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Old 16 May 2018, 07:32   #1
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Has anyone any experience of MCA asking questions about a the quasi commercial nature of how they find boat buddies to share fuel costs?
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Old 16 May 2018, 07:39   #2
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If there's no element of profit then it's not commercial....simple.
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Old 16 May 2018, 09:00   #3
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Originally Posted by brucehawsker View Post
Has anyone any experience of MCA asking questions about a the quasi commercial nature of how they find boat buddies to share fuel costs?
Welcome back Bruce.

https://assets.publishing.service.go...re-vessels.pdf

Section 1.1 ii

If there's any money left over from that voyages "expenses", it's commercial. After that it's a matter of do you get caught or not
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Old 16 May 2018, 09:13   #4
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In my experience of owning boats, you'd have to be charging a heck of a lot more than fuel costs just to break even, never mind make a profit
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Old 17 May 2018, 21:23   #5
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....and if in the US - must also consider the Jones Act.
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Old 18 May 2018, 03:44   #6
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If there's no element of profit then it's not commercial....simple.
Not really. Just because a business makes a loss doesn't make it not commercial. It's just an unsuccessful business.
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Old 18 May 2018, 04:51   #7
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This is explicitly covered by MGN280

We are not talking about a business making a profit, the reference is to the individual voyage. ie you can share fuel costs. (I think from memory that specific example is given in MGN280) Provided you are not profiting from the voyage it is not deemed as a commercial trip. Obviously this could be abused but I think the OP's situation couldn't be interpreted as a "profit making venture".
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Old 18 May 2018, 08:22   #8
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This is explicitly covered by MGN280
It is - but it makes no mention of profit*!

The way MGN280 (or more importantly the legislation it is based on) is constructed is that MGN280 (coding) does not apply to pleasure vessels. Pleasure vessels must be on a "free voyage". The definition of free voyage is explained further but the relevant bit is:

(c) the owner of the vessel engaged in the voyage or excursion may only receive -
(i) money** for, or in connection with, the operation of the vessel or the carrying of any person in the vessel as a contribution to the direct expenses of the operation of the vessel incurred during the voyage or excursion,

That was all referred to in the link Willk posted much earlier so not sure why it is still being debated!

* MGN280 does refer to profit but only with respect to members clubs.
** It also covers the possibility that someone provides goods or services not just money - so don't be thinking there is a dodge where someone buys 200L of fuel for a 5 minute trip!

Quote:
Obviously this could be abused but I think the OP's situation couldn't be interpreted as a "profit making venture".
I don't think anyone was disputing that what Bruce seemed to describe is within the realms of "pleasure use" but it has nothing to do with whether you are a profit making venture.

The other part Bruce would need to satisfy himself with, is the requirement that a pleasure vessel must only be used for "the sport or pleasure of the owner or the immediate family or friends of the owner". Now I don't know what Bruce meant by: "how they find boat buddies to share fuel costs"... if he means can a couple of good friends offer to share the costs of a trip, then clearly that is OK, but Bruce has been around for a long time and I expect knows that, and moreover knows that people here would give an informed answer with a link to the regs. Now I wonder if Bruce is actually thinking more along the lines of "Wingly" a sort of "uber like" flight sharing service for private pilots. The CAA have agreed that IS acceptable (with certain conditions https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33...20guide_v2.pdf). Would the MCGA take the same view? I'm not convinced because the marine legislation has that "friends and family" wording. It would ultimately be for the owner to convince the court that someone they met via an online app was a "friend".

BRUCE - FWIW I had a really useful discussion with the local regulatory office of the MCGA in relation to a marine venture that I was kicking about in my head at one point. Like all regulatory people they don't like to be backed into a corner or find themselves being quoted, especially our of context, but will explain processes or answer specific questions.
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Old 18 May 2018, 09:40   #9
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It would ultimately be for the owner to convince the court that someone they met via an online app was a "friend"....
Explains why your Christmas card to me never showed up again this year!
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Old 21 June 2018, 03:52   #10
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I want to say thank you to everyone who replied to this. I had a visit from two people from MCA and one from local council (unannounced) to the boatyard when I was about to go out. They interviewed me and one of my friends who was going out with me. I have heard nothing since. I hope this has now gone away. When i go out with friends - however they may find me - I charge consumables (petrol and a notional amount for Optimax oil) and any mooring fees as visitors. We go dutch on lunch. Typically the cost of a day is 120 so with three friends at me, it works out at 40 each. Cash. Simple. I think both MCA and local council are happy i am not running a commercial enterprise, but we will wait and see if I hear any more....
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