Discussion in 'Licensing & Education' started by boatingetc, Jun 28, 2013.
What if I add..there is no written contract or agreement? Am I now just playing with fire?
Is your holding a certificate a condition of employment?
Again nothing is written in ink, but to answer your question, my certificate is not a condition of employment.
I would have bet on that.
"I've accepted a job as the sole crew member"
What were you hired as? What did the ad say or what did you approach him as? Was he looking for a captain or just some guy to work on his boat? Did you approach him as as a licensed master?
In this case I would like to have a written agreement, could be simple, stating the position you are hired for. If you are hired as deck hand and didn't give the owner a copy of your license you should be in the clear.
A couple of months ago, I helped a guy move his newly purchased boat to a different marina. Not something I do very often but it was one of these friend of a friend who needed help deal. Guy was ok at the helm except that at one point he passed a few boats throwing a significant wave despite me nicely suggesting he back off to idle. He slowed down but not enough and a couple of boats rolled around quite a bit. that got me thinking... If somebody had been hurt, I would have been responsible, yet, reaching over and pulling the throttles would have been considered rude since it wasn't a clear cut safety issue.
Those grey areas worry me sometimes, but in your case, I think it s pretty clear cut.
And no, I am not an attorney (thank god...), I am not qualified to give legal advice...this is just a personal opinion, just a "what If I was in this guys shoe"
Thanks for all the replies. I will try to find an address and get a written answer from the CG about exactly what my license means. I know I'm not the first person to question this so it would not only be good for me, but perhaps others to know as well.
While the general opinion appears to be similar, I still need a final word from the authority. As now more and more I find myself as co-captain seat often taking the wheel when the captain isn't paying attention
Hopefully he would be fully mobile with 2 legs and need a pair of shoes not just the single one
what if the cook just happens to have a ticket?
is he/she somehow responsible for what does or doesn't occur on the bridge?
There are too many captains with just a license. Just because you have a license doesn't mean you know how to operate a yacht properly (or what your license means). I've learned there is a huge difference between a 25 foot power boat and an 85 foot motor yacht. Perhaps this is a flaw with the CG licensing department which is why the yachtmaster is theory and practical.
I know I've just answered my own question here but had I not, then what sets me apart from the thousands of others who "want to be captain".
I respect all captains out there who have worked many years for where they are now and I'm more than happy to listen to your experiences.
The Log boating newspaper has a regular feature called "Ask the Attorney". People write in with questions and a maritime attorney answers with a legal opinion. Just cruising through some back issue subjects, I came across one question with some parallel issues, and I'm sure the exact question has been asked and could be found in the archives, but this may be close enough:
The Log Newspaper | California Boating & Fishing News - Are-Boaters-with-Coast-Guard-Licenses-Held-to-a-Higher-Liability-Standard- a Maritime Attorney
I checked the forum rules, here, and do not think this link is a violation.
In follow up to my "Ask the Attorney" post, I searched all the archives and didn't find the exact question. So, I asked the attorney myself, since I've been in the same situation working for an owner/operator for the last five years. Hopefully, it'll get answered soon!
With most lawyers I think you'll find that his answer will hinge of whether he represents the plaintiffs, the defendent or the government. Very few lawyers will answer a question such as this without a lot of "if" and "unless". The fact is that anybody can sue for anything. Just the cost of defending would bankrupt most captains I know, even if they won.
This why these hypothetical questions can not be answer officially
But indeed when I run the boat with my GF, usually taking care of charter guests, is her license on the line if I screw up? I don't think so...
You're the license in charge and you're the one who screwed up. It's all on you. She just your agent. In fact you're on the line if she screws up. With the OP he's the only license. The question is whether he can claim no responsibility, turning the responsibility over to an unlicensed owner. I very often turn the helm over to others, but I'm running the boat from wherever I am. If that person screws up and I can't stop them I consider it on me. My job, my responsibility. I've been cautioned many times by coasties and PD saying they'd never let anybody take the helm.
If you guys can't sleep at night for worrying, contact these guys:
MOPS Marine License Insurance
That's how I see it...
About the OP, now that he says that he often takes the wheel when the owners isn't paying attention, he would definitely be considered as the captain.
Yep. It's rare that a 100GT Master is hired with no consideration of the license in the hiring decision.
from what i've seen in the past, most jobs were filled by personality,not a license.......
1. C.G. required
2. Insurance Co. required
3. owner getting that 10% off his premium
Sorry salty, but you're wrong. People don't hire on the water by going to the Dept. of Labor or the local labor pool. They get a captain recommended to them or one walks up the dock and introduces himself as a captain. That may be the last time his license is discussed unless the boat is transported (insurance requirement), but it's what got the guy on board. Any other discussion about the license can only lead to more pay. However, if lawyers or authorities get involved following an incident you better believe that the license will be front and center in the discussions about liability and responsibility.
I'd be interested to hear how the owner introduces the OP to his guest and friends. Does he say 'This is a kid I hired to care for the boat' or does he say 'This is my captain'?
(BTW OP, my inbox was full so your last PM never made it here. It's clear now.
Step one should a contract, as always preferably one that that spells out the responsibilities.
In a case like this where because of an existing license additional liabilities are assumed/feared it may make sense to spell out specific non responsibilities too. (And then stay away from them unless there is an genuine emergency!)