I choose - 6 pack

4.  Wanting to rent with myself as the captain - 6 pack, you must be licensed as OUPV

 

Charter Companies

1.  I’m a charter company wanting to rent without a captain - Bareboat

2.  I’m a charter company wanting to rent with a captain - 6 pack

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Bareboat vs UPV vs SPV

 

Bareboat Vessels:

-> The owner does not provide the crew; the charterer (person renting the boat from owner) selects and pays the crew.

-> A licensed Master is not required to operate the vessel.

-> The owner can recommend a list of Masters for the charterer to hire, but cannot stipulate that the owner make a selection solely from the list provided.

-> The owner can require the charterer to hire a crew with a preset level of qualifications.

-> All food, fuel, and stores are provided by the charterer.

-> All port charges and pilotage fees, if any, are paid by the charterer.

-> Insurance is obtained by the charterer, at least to the extent of covering liability not included in the owner’s insurance.

-> The charterer may discharge for cause, the Master or any crew member.

-> The vessel must be surveyed upon its delivery and return.

-> The charterer stands in the shoes of the owner of the vessel. The charterer has complete command, control, and possession of the vessel as it were his or her own.

-> The charterer assumes responsibility for the vessel operations within the maritime laws and regulations for the duration of the charter.

-> Any provision that tends to show retention of control of the vessel such as the owner being aboard during the charter of the vessel contradicts the claim that a valid bareboat charter exists.

Requires:

-> Bareboat charter agreement. Template for example only.

-> Limits of passengers are 12.


 

Uninspected Passenger Vessel (UPV) “6 Pack”  *Captained charters are UPV

 

Less than 100 tons

  • -> Carrying no more than 6 passengers including at least one paying, or

  • -> Is chartered with crew provided or specified by owner and carrying no more than 6 passengers.

Requires

  • -> Must be operated by a licensed operator (meaning if owner is sailing they must be licensed)

  • -> Vessel is not routinely inspected and certified by the Coast Guard, but must meet requirements of 46CFR Subchapter “C”


 

Small Passenger Vessel (SPV):

-> Is under 100 tons.

-> Carries more than six passengers, including at least one for or passenger for hire, or

-> Chartered vessels with the crew provided by the owner carrying more than six passengers must be Coast Guard inspected, or

-> Bareboat chartered vessels carrying more than 12 passengers must be CG inspected

Requires

-> Coast Guard Inspected and certificated. Issued a Certificate of Inspection (COI).

-> Operated by licensed Master of appropriate route and tonnage


 

Additional reference: Bareboat Charter and Passenger Ref Guide USCG

**Passengers are everyone except for a) Captain, b) paid member of crew, c) Charter (in case of Bareboat). Bareboat Charter and Passenger Vessel Definitions USCG

 

Licensed Operator

 

OUPV NEAR COASTAL (6 PAK) = Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel  

-> Operators must be a minimum of 18 years of age

-> US citizenship is not required for operating a vessel of less than 5 Net Tons (about 26ft). Citizenship is required for operation of a documented vessel-for-hire over 5 net tons.

-> TWIC Card

-> OUPV NEAR COASTAL (6 PAK) = Operator of Uninspected Passenger Vessel (These requirements are the same as those for the Master Inland/OUPV Near Coastal Endorsement License)

-> A minimum of 360 days on the water experience from age 16 years to present is required.

-> 90 of those 360 days must be within the most recent 3 years on a power or sail vessel over 16 feet in length.

-> 90 of those 360 days must be on waters outside the boundary lines established by the US Coast Guard.

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