What passenger requirements apply to your vessel?
The term "charter" or charter boat is often misused. A charter in the maritime realm is a legal term going back to the days of sail. Today, a chartered vessel is like a rented vessel where an individual assumes responsibilities as its owner, similar to when you rent a car. A written agreement is signed whereupon the renter (charterer) takes on ownership responsibilities from the vessel's true owner. The charterer is responsible for all materials to operate it (crew, insurance, fuel, etc.). This can be categorized as a vessel "chartered without crew" -also referred to as a bareboat or demise charter. In some cases, the true owner of the vessel designates specifically who operates their vessel when it's under charter. This is known as "chartered with crew". If you are the owner of the vessel and operate it, this is a non-chartered vessel. These circumstances represent 3 important vessel categories: (1) Not Chartered
(2) Chartered without Crew (3) Chartered with Crew. ** See referenced chart**
Requirements can be found in USCG NVIC 07-94 , 46 USC 2101 and by clicking here. You'll also need to check local and state requirements. USCG licenses are required for UPV's (Uninspected Passenger Vessels) and SPV's (Small Passenger Vessels). Additionally, active USCG Inspections and a Certificate of Inspection (also referred to as "COI") are required for an SPV.
** This chart represents common motorized vessels under a 100 gross regulatory tonnage size. Other special circumstances exist. Vessels on a scheduled route (ferries) carrying more than 6 passengers (even for free) must meet SPV requirements. Non motorized/non self propelled vessels carrying 6 or less paying passenger(s) ned only meet REC requirements; when carrying over 6 passengers for hire, the vessel must meet SPV requirements. Vessels 100 GRT and large may carry up to 12 passengers for hire as a UPV (Uninspected Passenger Vessel).
** Source: USCG