Every week I get requests for my availability as captain for a “charter” to take out paying passengers. This is followed up by a couple of questions from me:
- Does your boat have all legally-required items?
- Have you taken out paying passengers in the past?
If at least one passenger pays to be aboard, then your boat is considered a “passenger vessel”. Period. If it is a typical recreational type of boat that is used for charter (and must also be endorsed for Coastwise Trade…), then it is considered an Uninspected Passenger Vessel. There is a long list of required items including country of manufacture, required gear, operational processes (such as drug testing), and so on. Maximum passenger count is six for vessels under 100 gross tons, and twelve for UPVs of 100-300 gross tons. Licensing is required for the captain. See more info here.
The 42-foot motor vessel, Breaking the Habit near Sea Isle Marina, Florida. The vessel’s voyage was terminated by the Coast Guard for the second time in less than a month due to multiple violations, and the captain faces upwards of $91,000 in civil penalties.