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Old 03-01-2009, 06:48 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 48

As you know I'm thinking of chartering buisnes.

I'm planning to buy an american boat and skippering her in the international cruises. Whole operation would be based in EU registered company.

The problem is, that being polish I cannot aply for USCG skipper licence, and as far as I understand to skipper US registered boat commercially this licence is a must. I could easily obtain RYA Yachtmaster licence, but it won't be any help I guess.

Other option is to register the boat in another country. I know, many megayachts do this, but is it doable for smaller boat (17t, 50' schooner)? What country is preffered? I like US un-inspected vesel status, since I don't intend to carry more then 6 passengers. Where I could find simmilar regulations? Can I register a boat by mail or I must visit the country?

And finally what is the differenc between crew and passenger? Are all people on board a passengers? How about Sail Training vesels? Are the trainees passengers or a crew? If a crew, can one operate a tall ship with 30 trainees and be still un-inspected vesel?

I know, that it's not a place for legal advice, but I've received great help from you aready and maybe you could point me in the right direction.


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Old 03-01-2009, 07:37 PM   #2
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6

I don't know about all of your questions but this might help.

If the vessel is going to operate within a European company then you will have to register her in Europe.

Means Import Duty, Vat and worst of all the vessel will have to comply with the European Craft Directive (ECD). Big problems.

Vessel will also have to comply with passenger regulations, Water tight bulkheads, firefighting equipment and so on.

Trying to get around the regulations will not work as the insurance companies will insist on them.

So either the Americans will jump on you or the Europeans.


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Old 03-02-2009, 01:13 PM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 53

If I remember correctly as a foreign national you can get an OUPV, Operator Uninspected Passenger Vessel or Six-Pack license from the USCG. It is just the Masters License that is limited to US citizens. Your crew do not count as part of the passengers. As I recall you are from the Great Lakes region and though I am not familiar with your sailing experience, one problem that I am trying to overcome is that the USCG require 720 days of experience to obtain a near coastal license, with 360 days having to be offshore, beyond the demarcation line. I have done almost all of my sailing on the Great Lakes and have been trying to build the offshore sea time by doing deliveries and charters, a week or two at a time. A slooow process but as with sailing getting there is part of the fun.
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Old 03-02-2009, 07:58 PM   #4
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 1,619

Quick answer:

Try Gibraltar. British flag and the advantages that go with that but outside the EU and so, you do not import your vessel to the EU with all its problems.

Otherwise Piotrek, you, I believe, are Poilish.What is wrong with the Polish flag?

Having just got back from Gdynia I can answer that myself and say that the only fault I discovered in Poland last week is that nobody has any concept of speed restrictions on roads and it was darn cold!

Aye // Stephen
Yacht NAUSIKAA | Call Sign: 2AJH2



= Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania
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Old 03-03-2009, 05:46 PM   #5
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 17

Originally Posted by Piotrek View Post
I could easily obtain RYA Yachtmaster licence, but it won't be any help I guess.
You can get a commercial endorsement on your yachtmaster. Just need to do a sea survival course and have a medical.

According to UKSA that allows you to "Qualify for skippering your own yacht, working with charter or flotilla companies, short haul deliveries, or teaching yachting if combined with a RYA Cruising Instructor course."

But not working on a superyacht.

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Old 03-04-2009, 09:31 PM   #6
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 129

To get a USCG documentation for your boat you must be a US citizen. You can own a US boat with a state registration but not a Federal documentation. Taking a US state (e.g., Florida) out of US waters can be problematical as most countries - especially the French - will not recognize the "state registration."

So you will either need to become a US citizen or register the boat in another country. Why not just register it in Poland and simplify the whole process.

Getting a USCG license has a lot more to it than just attending the classes and getting the initial certificate. You must take additional class periodically and join a "drug testing group" with periodic drug tests in order to keep your USCG license valid. Then there are insurance and other complications.

I see a lot of boats with US names and home ports in many Caribbean ports - basically they are all expired with the USA and do not have valid documents anymore - the new owners just don't bother registering them in their home country to try to avoid having to pay taxes on the boat. So long as they do not take the boats out of their home country's waters they get away with it for many years.

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