Small boat liability

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anguss
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Small boat liability

Postby anguss » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:34 pm

Hi, can anyone throw any light on the following;
We have a holiday cottage in Scotland and we want to buy a small boat to fit 4 to offer to our guests for fishing / pleasure trips. No problem there! But what about our liability if, God forbid, anyone got hurt or worse. Would the hirers be responsible for their own safety and welfare- as in bareboat charter? I'm not talking about personal boat insurance liability here, I'm purly interested in, is it legal to charge someone for the use of a small boat yet have no liabilty otherwise - provided the boat was seaworthy of course with life jackets etc on board.
Any feed back would be appreciated so we can consider adding it to our T&Cs.

Anguss

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Mark
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:45 pm

anguss wrote:Hi, can anyone throw any light on the following;
We have a holiday cottage in Scotland and we want to buy a small boat to fit 4 to offer to our guests for fishing / pleasure trips. No problem there! But what about our liability if, God forbid, anyone got hurt or worse. Would the hirers be responsible for their own safety and welfare- as in bareboat charter? I'm not talking about personal boat insurance liability here, I'm purly interested in, is it legal to charge someone for the use of a small boat yet have no liabilty otherwise - provided the boat was seaworthy of course with life jackets etc on board.
Any feed back would be appreciated so we can consider adding it to our T&Cs.


I've got a nasty feeling (based on no knowledge or evidence) that your boat would need to be treated as a charter boat and coded.

I'm not sure the MCA would have got away with a prosecution in this case but there may be a lesson here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2639377 ... lunch.html

Someone who really knows will be along shortly.

anguss
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby anguss » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:20 pm

Thanks for the very interesting link. We wouldn't personaly be on board the boat ourselves during hire. Would it be enough to warn that taking the boat would be entirely the responsibility of the hirer?

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aquaplane
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby aquaplane » Thu Jan 14, 2010 6:34 pm

anguss wrote:Thanks for the very interesting link. We wouldn't personaly be on board the boat ourselves during hire. Would it be enough to warn that taking the boat would be entirely the responsibility of the hirer?

I don't think "get out of jail free" cards work when lawyers get their teeth sunk in.

It must be possible to get some insurance or the rowing boats on Windermere wouldn't work. I wouldn't know where to get it though.
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sahona
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby sahona » Thu Jan 14, 2010 7:19 pm

Lots of fishing clubs have boats on lochs for hire by fishermen, so maybe the same rules would apply.
However, you don't say if it's inland or saltwater you are hiring on.
http://trooncruisingclub.org/ 20' - 30' Berths available, Clyde.
Cruising, racing, maintenance facilities. Go take a look, you know you want to.

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Mark
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:04 pm

sahona wrote:Lots of fishing clubs have boats on lochs for hire by fishermen, so maybe the same rules would apply.
However, you don't say if it's inland or saltwater you are hiring on.


Now I'm curious.

I suspect I can hire a non-coded pedalo. Can I hire a non-coded 12ft dinghy? I'm pretty sure yes. How about a non-coded 16ft dinghy? How about a non-coded 16ft dinghy with a cuddy?

It must be written down somewhere.

anguss
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby anguss » Thu Jan 14, 2010 8:36 pm

Its a sea front location and it would be our intention to clue the hirer up as much as possible about general safety precautions, tides, currents etc before taking possesion, but there's always one who might get out too far or perhaps damage someones craft and it's here that liability issues might arise.
We often hire cars and we are of course made aware of our part in the hire but if we decided to drive to the top of everest and encountered trouble en route then I dont think the car hire company are liable for our actions...
I might just settle for a couple of sea canoes or kayaks - or would that raise the same issues???

Angus

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sahona
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby sahona » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:08 pm

If you're at the seaside, I would respectfully suggest they bring their own toys or hire from the existing local man.
If the isn't an existing local man there may or may not be a business opportunity......depending on the restrictions!
http://trooncruisingclub.org/ 20' - 30' Berths available, Clyde.
Cruising, racing, maintenance facilities. Go take a look, you know you want to.

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Mark
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby Mark » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:09 pm

anguss wrote:I might just settle for a couple of sea canoes or kayaks - or would that raise the same issues???


I'm curious too.

You could ask the MCA: http://www.mcga.gov.uk

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Silkie
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby Silkie » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:18 pm

It's almost certainly a liability minefield that you should steer well clear of but perhaps you could say something like:

"There is a small dinghy at the cottage and guests are welcome to use it if they wish. The sea is a potentially dangerous place however and if you are not competent to assume sole responsibility for your safety afloat then you should not use it. Your use of the dinghy forms no part of any contract between us."

PS - I'm no lawyer and this advice is worth no more than you paid for it. :)
we can be heroes

anguss
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby anguss » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:21 pm

Great idea !!! I'm all for common sense precautions but the health & safety brigade would have us all wearing hard hats, high viz jackets & goggles just to build the kids a sand castle these days so it's worth finding out as much a possible first.....

Angus

anguss
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby anguss » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:31 pm

"where does the dream come from"?
Well, we bought fish & chips and went down to the little harbour to enjoy them. Just as the sun was setting and that fabulous alabaster coloured light started to fall upon the rocks and little island we spotted a derelect fishermans bothy that had recently been used as a cafe. We made enquiries the following day and ended up buying it from the owner who was more than willing to get his money back on it. We spent a small fortune with architecets & structural engineers and withing 12 months a brand new beach front villa was born. We're always looking for ways to improve the experience for all our guest and of course ourselves and family. So, the boat is my latest obsesion. Well, you did ask!

Angus

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sahona
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Re: Small boat liability

Postby sahona » Thu Jan 14, 2010 9:44 pm

Two things then. You would probably insure the boat for loss ??? The paperwork will no doubt provide the answers to all our questions.
and---- A link to the online advert for the cottage could be a signature?
http://trooncruisingclub.org/ 20' - 30' Berths available, Clyde.
Cruising, racing, maintenance facilities. Go take a look, you know you want to.

anguss
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Posts: 6
Joined: Thu Jan 14, 2010 5:23 pm
Boat Type: small dingy

Re: Small boat liability

Postby anguss » Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:09 pm

Keeping it simple sounds like the way to go alright.

Many thanks

Anguss


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