Maritime Law Center

Our firm works with individuals, corporations, shipping companies and universities in selling and acquiring, transferring and evaluating vessels in all parts of the world.

    Mike Vaughn
    Vaughn Law Offices
    17011 Beach Blvd., Suite 900
    Huntington Beach, CA 92647
    Phone:  562-592-9350
    Email: mike@vaughnlawoffice.com

     

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
*** This information is for general use only and does not contstiute a legal opinion.  These are responses to many of the questions and inquires we receive every day and is provided for “snap shot” answers.  Before acting, please either hire our firm or other qualified Maritime Law firms.

Can the owner be aboard a boat which is under a bare boat charter?

ANSWER:  No.  The true bare boat charter requires the owner to relinquish complete ownership, possession and control.  The charterer must select and hire his own captain and crew.  Guest are limited to 12 persons maximum.  You may not charter individual guest for passage.

Can a foreign built or registered boat conduct a voyage to nowhere from a US Port?

ANSWER: Yes if the vessel departs from a US dock travels into international waters and returns to exactly the same dock with all passengers with which it departed.  Vessel is still subject to USCG inspection and customs requirements.

Can for foreign captain be the master of a US flag vessel when not in Jones Act service?

ANSWER:  No,  A US flag vessel must always have a captain who is a US Citizen.

ARE THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS EXCLUDED FROM THE JONES ACT?

ANSWER: Yes, but it is complicated.  By the statute the Jones Act does not apply to coast-wise trade in the Virgin Islands.  Very dependent on facts of the case.

Can a foreign built vessel charter in US waters?

ANSWER:  It depends.  A foreign built vessel more than 3 years old can apply and receive a waiver to allow it to operate as a 6 passenger or 12 passenger vessel.  Without the waiver it can only  do true bare boat charters.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A 6 PASSENGER  AND A 12 PASSENGER BOAT?

ANSWER:  Size,  To be able to carry 12 passengers the boat must measure at least 100 tons.