Donation of fishing trip?

NitzeyNitzey Posts: 44 Greenhorn
My church is holding an auction of goods and services, and the most valuable thing I can think of for me to offer is an off-shore fishing trip. I would provide fuel, bait and gear and the payment for the auction winner would be to the church. However, I do not have a captain's license and something bothers me that there may be something illegal about this. So, can I do this?

Replies

  • 10kman10kman Posts: 240 Deckhand
    Interesting you should mention this,I had same identical situation Sat.when
    I took out a retired minister.We had a silent auction last year to raise money
    for a youth group and he bid $150,which,by the way,was highest bid item.
    Never gave it a thought about captain issue,but you don't recieve the
    money,church did.
    I provided all that you intend on providing,but now wished I would have
    mentioned will provide food/bev.and filet fish caught.May have got add.
    bidders
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    We are essentially a captain for hire even though some one else (church) is getting paid. It would be nice to get this cleared up for sure before I submit my proposal and you might want to do it again next year.

    I was thinking of suggesting a minimum bid of $500, which does not seem unreasonable for an off-shore charter.

    I hope you feel good about your venture. A retired minister is unlikely to be rolling in money and hopefully he enjoyed himself tremendously.
  • ComandanteComandante Posts: 268 Deckhand
    The quick answer is that if you are not a licensed operator, you are on the wrong side of the regulations by providing this service. There are several sections in the code of federal regulations, CFR 46, that are very specific as to what constitutes carrying "passengers for hire" and the need for an operators license for this activity. The license is only the tip of the iceburg. Once it s established that the license is a requirement, you also need a federal transportation worker ID credential. The vessel also must have a commercial documentation and your lifesaving equipment requirements change. You also need Federal Fishries permits to fish in the GOM or Atlantic if further offshore than 9 nautical miles and 3 nautical miles respectively. I am a professional mariner (non-charter) by trade. If you would like specific references and language from the CFR, I can steer you to the paragraphs that you need to read. PM me if you want more info.
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Comandante wrote: »
    The quick answer is that if you are not a licensed operator, you are on the wrong side of the regulations by providing this service. There are several sections in the code of federal regulations, CFR 46, that are very specific as to what constitutes carrying "passengers for hire" and the need for an operators license for this activity. The license is only the tip of the iceburg. Once it s established that the license is a requirement, you also need a federal transportation worker ID credential. The vessel also must have a commercial documentation and your lifesaving equipment requirements change. You also need Federal Fishries permits to fish in the GOM or Atlantic if further offshore than 9 nautical miles and 3 nautical miles respectively. I am a professional mariner (non-charter) by trade. If you would like specific references and language from the CFR, I can steer you to the paragraphs that you need to read. PM me if you want more info.

    Thanks for your thoughtful reply. It makes a lot of sense. On the other hand, what if the bid is considered a donation to the church? Much like the ubiquitous car washes, from cheerleaders, ball teams, etc. who request donations for washing your car. No real business there. No business license, nor taxes taken.
  • ComandanteComandante Posts: 268 Deckhand
    The language in the regulations take that potential loophole into consideration and specifically address third party type transactions. I am going from memory right now, but this should get you close. Google the electronic code of federal regulations. You want CFR Title 46 (shipping). The CFR is broken into subparts. You are looking for two things: First the definition of a "passenger" as opposed to who constitutes an owner, master, or crewmember. Second you need to see the specific definition for "passenger for hire" Look at Title 46 Vol 1 ,Chaper1, subpart C (uninspected vessels) subpart 24.10-1 for these definitions. The passenger for hire definition is as follows: "A passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent or other person having an interest in the vessel"
  • ComandanteComandante Posts: 268 Deckhand
    I did not want to leave you hanging out to dry after raining on your parade in my previous post. Here is a suggestion for you to consider that is within the law and a potential win-win for both parties. I presume you are interested in a saltwater charter from the nature of your posts and responses. Find a large headboat operator in your area who would be willing to donate two spots on an open-party trip in $whole or $part for your organization's use. It is much easier for a large capacity vessel operation to amortize the cost of a charity donation and they most likely would ask for a written receipt for tax purposes covering the full cost of the donation. All of the monies collected then could go to your organization. If you pursue this option, make sure your lucky fisherman know that a reasonable tip out of their pockets is expected for the vessel's crew on the day of fishing.
  • Cavanaugh68Cavanaugh68 Posts: 291 Officer
    Nitzey wrote: »
    My church is holding an auction of goods and services, and the most valuable thing I can think of for me to offer is an off-shore fishing trip. I would provide fuel, bait and gear and the payment for the auction winner would be to the church. However, I do not have a captain's license and something bothers me that there may be something illegal about this. So, can I do this?

    I saw this thread and that is a good question. I would think that there is a profit made here so this in my mind becomes a "for hire" situation. However I am not sure.

    I saw this article online and hope it helps you:

    And what is a passenger for hire?

    We have received several emails asking about the necessity of having a captain's license. One such email described a situation that follows:

    "A friend of mine was boarded by the Marine Police and the Coast Guard while fishing on the Chesapeake Bay. Since he had friends on board they separated the people and asked them if they were paying him to take them out. Of course they were not, they were just friends on a fishing trip. What troubled me, and of course him, was the fact that he was told by the Coast Guard that if you share the cost of the fuel that is considered a charter. Heck, most of us that fish all the time together share in the cost of the fishing with one another. Is this statement made by the Coast Guard true and could he have been fined for not having a captain's license if his friends decided to help pay for some of his fuel costs? What regulations cover these sorts of rules, for if this is true a lot of us are in trouble."

