SEC. 506. PASSENGER FOR HIRE.







Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting between paragraphs (21) and (22) a new paragraph (21a) to read as follows:

"(21a) 'passenger for hire' means a passenger for whom consideration is contributed as a condition of carriage on the vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or any other person having an interest in the vessel.".

DESCRIPTION - The determination of what constitutes the carriage of a "passenger for hire" must be made on a case by case basis. This determination is dependent upon the actual operation of a vessel and the flow of consideration as determined by the facts of each case. In general, there needs to be some form of tangible consideration or promise of performance being passed for a "passenger for hire" situation to exist.

SEC. 507. CONSIDERATION.

Section 2101 of title 46, United States Code, is amended by inserting between paragraphs (5) and (6) a new paragraph (5a) to read as follows:

"(5a) 'consideration' means an economic benefit, inducement, right, or profit including pecuniary payment accruing to an individual, person, or entity, but not including a voluntary sharing of the actual expenses of the voyage, by monetary contribution or donation of fuel, food, beverage, or other supplies.". Additionally, employees or business clients that have not contributed for their carriage, and are carried for morale or entertainment purposes is not included as exchange of consideration.

Bottom line: if you are a recreational boater you are allowed to share expenses for a day on the water. Just don't make payment mandatory if someone wants a boat ride.