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Old 11-06-2014, 11:21 AM   #1
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Default Crew liability waivers

Greetings with a question,

We've just taken on board 3 crew members for our return trip to Oz. It's not a commercial trip and we are paying for everything except for the crew's original flight here to Borneo.

A good mate asked me if I was going to get the crew to sign a waiver before we departed releasing myself as skipper and the vessel from any liability. Frankly I have never even considered it but was curious if such a thing existed or if other skippers had used such an exemption?

Of course as Skipper my number one priority is the health, welfare and safety of the crew and our vessel, and I have spent a small fortune in ensuring we are well equipped, prepared and our vessel in the very best possible condition. In fact, I've actually had a couple of government departments mention that they had never seen a skipper taking so much care and being so well organised in relation to crew safety. To me it just makes common sense and is pretty obvious - why wouldn't you? But back to my original question - does a non commercial yacht crew waiver exist? has anyone used one and do they mean anything in the end.

Fair winds,

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Old 11-06-2014, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm reasonably certain that a crew liability waiver would be of no benefit. You're the skipper, you're responsible. I get my crew to sign a crew book saying that they have agreed to abide by the boat rules, one of which is to do what I say to do, when I say it (more or less). As pointed out by haiqu2 elsewhere, the rules also contain a prohibition against direct worship of Cthulhu on board, and, I quote: "No anime. If your eyeballs are bigger than your mouth you can't come sailing."
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Old 11-06-2014, 07:02 PM   #3
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You're the skipper, you're responsible."[/QUOTE]

Yes - I had always assumed that was the case but I'm now very curious to see the rest of your boat rules! Mine would need to include 'No Country & Western, boot scooting on the foredeck or riding of unicycles below, although tugging your forelock as you pass the skipper on deck is a tradition I believe we should campaign strongly to preserve
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Old 11-07-2014, 12:46 AM   #4
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THE RULES

* Lifejackets, harnesses and lanyards will be worn above decks when (a) at night, (b) on the ocean, at any time forward of the cockpit, (c) when waves or weather dictates, (d) at any time when you feel safer by doing so, (e) at all times in the Bass Strait or the Cook Strait.

* Clothes maketh the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.

* Lifejackets without lanyards will be worn when crossing a river bar.

* No it does not look nice out. Tuck it back in, please.

* I am the LORD thy skipper. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. Especially not Cthulhu, those old ones get nasty when awoken.

* No Anime. If your eyeballs are bigger than your mouth, you can't come sailing.

OTHER SUGGESTIONS

* The amount of pumping you need to do in the heads varies with the state of the inlet and outlet. As the inlet sometimes gets choked up with barnacles and other foul, you might need to pump more and harder/faster to get the water flowing through. If the inlet is quite heavily fouled you might need to put the plug into the sink drain in order to force water into the inlet. At that point, once we're in port, it's worth someone going overboard with a snorkel/flippers/screwdriver to clear the inlet.

* While we are at sea, nothing is to be placed on the navigation table that is not used for the purpose of navigation. Chocolate is a useful navigation aid.

* I would prefer if people did not clean their teeth or use abrasive face/cleaning products in the heads sink. The sink only has a small outlet and is easily blocked by grit and other such products. Use the galley sink or outside.

* Remember that in a normal situation you need a radio license to operate either the HF or VHF radios, however in an emergency they can be operated by anyone. Get some instructions on how to make a "MAYDAY" or "PAN PAN" call, and take some notes just in case you need to do that.

