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Posted by Diver Z on June 18, 2008 at 17:56:38:

In Reply to: Pat's Correct posted by Walt on June 18, 2008 at 16:47:18:

Since you mentioned it -- this is from Chapman's 2003 64th edition:

"Typically, confusion arose when guests on board contributed toward the expenses of a purely recreational and social outing. The old regulations never defined 'consideration,' and local Coast Guard offices interpreted each instance on a case-by-case basis, often differently in various areas. A definition has now been adopted that eliminates this confusion. Consideration means an economic benefit, inducement or profit (including a payment of money) accruing to the owner of the vessel. However, specifically excluded is the voluntary sharing of actual expenses of the voyage by monetary contribution, or by making a donation in kind of fuel, food, beverages or other supplies. Under these newer rules, several couples or friends may chip in to pay for the fuel, food, beverages and other expenses for a day's outing or cruise without becoming 'passengers for hire.'"

If a small-boat owner is going to accept gas money from guests, it's long seemed to me to be a good idea to wait until you're saying goodbye at the dock at trip's end before you accept anything. By that point you'll know that no pesky accidents have taken place which might make you regret muddying up your status if you'd taken money at the outset.

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