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Steven Gendreau is a member of the Tort and Insurance Litigation team at Henderson, Franklin, Starnes & Holt, P.A. in Fort Myers, Florida. He handles various insurance defense claims involving premises liability, automobile, and personal injury matters. Steven also handles maritime law. He is admitted to practice in all Florida state courts.

Bareboat CharterIn Florida, we are lucky to have a year-round boating season. However, with so many boats here in Southwest Florida, boat owners often look for ways to maximize their boats’ usage and, of course, their profitability. Boat owners can maximize profitability and limit liability by renting their boats under bareboat charter arrangements.

What is a Bareboat Charter?

A bareboat charter is a vessel that is leased by the owner to another person (a “charterer”) for a period of time without captain and crew. The person leasing the vessel is then responsible for the entire vessel’s operation and any captain and crewing requirements. For a valid bareboat charter, the vessel owner must completely relinquish “possession, command, and navigation” of the vessel.

Elements of a valid Bareboat Charter:

  1. The charterer must have the option of selecting and paying crew, although the owner may require general levels of proficiency for the crew that is retained based on federal statutes;
  2. The master/crew are paid by the charterer;
  3. All food, fuel, and stores are provided by the charterer;
  4. Insurance is obtained by the charterer;
  5. The charterer is responsible for the safe navigation of the vessel;
  6. The charterer may discharge, for cause, the master or any crew member without referral to the owner;
  7. The vessel is surveyed upon its delivery and return.

What are the benefits of a Bareboat Charter?


Continue Reading Bareboat Charters: Things to Consider

Maritime GPSA group of charter boat captains are making waves by challenging NOAA Fisheries plan to monitor charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico. Last July, NOAA Fisheries issued a mandate requiring charter boats to allow federal agencies to monitor 24-hour GPS devices on their boats. The rule, which has since been delayed would affect an estimated 1,700 charter boat captains, including many in Lee County.

NOAA New Rule

The new rule requires charter boat captains to submit an electronic fishing report (or logbook) using federally approved hardware and software with GPS location capabilities. Along with the transmission of fish-related information, captains are “required to report certain business data: charter fee, fuel usages, fuel price, number of passengers, and crew size.” Prior to departing for any trip, charter boat captains must declare the type of trip, whether for-hire or not, and details of the expected completion. NOAA states the new rule is intended to

improve the best scientific information available for regulatory decisionmaking; increase the accuracy of economic impacts and value estimates specific to the for-hire industry; and will support further value-added research efforts and programs aimed at increasing net benefits to fishery stakeholders and the U.S. economy.”

Captains’ Concerns


Continue Reading Mandated Monitoring Attempts to “Hook” Charter Boat Captains 24/7