|Disclaimer: I am not a spokesperson for the US Coast Guard or ABYC. For an official interpretation of regulations or standards you must contact the US Coast Guard or other organization referenced.. More.....|
Commercial boats are not recreational boats and may not be sold for recreational use
That may sound rather obvious but apparently it is not because many commercial boats have been sold to recreational boaters mainly because the sellers advertise them as cheaper than recreational boats. Commercial boats are not required to meet the same safety standards as recreational boats, and so they typically do not meet the flotation requirements, capacity and labeling requirements. Selling them for recreational use is prohibited. The following is a quote from the US Coast Guard Boating Safety Circular #88 Fall 2014. http://uscgboating.org/content/boating-safety-circulars.php
So the message is simple. If you manufacture and label boats as "For Commercial Use Only" you may not sell them to persons for recreational use. This can net you a penalty from the Coast Guard. In addition you may have to deal with a very disgruntled customer who has found they cannot register their boat because it is not a recreational boat.
Rules applicable to Commercial Boats
For the latest and most accurate information you need to contact the USCG Marine Safety Office in your area see USCG: Passenger Vessel Safety Program - Contacts or the Marine Safety Center at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/
The commercial world is divided into inspected and un-inspected. Un-inspected are usually work boats or boats with six or less passengers for hire. Work boats have been described above. Boats carrying six or less passengers for hire, also called six pack boats have to meet the same standards as recreational boats, however the skipper or captain of the boat must have a license to carry 6 or less passengers. The license goes to the person, not the boat.
Fishing Vessels: Commercial fishing vessels have their own set of standards.
"T" Boats: Larger passenger carrying boats are inspected vessels and could be considered a Subchapter T vessel, that is, a vessel to which the rules in Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, Subchapter T apply. See USCG: Passenger Vessel Safety Program - Small Passenger Vessel These are passenger vessels carrying more than 6 passengers and are less than 100 gross tons displacement.
Additionally there are rules for specialty passenger vessels like pontoon boats, or duck boats (DUKWs of WWII vintage often used in large port cities for tours.)
For any of the above, or any passenger carrying vessel contact the USCG Marine Safety Office in your area see USCG: Passenger Vessel Safety Program - Contacts or the Marine Safety Center at http://www.uscg.mil/hq/msc/
As of March 2015 the US Coast Guard has published rules for vessels carrying up to 12 passengers for hire. Currently these only apply in the US Virgin Islands. See http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2015/03/21/uscg-issues-rules-carrying-12-uninspected-boat
Copyright 2014 newboatbuilders.com All Rights Reserved. Revised 03/26/2015
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