    In years past there was some confusion as to what was specifically meant by 'passenger for hire.' However, that has now been clearly defined by the clarification of the rules below.


    SEC. 506. PASSENGER FOR HIRE.

    Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting between paragraphs (21) and (22) a new paragraph (21a) to read as follows:

    "(21a) 'passenger for hire' means a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vessel.."

    DESCRIPTION - The determination of what constitutes the carriage of a "passenger for hire" must be made on a case by case basis. This determination is dependent upon the actual operation of a vessel and the flow of consideration as determined by the facts of each case. In general, there needs to be some form of tangible consideration or promise of performance being passed for a "passenger for hire" situation to exist.

    SEC. 507. CONSIDERATION.

    Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting between paragraphs (5) and (6) a new paragraph (5a) to read as follows:

    "(5a) 'consideration' means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity, but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies." Additionally, employees or business clients that have not contributed for their carriage, and are carried for morale or entertainment purposes, are not considered as an exchange of consideration.


  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Thanks for the replies. I am still struggling with this, but am leaning towards going ahead with the offer. The last post discussed a case-by-case basis, and clearly the intent is to help a nonprofit organization with a one time contribution.
  • Cavanaugh68Cavanaugh68 Posts: 291 Officer
    Call 321-784-6780 and ask one of the officers here at the coast guard in PC. They could maybe give you some straight forward suggestions or info. Good luck.
  • 10kman10kman Posts: 240 Deckhand
    Nitzey wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies. I am still struggling with this, but am leaning towards going ahead with the offer. The last post discussed a case-by-case basis, and clearly the intent is to help a nonprofit organization with a one time contribution.
    Nitzey,Would not worry much about DNR in this situation.Was told by DNR officer,there maintenance
    budgets were slashed so severely by the Gov.they did not have funds to put boats on the water.All but
    one of their boats was out of commission because of boat,motor or trailer issues.
  • ReelhootReelhoot Posts: 251 Officer
    Nitzey, you're footing the bill to take this individual fishing and ask that $500.00 be donated to the church? Seems to me that is a very generus offer and you're not taking in any $-only spending some to make the trip for the church's benefit.I don't see how this could be considered a "for hire" trip.
    On the other hand, if you accept $ for fuel,bait or any other expenes you're now a "for hire" class. So if you're not getting any $ .............you should be in the clear. Let us know about the trip, and may God Bless!!!!!!!!!!
    http://www.homeaway.com/vacation-rental/p341728

    FOR RENT: Beautiful 2 bed 2 bath condo in Hunter Springs, Crystal River
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Call 321-784-6780 and ask one of the officers here at the coast guard in PC. They could maybe give you some straight forward suggestions or info. Good luck.

    I called them and was told they will call me back tomorrow with the answer.
  • NitzeyNitzey Posts: 44 Greenhorn
    Here is the answer from the Coast Guard at Panama City. It is okay. The caveats are that this should not be done on a regular basis; if it was, it would be considered commercial. The passengers should be told that I am not requiring them to make a payment but their contribution to the church is a donation. I cannot remember exactly what he said about sharing of fuel expenses, but I said that I would not accept any such payment anyway. He said all my safety equipment should be up-to-date (no problem there).

    When I go fishing with my usual cronies, we figure out expenses to the penny and split everything, but all this is voluntary and now we know perfectly legal.

    Thanks for all the help here, and it is great to get this settled.
  • captrandycaptrandy Posts: 311 Officer
    There is something seriously wrong with the system if a church member cannot give a fun trip to the minister and the minister's share of gas and bait (the 150.000) be donated to the church. This is not an effort to hide the proceeds of a charter as a 'donation'. Stupid rules like this make it harder and harder to donate anything.
    Bad Fish Must Die!!
  • HookerUPHookerUP Posts: 61 Deckhand
    The problem with this is that if by some chance if someone gets hurt on the trip, they will come after the owner of the vessel and the church . Even though it was a thoughtfull donation by the vessel owner . You might want to check with your insurance carrier of the legal ramifications.
  • stc1993stc1993 Posts: 4,203 Captain
    $500 is a good price for an offshore trip. The last time I went a few yrs. back it was $900 in PCB.
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    It is not illegal to split gas expenses as long as you in no way make a financial benefit. I messed up and caused a huge skirmish on the forum before and here is what I found out. Talked to an officer in the coast guard and their legal department. It is o.k. To split gas the same as to would ask to in a car, the is a quote straight from their legal" just because you split gas in a car with friends does not make you a taxi driver" It even says in the regs that's sharing fuel, food and other cost are exceptions to the consideration rule.
  • Pescatoral PursuitPescatoral Pursuit Posts: 5,065 Officer
    This seems to fall into the "navel gazing" category. As someone who is not trying to skirt the law by making filthy lucre on the side with a clandestine charter service, you may be overthinking the issue here.

    Seems tantamount to driving 58 in a 55 zone. Well below the radar for what the law was intended for.
    cuda-title2_zpsb81e4f1d.jpg
    greggl wrote: »
    Strive for self-sacrificial levels of empathy and sympathy. We are only set free by becoming the scapegoat, or sin eater', rather than picking a target and 'throwing stones.'
    nuevowavo wrote:
    Think you're pretty clever? Think again. Time for a break.
    :rotflmao
  • perlman1234perlman1234 Posts: 1,449 Officer
    I don't think you are trying to run a secret charter business.... Nor do I think the law is going to. Good thing you are doing, for hopefully good people.

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