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Charter Guest Rules and Procedures

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by JadePanama, Sep 20, 2021.

  1. JadePanama

    JadePanama Member

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    I have done a lot of searching, but have not come up with this, so hoping some of you may be willing to share some of your knowledge on this.

    We are preparing to conduct UPV day charters (I have done the research w/ regard to laws, talked with attorney, and we seem to be on track legality wise), but what I am looking for is :

    1 - Rules you provide to charter clients (ie,... no drugs or charter terminates immediately etc), and

    2 - Safety Briefing overview that you would do at the beginning.

    I have been putting this together but would love to see what others have used to see what i am missing.

    thanks everyone,

    Wade
  2. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Isn’t pot legal in Seattle? That would be an interesting element to tackle. But your boat so your rules. I think the challenge is to market to the clientele that you want. And if you are using brokers make sure they know.
  3. JadePanama

    JadePanama Member

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    While its legal in Seattle, the waterways are federal and therefore not legal.
  4. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    Well that would be pretty confusing for charter guest so you will have your work cut out. Also remember that often an admin might be booking the charter and guest might not have seen what they signed. It’s a tough balance as if people are paying thousands to charter a boat for they day, they want to get the most out it. Often that’s having a party. Often they want to bring a date below deck. Etc…. It’s a value exchange. One reason we no longer charter.
  5. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Nothing confusing about it. Drugs, including pot, are illegal on a boat. Can't bring them on. Immediately terminates charter. Quite simple. People don't pay for the rights to do anything they want. There are laws and and rules they must follow. The owner and captain also have responsibilities as to alcohol and not letting the charter guests overdo it and not just the right to cut them off from drinking more, but the legal obligation. If you want a wild drug and booze orgy, have it at home.
    CaptPKilbride likes this.
  6. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We haven’t done day charters in a few years because the quality of the day charter crowd has gone down the tube.

    Our rules include no drugs including marijuana and yes marijuana is a drug, illegal on boats because of federal law. Any excessive alcohol consumption may result in termination of the charter along with any behavior endangering the safety of the vessel and occupants.

    safety briefing depends on the boat and the specifics like life jackets and rafts location.

    I always include that nobody is allowed to jump in the water until authorized by the crew after the engines are shut down, the swim ladder and floats are deployed along with the dinghy.

    As a rule we always launch the tender before anyone goes for a swim.

    if the boat has gates leading to a swimplatform I also include that passengers are not allowed to open them or go the swimplatform when the gates are closed.

    I also tell guests not to open any portholes or hatches and always have signs at each porthole

    depending on the size of the boat and the waters we d be running, I would include a warning about not going to the bow unless authorized by the crew.
    captainwjm likes this.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It doesn't matter if it's legal in Seattle and you're in Seattle on a charter yacht. Charter yachts fall under Federal law, and Pot is still illegal federally, everwhere.
  8. JadePanama

    JadePanama Member

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    thx Pascal. couple of nuggets there I was forgetting. I suppose it will adjust over time. Close on the new vessel Thurs and VERY excited.
  9. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    I am not interested in chartering my boat myself or for hire. Just like I don't rent our other property. Just not our thing.

    Having day chartered, you will likely have to deal with the double edged sword. Let people do what they deem to be having fun in order to grow the business yet manage the fun so that you still have a boat to charter. Hence the questions you have. I have no doubt you have looked at other day charter Rules and Regs as you embark on this, you strike me as not just boat crazy like most of us but also keen on seamanship. I saw your listing on the Navigator social media platform that shall not be mentioned here.

    Here are some general topics to consider for the guest briefing. How much do day charter guests want to hear on a bull horn vs. how much they want to read and sign and acknowledgement, I have no idea. Fine line right there.


    Roles and Resposibilities of the captain and crew.
    Itinerary and contingencies based on tide, current, wind, rain...
    Safey, lifejackets, liferafts, water conditions, all the stuff Pascal discussed.
    Maybe a preference sheet, although day charter is probably overkill, no dairy?, no refined sugar? that sort of stuff.
    Childcare, should your crew be burdened with herding children or attending to the boat and the paying guests?
    Shoe basket pre boarding? What is the shoe policy?
    Drugs and alcohol have been discussed, what about smoking tobacco products?
    Pets. Support animals. Service dogs?
    Pascal covered water toy and such, PNW how often do folks jump in the water. Maybe in lake union during the summer?
    Spares. Do you have sunglasses, sunscreen, hats, gloves, beanies, towels, and other items that the guests may forget and be happy to borrow for the charter? This is more about operations and marketing rather than Rules and Regulations but there would be regulations surrounding using these items.
    Gratuity notice/reminder/appreciation.