* In a recent year, a survey of all of the man overboard incidents revealed that 100% of the people who did not go overboard survived the incident. Don't go overboard -- keep harnesses and tethers on and pay attention to the rules for harnessing when going forwards or being on deck at night.
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Old 11-07-2014, 02:23 AM   #5
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Ship’s Articles. Sandettie
1) The Skipper is the final arbiter in any decision regarding the safe operation and use of the vessel and where any dispute arises between crew which cannot otherwise be settled amicably.
2) Interaction between crew and officials must always be professional and courteous. Official receipts are required for any payments made.
3) All medicines which are taken aboard must be reported to the Skipper. Prescription medicine must be accompanied by a copy of either the original script or a recent photocopy. Any and all use of first aid supplies must be reported to the Skipper.
4) Penalties for carrying illegal drugs vary from country to country and include death, confiscation of property (including the boat) or terms of imprisonment and fines. Any person who brings on board or knowingly allows another to bring or keep on board any illicit drug, may be handed to the authorities and will be put off the ship at the first opportunity.
5) No explosive weaponry or ammunition is permitted to be brought aboard this vessel.
6) When aboard the ship, alcohol consumption must not exceed an amount which could, by the Skipper’s determination, prejudice good judgement. Your behaviour ashore must not compromise the good name and reputation of the ship while you remain a member of the complement.
7) When the ship is in waters controlled by a host country, local customs particularly as regards social behaviour, clothing, alcohol consumption, photography etc. must be rigidly observed.
8) Religions, politics, laws, customs or treatment of the citizenry by local authorities must not be criticised by anyone who is a guest in the country and who is part of the complement of this vessel.
9) Crew are responsible for the behaviour of any of their invited guests on board.
10) Costs of running the ship which would be borne by the skipper if single handing, will remain the responsibility of the skipper irrespective of crew numbers, otherwise costs will be equally shared.
11) Costs of provisioning will be shared equally except where individuals have specific needs for extraordinary foodstuffs or beverages.
12) All crew will become familiar with the location of safety gear, will be responsible for their PFD and harness, and will be familiar with man overboard procedures.
13) When underway, crew on deck will secure their harnesses to a jack line if they have to leave the cockpit. At night all crew on deck and in the cockpit will clip on and will wear an approved PFD.
14) Smoking is forbidden below deck, as is the lighting of candles or mosquito coils.
15) The vessel must be kept neat and clean. Prior to commencing a passage all loose gear must be stowed securely.
16) Crew are responsible for securing and keeping safe their travel and related identification documents and for providing unhindered access to them by the Skipper and other accredited officials.
17) No unopened packages, or third party deliveries are permitted on board.
18) Please respect all crew members, especially those of the opposite sex. This is a small boat and it is important to consider their comfort, privacy and to provide a safe and non-threatening environment.
The preceding articles notwithstanding, we are here to have fun, adventure and to upset no one.
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Old 11-07-2014, 07:19 PM   #6
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Auzzee, I agree with your list with two exceptions and a couple of additions.

Exceptions:
Your point 16: Passports and all official documents of all crew are to be placed in the waterproof pouch provided and will remain secured in the waterproof grab bag whilst underway. Nobody may remove their documents without the approval of the skipper.

Added to your point 13: At night all crew on watch must wear harnesses and be "clipped on". If only one crew member is on watch and needs to leave the cockpit to work on deck, you may not leave the cockpit until you have woken your appointed relief to watch over you, from the cockpit, until you return to the cockpit.

Additions:
Any crew member who suffers from any allergy, medical condition or takes chronic medication must inform the skipper before sailing and in the case of chronic medication, must have a doctor issued prescription and sufficient medication for the entire voyage.

Penicillin is kept in the first aid kit. Any crew member who is allergic to penicillin must supply one course of non-penicillin broad spectrum antibiotic which will be placed in a special pouch with his/her name on, in the first aid kit. You are responsible to claim the antibiotic when signing off as a crew member.

The vessel is equipped with an EPIRB and distress flares, which are kept together with the grab bag or fixed to a bulkhead. Nobody may tamper with or handle these items unless instructed to do so by the skipper or, if he is incapacitated, by the senior crew member appointed by the skipper and only in an emergency.

Nobody may urinate overboard at the rails - a heads is provided and must be used at all times.

If, whilst on watch and you, for any reason, are unsure of any situation during your watch, you must call the skipper who will assess the situation and give you assistance. He may be grumpy or cheesed off by being woken, but you must do it!

I also, when doing deliveries, sit down with the crew and do a safety briefing before setting sail and also include what to do if I, as the skipper, happen to die whilst at sea. This can be quite interesting with some wild ideas coming from the crew.

John.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:15 PM   #7
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Default Crew liability waivers

Suggested and Advice for crew members reading this thread.

Never give your original documents to the skipper or Captain / owner.

