One point that most have missed is that if you take on any passengers, whether they pay cash, fuel costs or any reinbursements that this may be deemed as a commercial operation.
Like all things as long as nobody get hurts or you dont have any problems then why bother with codeing.......because if the worst happens and you do have an accident or some gets hurt then your insurance company will walk away from you and offer no help at all. We operate charter boats, both hard boats and previously ribs and have seen the changes from Local authority licencing when you went up infront of your councillors to get a "Boat Hirers Licence" through to the current day of Codeing.
Previously our insurance costs were much the same as a normal pleasure boat and all you had to do was notify your insurers that you intented to charter and they would include this clause in your policy. Now the costs is about 3 times that of normal policies with the conditions like "warranted vessel complies with MCA Code of Practise for intended operating area", "Qualified skipper incharge at all times", "Risk Assesments in place", "Operation Manual" etc etc etc.
Me personally, I quite like the life style that I have at the moment and would not like to lose everything because of an incident and subsequent prosecution and claims.