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Rogue charter boats, how to verify credentials?

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Rogue charter boats, how to verify credentials?

Old 03-03-2019, 12:21 PM
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Default Rogue charter boats, how to verify credentials?

Any way to check to see if a charter operation is legit, as in licensed Capt. Insured, etc?

I searched around didn't come up with anything...
Old 03-03-2019, 01:31 PM
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ASk to see their OUPV book/license. They are required to have it on board
Old 03-03-2019, 06:10 PM
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If it’s drastically cheaper than the competitors, if it departs from an odd location. Can’t provide credentials promptly. Or easiest would be type his name or vessel name into the noaa site and check his license
Old 03-03-2019, 06:21 PM
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Old 03-04-2019, 03:54 AM
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NOAA site is for federal permits, what about state waters?
Old 03-04-2019, 04:14 AM
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There are plenty of ways but it's difficult to tell just by website. If you are interested in a company you have every right to ask for credentials.

The way I try to avoid any issue is by having my contract directly linked to my page (https://openbow.org/book-a-charter/) as a .pdf and on that contract you will see language that should verify a legit company - Openbow LLC (the business) and Victoria LTD Charters (the USCG Coastwise Documented Vessel)

Be wary of dudes dealing only cash (cash is king but if unsure offer a check for deposit and see what they say), picking up in obscure spots (insurance requires a fully insured marina for charter operations b/c a customer must be insured from the moment they step out of their car until the moment they step foot on your boat and that's not in a charter insurance binder).

Bottom line is if all some guy has is a FB page and he tells you he'll pick you up behind his friends house at 4am I would find another business.
Old 03-04-2019, 04:29 AM
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This is only for those who have special permits to fish certain species in federal waters. It will not tell you anything if the captain is only an in-shore guy or great lakes. The best way to tell if they have credentials is to ask them to provide it. They should have a USCG issues Operators license, and in mosts states, they probably have some sort of operators or passengers license issues by the state's DNR. If they are not willing, then pass.
Old 03-04-2019, 07:15 AM
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Originally Posted by popeyeiii View Post
This is only for those who have special permits to fish certain species in federal waters. It will not tell you anything if the captain is only an in-shore guy or great lakes. The best way to tell if they have credentials is to ask them to provide it. They should have a USCG issues Operators license, and in mosts states, they probably have some sort of operators or passengers license issues by the state's DNR. If they are not willing, then pass.
Another good question to ask is if they can provide their credentials that they are involved in a required random drug testing program. They must carry it along with their merchant mariner credentials at all times when operating for hire. There are still
plenty who have the Captains license that carry no insurance or the proper safety gear. I find those types are the ones that usually skip on the drug program.

I put together corporate trips several times a year and do a lot of client entertaining for business owners. These savvy business owners that are paying for their clients charter are damn sure making me provide all the proper credentials. In today's world you put a client or an employee on a charter to entertain them and something goes wrong you could easily get your ass hung out to dry. The average guy wanting to go on a charter seldom ask's but I would not be offended if they did.

I will share a story that I got from a charter client. Self employed guy that did well doing manual labor. He got injured on a charter by the operator doing something very stupid. Put the guy out of work for 6 weeks. The charter had no insurance and not a pot to piss in and was upside down in his charter boat. End result was the working guy has no income for 6 weeks and nothing to go after from the Captain.
Charter liability insurance is to protect both the captain and the client in the event of injury. I personally feel it should be mandatory to operate but it isn't in Florida and many don't carry it. Not sure about other states requirements.
Old 03-04-2019, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by swellhunter View Post
Be wary of dudes dealing only cash (cash is king but if unsure offer a check for deposit and see what they say), picking up in obscure spots (insurance requires a fully insured marina for charter operations b/c a customer must be insured from the moment they step out of their car until the moment they step foot on your boat and that's not in a charter insurance binder).
This is not correct as we have lots of beach launching operations, some areas have nothing but beach launches. Lots of guys operate out of local boat ramps as well.
Old 03-04-2019, 10:51 AM
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Originally Posted by Abel View Post
This is not correct as we have lots of beach launching operations, some areas have nothing but beach launches. Lots of guys operate out of local boat ramps as well.
Boat ramps are fine b/c they are insured.

Beach launches? No clue.

Suppose AK is a different monster. And suppose it depends on what's considered public access - b/c if it's public access you are covered to some degree. Private is where it gets sketchy.
Old 03-04-2019, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by swellhunter View Post
Boat ramps are fine b/c they are insured.

Beach launches? No clue.

Suppose AK is a different monster. And suppose it depends on what's considered public access - b/c if it's public access you are covered to some degree. Private is where it gets sketchy.
Ya, i would definetly see operating a charter out of a private dock as your home owners isn't going to cover a client getting hurt.
Old 03-04-2019, 06:33 PM
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In Florida the state waters of the Atlantic only extend 3 miles. If you are booking an offshore charter they must have a federal license. But to be fair I didn’t even consider that some inshore guides might not have to have one.
Old 03-05-2019, 04:23 AM
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Originally Posted by keywestjack View Post
In Florida the state waters of the Atlantic only extend 3 miles. If you are booking an offshore charter they must have a federal license. But to be fair I didn’t even consider that some inshore guides might not have to have one.
This correct!

I have to carry federal permits for past 9 miles in the GOM for reef and pelagic, then federal permits for dolphin wahoo and reef fish on the Atlantic side past 3 miles. No federal permits on my flats boat.
Old 03-05-2019, 06:10 AM
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While this site is great, it wont show if the permit is being leased to someone.
Old 03-05-2019, 07:14 AM
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For mandating all these other regulations yet leaving guides option whether to have insurance or not is beyond me. Let alone the operator not having it is just reckless.. one guide locally to me was picking up a client at the ramp, client slipped off the dock landed in the guides boat turned around and sued the guide. Thankfully he did have insurance and it took care of it but the total bill was around 150,000..

I don’t get asked too often on showing my license, but occasionally in my conversations with clients I do explain all of the licenses I have. My father and I are both licensed with the CG. Last time I was stopped by CG was coming back from the Bahamas by a cutter. I asked the officer to do a full inspection just to make sure I wasn’t overlooking something that I didn’t have to be in compliance.
Old 03-07-2019, 08:03 AM
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Drug testing program does not prove much as anyone could join one of these AND the cost is only $50-$75/year while my insurance is close to $2,000 per year. BTW while the drug program is required, business liability insurance is not required by USCG.
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Old 03-07-2019, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by PrivateerSportFishing View Post
Drug testing program does not prove much as anyone could join one of these AND the cost is only $50-$75/year while my insurance is close to $2,000 per year. BTW while the drug program is required, business liability insurance is not required by USCG.
You can't join if you don't pass the test.

As you said, No insurance is required.

The average guy can request credentials that are and should be onboard.

Chances are if a man can't meet the minimum required he probably has no interest in insurance either.
Old 03-07-2019, 07:02 PM
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If they've been in business for very long chances are they are legit, so it's always best to get a referral from someone or ask the tackle shops for a referral. But sometimes a marina office or dock master will require proof of insurance and some state dnr or wildlife/fisheries departments require state charter vessel permits. The permit is usually what a game warden will ask to see when checking a charter boat; in some cases it covers the paying customers' fishing license requirements. Like he said those documents should be on hand for any legitimate charter operation.
Old 03-08-2019, 05:40 AM
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You can do a mariner lookup on the National Maritime Center website.
Old 03-08-2019, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly_Hookers View Post
You can do a mariner lookup on the National Maritime Center website.
I saw that but you need the persons 'reference' number in addition to name.


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