Give Copies only. All the information he needs can be obtained from the copies at all times and accompany him / her to the officials facilities from stamping the / your original copy etc. Have a water proof security, under clothing chest belt for your important original documents and wear when ever you feel the need to.

Obvious reason. You have met him just recently. This is to protect you from possible scammers particularly your passport.

Most skippers have a official carry brief case etc and if he is careless he is vulnerable to a targeted hijack bag snacker amongst other forget full occasions that every individuals are subject too.

If they does not accept this find another ship as he most likely has alterative motives.

Plus not all skippers or owner / captains are reasonable judges. What he imposes as a reasonable decision can and in a lot on cases are totally unreasonable by other persons including yourself. If he has the original locked that you cannot access you are totally at his discretional mercy. leave the ship and try to get your passport re issued is a time consuming, expensive exercise and you are on foreign unfamiliar state territories with different laws that you are unfamiliar with and with no legal papers. Always request a copy of the ships registration and ownership papers and his domicile residential home country address. Why if there is a dispute that information will facilitate swift quick rectifying action by the authorities for which ever party is at fault.

This is not a general indictment re captains or owners but we all know that world leaders cannot agree amicably even different religions leaders cannot agree amicably when the heat is turned on.
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Old 01-18-2015, 10:59 PM   #8
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Check clause #16 in post #5, above.
In all cases, it is wise for both skippers (who generally have a lot more to lose than casual crew) and crew, to exercise due diligence before any agreement is made to sail together.
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Old 01-19-2015, 01:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
Check clause #16 in post #5, above.
In all cases, it is wise for both skippers (who generally have a lot more to lose than casual crew) and crew, to exercise due diligence before any agreement is made to sail together.
Cheers
If this is aimed towards my reply I was replying to post No 6.

Would mention no crew waiver agreement overrides any Statuary world Maritime agreements / conventions that the statuary boat owner's government has / is a party to and the visiting state's visiting and their statuary laws.

Check your insurance policy conditions also you could be deemed a commercial vessel if certain conditions exist according to their and officials interpretations and insurance claim adjustors.


Most States adhere to the principal / maritime law and conventions that the skipper is also responsible for the crews return airfare, food, accommodation and transport costs whilst the crew member is waiting for a flight to his homeland should there be any disagreement re
departure from the vessel if not the crew members home state.
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Old 01-19-2015, 08:12 AM   #10
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Hi Phil, in answer to your post, my comments:-

Quote:
Never give your original documents to the skipper or Captain / owner.
Firstly, if you did not trust the skipper, you should not be on the vessel. The skipper is legally responsible for the vessel and crew and thus you have no rights as a crew member to refuse the skipper to retain your passport and personal documents. When saying "personal documents", I am saying documents such as immunisation certificates, etc. Crew who retain their passports is a big no-no due to various reasons such as when all hell breaks loose on board a vessel and you are required to abandon ship, often just seconds count. The last thing you need is crew trying to find their documents in their cabin and ending up drowning when the vessel sinks! As I said in my post above, ships papers, passports and whatever other documentation needed, is kept all together in the grab bag that will also contain flares, HT, torch, EPIRB and other safety equipment.

The other reason for retaining passports is that when arriving at a foreign port after clearing into the country, if a crew member decides on their own to abscond with his or her passport, you as the skipper will have a rather difficult time with immigration trying to explain what happened to that person, who is your responsibility until legally removed from the crew list. You will not be able to depart until the crew member is legally removed from your crew list by the immigration office. Often crew and skipper relations sour on a voyage and a crew member just wants out, it is actually an easy process to do legally - but you need to go to the immigration office and follow the correct procedure to make it legal and thus you, as skipper, need the passport of the crew member being discharged.

Quote:
Give Copies only. All the information he needs can be obtained from the copies at all times and accompany him / her to the officials facilities from stamping the / your original copy etc. Have a water proof security, under clothing chest belt for your important original documents and wear when ever you feel the need to.
Immigration officers tend to not accept copies of passports - let us know where you have succeeded in clearing in or out of a foreign country using even certified copies of a passport. Remember that not all countries work the same way. Some countries require all crew to present themselves at their office whilst others will require all crew to remain on board until visited and inspected by immigration, customs and health officials. Yet in other countries the crew must remain on board and the skipper has to schlep around visiting the various authorities - you do not, as skipper, always have a choice and can be heavily reprimanded if you decide to drag your crew around with you because the person does not want you to be in possession of their passport.