    Congrats on closing, I look forward to hearing about your new boat and the sale of your current boat. Marktet news and trends are always fascinating to learn more about.
  10. Pascal

    Pascal Senior Member

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    We always a basket of towels as well as a small basket of suntan stuff

    we also make it very clear that nobody should be using those bronzer lotions that stain towels and cushions. Maybe it s a Miami thing but what a PITA

    Supervising children is always the parents responsibility, never the crew for obvious liability reasons

    another thing we include is that nothing but TP should be flushed in the heads.

    safety briefing doesn’t take along and a little humor go s a long way. Telling people that as captain ll have to unclog the head and then as chef I will handle their food gets a good laugh and is very effective. Never had a head issue :)
    bayoubud likes this.
  11. retiredguy

    retiredguy Member

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    Great point! I've been on a few day charters over the years and a little humor can make a huge difference. I think more than a few captains forget the PAYING customers are there to enjoy and be entertained, they did not sign up as part of the US Navy.
  12. retiredguy

    retiredguy Member

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    A word of caution on this, (I have a service dog and need her with me). No business of any sort can reject a service animal or refuse service to any person because they have a service dog. Doing so is an invitation to a law suit that would bankrupt pretty much any small business and it's an almost guaranteed win for the plaintiff. The American Disabilities Act is a very blunt and straight forward law on this subject.

    Just as a reference you might look at this. https://www.ada.gov/regs2010/service_animal_qa.html
  13. gr8trn

    gr8trn Senior Member

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    Thank you, I was not implying that one should refuse service dogs on board just that the charter operator should be aware of the possibility of someone like you that may come on board and to be aware of the difference between a service animal and a "support" animal and have guidelines in place for the crew.
    I am glad you have posted to enhance this thread.
  14. retiredguy

    retiredguy Member

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    I appreciate your comments. I find a lot of people simply do not understand how important a service dog can be or how to deal with someone that needs one. I would be absolutely terrified of going anywhere with my girl's (Cassy) support.

    I have a real problem with my blood pressure falling drastically or climbing way to high. She can sense it and alerts me to it while I can still take meds and do something about it.
  15. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Excuse my bluntness, but am I understanding correctly that you bought that (beautiful BTW, congratulations!) vessel and you are planning to use her for day charter, doing that yourself personally?
    I'm asking because to charter a permanently crewed boat to cover some costs is one thing, but to do that as an owner operator is entirely another matter.
    Don't get me wrong, I love to have friends onboard - in fact, I'm alone with my wife probably less than 5% of our cruising time.
    But dealing with paying guests is not my idea of boating for pleasure!
  16. Riknpat

    Riknpat Senior Member

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    As a long time bar owner I have always welcomed support dogs even long before it was a legal requirement and kept a supply of water bowls and other paraphernalia to make the visit a pleasure for man and beast.:) The current nightmare is the outbreak of folks claiming all manner of fauna as necessary to their mental, emotional and physical well being and waving all sorts of official looking 'documentation' claiming to 'prove' that their snake. parrot or skunk has a legal right to be in the bar. They create these 'documents' online and they look official and often mimic the real ones. But they are fake. And the folks who wave them about are often demanding, even belligerent. Learn what the 'real' documents look like and be suspicious of any animal that isn't a dog. Be firm. Unpleasant but necessary.:(
  17. JadePanama

    JadePanama Member

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    yes, we do plan on doing some… but we are talking 15-20/year. We can be pretty choosy on our clients as well. Former owner did the same thing and had real good success. Seattle is a much different market than FL. Here the majority are tech companies wanting a retreat/meeting for a 4 hour 8 knot cruise around Lake Union and Washington for what I consider a good chunk of change.
    We will give it a try and if it doesn’t work out than fine, but we are going to at least give it a try.
    Thanks again for everyone’s input.
  18. mapism

    mapism Senior Member

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    Aha, I see. I didn't consider this in my previous comment.
    In the situation you are describing, it might as well turn into an opportunity to make new friends.
    All the best with the experience!
    JadePanama likes this.