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Subject: Tell me more about: "bareboat"
(Posted on Jun 23, 2010 at 12:01PM)

Tags: Bareboat Charter, Insurance, Skippered Charter, Agency, PCOC
After all these years doing bareboat charters, now is a great time to take a look at what has stayed the same and what has changed.   Perhaps most importantly: what is a bareboat charter?   

Bareboat charters certainly don't derive their name from the inventory and options aboard - that has grown on the boats from a half page under a piece of plexiglass screwed to the bulkhead of boats with virtually no "toys" back in 1983 to Cooper Boating's current multi-page document that includes many features that make the bareboat charter far less than bare on the equipment side of the equation.

The term bareboat charter refers to the legal arrangements in place to access the boat.  You are well served to think of a bareboat charter as one where you are, in effect, the owner of the vessel for the charter period.  As a bareboat charterer, it is your responsibility to arrange for the running of the boat including its safe navigation, the insurance, the fuel, the destinations and so forth.  When looking at current regulations, it is clear that any influence of the actual vessel owner should not take place.  A bareboat charter of a pleasure boat is one where the charter client is using the boat for pleasure (non commercial application) and has complete control of the vessel as if they were the owner.   

In fact, we embrace the concept of being the owner for the duration - nothing on our boats says they aren't yours.   You don't rent a Ferrari and want a rent-a-car sticker on the back... so we embrace that concept and have had clients actually end up debating with others who 'don't believe' that the boat they are on could be a charter boat.   We love that, but let's get back to the discussion of this word 'bareboat'.

A charter agent like Cooper Boating can coordinate many of the items such as insurance and crew as required, but it will be on your behalf, not the actual owner of the vessel.   Should you not meet the competency requirements and require someone to be aboard to help you, those arrangements are on your behalf and do not involve the vessel owner.  If you delegate skippering or navigating or any other aspect of running the vessel, the responsibility for those assignments does come back to you as the charterer.

In Canada, you are welcome to buy a boat, and, providing you have your Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) - you are welcome to operate the vessel with that alone for non-commercial applications.   It may be more difficult to insure the vessel with just a PCOC as the insurance company will want to know that you are an acceptable risk when operating the boat.  They will want to see experience and training on the size and type of vessel you own.  Chartering is similar - as agents we work to confirm you are properly insured when operating the boat.  We work to fill out any requirements stemming from holes in your boating resume.

All the vessels we operate through Cooper Boating are offered on a bareboat basis.   We do not offer a skippered charter or passenger arrangements.   Some charters add crew or skippers, but it is important to understand those people are NOT working for the vessel owner. As with many topics, one can go deeper into the workings and background - Wikipedia discusses further the concept of a bareboat charter (also referred to as a demise charter).  Our agents  would also be happy to help you further as you book your spectacular boating holiday.

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