Quote:
Obvious reason. You have met him just recently. This is to protect you from possible scammers particularly your passport.
Really?

Quote:
Most skippers have a official carry brief case etc and if he is careless he is vulnerable to a targeted hijack bag snacker amongst other forget full occasions that every individuals are subject too.
Mmmmm . . . Never seen a recreational skipper with a brief case - I always take the waterproof pouch out of the grab bag, containing all the ships papers and crew papers, stick them under my jacket and do the rounds with the various authorities.

Quote:
If they does not accept this find another ship as he most likely has alterative motives.
Again, if you think this, do not join a vessel as crew and do find yourself another vessel to crew on. However, with such a mindset, I think it best to just remain on land and only dream of going sailing and let the skipper and crew rather enjoy themselves without a conspiracy theorist on board.

Quote:
Plus not all skippers or owner / captains are reasonable judges. What he imposes as a reasonable decision can and in a lot on cases are totally unreasonable by other persons including yourself. If he has the original locked that you cannot access you are totally at his discretional mercy. leave the ship and try to get your passport re issued is a time consuming, expensive exercise and you are on foreign unfamiliar state territories with different laws that you are unfamiliar with and with no legal papers. Always request a copy of the ships registration and ownership papers and his domicile residential home country address. Why if there is a dispute that information will facilitate swift quick rectifying action by the authorities for which ever party is at fault.
Phil, you are correct in talking about "reasonable judgment". There are a lot of folk around that are not good judges of any situation. However, it takes two to tango to make things pleasant on board during a voyage. If relations do break down during a voyage, both parties are at play and I am sure most skippers will sit down with a crew member and tell the crew member they need to part company. Likewise, a crew member can always inform the skipper that they would like to depart company at the next port. If the skipper refuses to sign the crew member off the crew list and relations have deteriorated to such a degree that the two will not listen to each other, the crew member can always visit the immigration office themselves and ask the immigration officer for assistance in being signed off the crew list.

Quote:
This is not a general indictment re captains or owners but we all know that world leaders cannot agree amicably even different religions leaders cannot agree amicably when the heat is turned on.
You are again correct in this statement. However, I really feel from your post that you have had a bad experience as a crew member in the past. But, to live in a negative world, indicated by your post and try and inform all prospective crew how to run a vessel, irrelevant of the laws, vessel and other factors that are the responsibility of the skipper, is a bit silly and short sighted.

Have I, as skipper, had a fall-out with crew? Yes, after sailing over 400,000 nautical miles, I have on four occasions parted company with crew when relations have been less than happy. Although I may have been pissed off at the time, I had no objection in going through the quick and painless legal procedure in having the crew signed off and then giving them their documents and wishing them well on their journey - in a pleasant manner. But in all those miles I have done exactly what I mentioned in my original post - been the legal guardian of their passports and associated documents, for their own safety and so that, in the event of one party wishing to part company, it can be done legally without causing problems with local authorities. From your post, it appears that you have never been a skipper having the responsibility of the safety of a vessel and all souls on board and their wellbeing.
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Old 01-19-2015, 11:49 PM   #11
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John T.

I disagree with all your comments and reaffirm my posts advise to crew. I have entered numerous ports as skipper and completed the all the necessary papers. You have missed the point. With the photo copies they are exactly the same information on the first two pages [ originals ] that you copy / write on the declaration and departure documents for the harbour master, immigration and also customs.

All you need is the crew members to be present for stamping the passport originals and they retain the originals the skippers has the photo copies.

Re: briefcase or satchel document carry shoulder bag or what ever other name you like to give them. Off course it is entirely possible you have not seen the other skippers because most other boats do not arrive at the same as groups. I have never had to fight 30 other cruising vessels or a single vessel to enter a port or depart a port for that matter.

I notice your crew rules does not cover should you loose say 6 crew members passports and documents.

