Looking for awesome boat owners interested in making new fishing friends.

Looking for some awesome boat owners who fish inshore and offshore, and interested in becoming paid partners with our website. If interested, please feel free to ask any questions in this thread or contact me via PM.

Note: Edited post title to accurately convey the features of the website (from "looking for boaters interested in becoming paid partners" to "looking for awesome boat owners interested in making new fishing friends").

To clarify, boat owners will NOT be paid any amount that exceeds the expenses of the actual trip, and the site endeavours to comply with USCG regulations. Details to follow, and please feel free to ask questions in this thread.

Replies

  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Officer
    In a perfect world, this would be a great idea.

    But I can see it turning into a nightmare quick, not to mention the potential liability and regulatory issues.

    Good Luck
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    ... or trying to work around the for-hire licensure.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • amberjoeamberjoe Posts: 40 Deckhand
    Appreciate the feedback, guys, and would be interested to hear more of your thoughts.

    Gary, when you mention the "for-hire licensure", would your concern be alleviated by the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993?

    The following is a quote from another conversation I have had with a fellow forum member:

    Before the passage of this act (and verbiage), it used to be technically illegal to share expenses. Thus, paying for gas, or a portion of gas, or bringing lunch and/or drinks for a friend who owned a boat and was taking you out, was illegal. Since this law passed, it is now okay to share expenses, so long as the owner/captain does not realize a profit. The "Need a Crew/Want to Fish" thread is just that, friends, meeting on the forum to share expenses.

    This site's purpose to expose anglers to new fishing friends, and help with the sharing of those expenses.

    As for liability, the arrangement is not different from what members currently do on these forums. Even if you were to take family or friends aboard your boat, sufficient insurance on your boat is always a good idea.

    Always happy to talk more on this, and thanks again for your responses.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    amberjoe wrote: »

    Gary, when you mention the "for-hire licensure", would your concern be alleviated by the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993?

    No it would not. And your scheme has been attempted before.

    The intent of the law is that anyone who takes passengers must possess a license.

    The exclusion is for personal friends. Not new "friends" or "friends" with boats someone pays you to find. Which is what you are attempting to "lawyer" your way around.

    You are brokering unlicensed and uninsured owners to take people fishing to which you receive material compensation. Any boat owner who uses your services to acquire a "friend" who pays you for that service is not only violating the letter of the law , but exposing themselves to liability as a charter operator which they are neither protected by credential or insurance.

    Good luck and lawyer up.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • amberjoeamberjoe Posts: 40 Deckhand
    No it would not. And your scheme has been attempted before.

    I would be happy to review any previous cases of this being attempted before. Would appreciate if you could point me to some articles, etc...

    Thanks
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    Consult a lawyer.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • amberjoeamberjoe Posts: 40 Deckhand
    I find it difficult to see what is different from what people do on this forum to find new fishing friends, and how our website will operate. What members do on the "Need a Crew" threads - is that against the law? Should they stop?

    Appreciate your advice, and your taking the time to respond, however, it would be great if you could provide some proper information to support your claims.
  • gerrysgerrys Posts: 738 Officer
    Provided the boat owner is truly sharing - not receiving more than an equal portion of the actual fuel/bait, etc. expenses, I don't see anything wrong with this. If the contribution goes beyond an equal share, then it becomes compensation and a license would be required.

    The "newness" of the friend has no bearing on the situation. Take, for example, a new neighbor who wants to fish. This technically is a fishing stranger but is not restricted from sharing. Likewise fishing with a forum member might be a 1st time meet. This, too, is allowable. Provided the share covers only an equal share of actual expenses.

    ALL THAT BEING SAID, your site is not clear as to 1) whether you're expecting compensation for matching fishermen and 2) whether declaring a fair share up front is actually reimbursement for actual expenses (how do you predict?). If you (your website) are intending to profit from the match, you are now a business with the legal requirements and liabilities associated with that business.

    Secondly, declaring an equal share in advance of the trip smells like compensation to me and, in this case, I believe you've crossed the line and a license would be required. Additionally, having a third party (you) handle payment sounds like, smells like and probably is a charter.
  • INTREPID377INTREPID377 Posts: 3,708 Captain
    Seems like a cheap way to "charter" a boat in unknown condition, with an unknown, uninsured, unlicensed "captain". OR from the boat owner's point of view. Seems like a way to invite strangers on to your boat for zero compensation.

    Bad idea either way.....no thanks.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    And You changed the title of your thread from "looking for boaters interested in becoming paid partners" to 'making new friends'. You are running a charter service with unlicensed, uninsured and unqualified operators. No matter how you softly you (mis)present it, it is the same thing.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • amberjoeamberjoe Posts: 40 Deckhand
    Yes, I did change the title based on your comments, Gary. It is true the original title did not accurately convey the workings of the site. So, thanks for that.

    Note, the change was done in the early morning (I was half asleep) with the help of a mod, and I intended to mark this as an edit in the morning.

    To be clear this is not a charter service. I would appreciate your caution not to label it as such. I will be posting more information on the finer details of how the site will work once I speak with my team. I look forward to hearing your thoughts at that time.

    As for actual charters, we have received interest from charters to be included in our site, but of course they would be part of a different process from the folks looking to join casual fishing trips.
  • Gary S. ColecchioGary S. Colecchio Posts: 24,922 Officer
    amberjoe wrote: »
    Yes, I did change the title based on your comments. It is true the original title did not accurately convey the workings of the site. So, thanks for that. .

    :rotflmao It obviously did, otherwise you would not have changed it in an attempt to conceal that your business attempts to work around federal law.
    "If I can't win, I won't play." - Doris Colecchio.

    "Well Gary, the easiest way to look tall is to stand in a room full of short people." - Curtis Bostick

    "All these forums, with barely any activity, are like a neglected old cemetery that no one visits anymore."- anonymouse
  • MadScientistMadScientist Posts: 3,402 Officer
    If someone were to get involved in this, I recommend having a substantial umbrella policy for liability. You may trust a true friend, but what's to stop some con-artist from showing up and flopping around until he gets hurt, then threatening to sue, looking for a settlement.

    Secondly, I know a guy that is locally famous for fishing. He has a big boat and is very generous, taking friends and friends of friends on cost share trips. When FWC checks his boat, it is not uncommon for FWC to request that the boat owner recite the name of each passenger, in effect testing how well he knows each one. Its a gray area, so if you want to do this, be prepared to catch a shizstorm if you anger a local guide or catch the wrong FWC guy on a bad day.

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