I'm sure you are a reasonable skipper and would stay at port and finance the entire re acquiring the original passports. Do you know that some passports cost $600 -$800 dollars each. Further if the crew member had amicably agreed with you to depart on a tight flight time table, which would be missed because you lost the papers and documents, John I'm sure you would amicably fund the additional non refundable flight ticket costing $3000 to his intended flight destination and also his hotel accommodation, meals, transport and other expenses, purchases and other purchases or gambling debts until the replacement documents arrived from his home country issuing authorities.

John Yes I have been a Skipper and crew. also have numerous references I'm a excellent crew member and navigator.

John tell the tread how the world marine conventions and maritime law came about and why they where enacted and almost all countries are signatories to them. TO protect crew members from unscrupulous skippers, and boat owners.

John also should a crew member depart the territory for his own private reasons and not tell you, that is a simple exercise - they just push a button and yes he has departed our territories and is automatically excepted from your crew list with no further ado not as you are trying to portray.

JOHN You know and I known re the other 2 eventualities you can leave port when ever you like minus the whole crew at any given time you like or choose if you have their passports, [ minus the whole crew is a extreme example ] and with the immigration, harbour master and customs blessings.

Re time to abandon ship = are you suggesting that crew members must sleep with their inflatable life jackets on as there would not be enough time for them to, as you put it search for them.


On second thoughts yeah could be possible a mono lead keel vessel.
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Old 01-21-2015, 03:16 AM   #12
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Post Crew liability waivers

Intending Crew Members.

It has not been mentioned so far but crew liability waiver agreements [ - Not Crew agreements - ] but some do usually have a clause that states and exonerates the owner / Captain / Skipper reading :

The signatory shall at all times including all members of his family including next of kin and his or her estate executors, legal representatives, successors have no legal claim rights against the Captain / Owner for negligence, bad seamanship, incompetence, incorrect decision making, ill maintained vessel and equipment, unseaworthy vessel, insufficient equipment and medical skills and supplies and assigns, and in consideration of the acceptance as a crew-member of the yacht ................... do hereby waive any and all claims which I may have against Owner / Captain ................ or any other duly qualified and authorized captain appointed by him, arising out of, or in any way connected with, my participation as a members of the crew of the ............... yacht, and understand and agree that, as a member of the crew of said ............. yacht, I have no recourse or claims of any kind against ........................ and shall hold them harmless against all consequences of my participation as a crew member aboard the yacht.


Crew Don't sign this / these clauses under any circumstances particularly if you are paying a daily fee to be on board. There is always another boat looking for crew.

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Old 01-21-2015, 12:11 PM   #13
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There would be no point in offering this sort of disclaimer for anyone to sign. Under the law, no one can sign away their legal responsibilities. It is a document which would be completely indefensible in court. This flawed disclaimer is therefore worthless. I am not sure why it needs to be featured.


Fortunately, most crew are responsible and educated and would easily spot that the author of such a document is not versed in either the law or it's language.
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Old 01-21-2015, 08:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Auzzee View Post
There would be no point in offering this sort of disclaimer for anyone to sign. Under the law, no one can sign away their legal responsibilities. It is a document which would be completely indefensible in court. This flawed disclaimer is therefore worthless. I am not sure why it needs to be featured.


Fortunately, most crew are responsible and educated and would easily spot that the author of such a document is not versed in either the law or it's language.
No disrespect Auzzee

But that wording is common with American owners / Skippers and was copied from a owners crewing agreement he displayed and the wording was written by his legal representatives and had a additional clause all legal disputes had to be conducted through American courts, his home country.


So if you are incorrect how does a crew member take immediate legal remedies when entered as a visitor to another foreign country if he signed such a document?


So are you saying that here in NZ all hospitals that ask for a similar disclaimer from all patients to sign before an operation can be commenced is worthless and court defence worthless?

Additionally most island cruising organisations and sporting events have a similar disclaimer so does the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

and accordingly the Volvo ocean race boat Vestra had there been deaths then the next on kin, executors, legal representatives could sue the skipper, navigator and the Volvo race organiser's ?

Again no offence is intended to your credibility and knowledge.


This discussion is posted as fairness pondering to both parties as I have been both Skipper and crew. Additionally I will continue as both crew or skipper / owner / Captain / navigator.
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