How much does a fella pay to his host on a private boat?

Oldtimer2

Member
Jul 29, 2020
270
495
Iowa City Iowa
Name
Rob Malone
Boat
don't got no boat
Private Boaters,
I've been reading posts for a while here on BD that have told horror stories about guests on their boats.

I have a boat, but it a small fresh water boat, and I don't go out in the ocean, and when Wifeo and I take guests out, it isn't expensive, so we never expect anything. But I know (from reading here) that taking out a boat into the ocean is muy caro. My goodness, you folks appear to use more gas in one trip than I use in a year. Plus, a scoop of sardines is way more costly than a scoop of minnows or a carton of worms.

Sooo, I had a question or two.

How much, on averge, should a guest give to the host to cover his share of costs on a local trip along the coast?

How much should a guest give to the host to cover his share of costs on a trip offshore or to the islands? (These involve longer distances and more gas, etc.)


I appreciate any answers, and I realize it will vary depending on the size of boat, etc. Just wanted some ballpark ideas. Thanks.
 
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sickcat

Silverback
Aug 5, 2003
3,619
1,628
64
LA
Name
Kerry
Boat
Yellow spot
One needs to be careful about guests paying expenses. USCG has been going after unlicensed charter operations. If you are not careful about sharing expenses you might get caught up in that enforcement effort.

As an owner IMO best to figure expenses you would like people to share and divide those up between everyone owner included. Document it well with written log.
 
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geebee

My Member is Well-Known
Nov 12, 2016
1,136
556
San Diego
Name
Gee Bee
Boat
Partial to AZTEC - aspiring to INTREPID
Private Boaters,
I've been reading posts for a while here on BD that have told horror stories about guests on their boats...

did a double take on that

boats telling horror stories about their nasty customers

now that would be a read...
 
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Croaker.Stroker

Old White Guy
Nov 28, 2015
1,514
1,262
Tustin
Name
Croaker
Boat
Arima Sea Pacer
I buy gas, they buy their own scoop of bait. (I may use some of their bait) 😂
 
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clevel

Skipper
  • Jun 4, 2011
    1,204
    1,001
    Laguna Niguel
    Name
    Cabo Jack
    Boat
    Cobia 261
    I just ask my friends to buy bait and ice. No gas expense. I figure it would cost me gas anyway whether I go for a short or long distance, with or without friends. It really depends on your comfort level with your "friend/s." But if you are frequently going out with the same friends, then you would hope that they start pitching in on the gas, bait and ice in equal shares.
     
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    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
    4,140
    4,695
    Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    Yes
    It varies widely and the best answer, IMO, is to work it out up front. And if the owner is inviting you, the owner should be up front about any financial contributions. But, if the owner doesn't raise the issue, you should. The owner can't legally collect more than his direct out of pocket costs, but most owners are more than satisfied if people pay a share of bait, fuel and food (and help clean up afterwards). For day trips on my boat, no money exchanges hands. I pay for the fuel, we all bring some food or beer and we all fight to pay the bait bill. For multi-day trips, we set up a budget for those items (and sometimes hired crew etc), assign shopping tasks, give credit for the purchases, and settle up what's left. Some people don't want to chip in for crew or abundant good food, but if they are in the minority it is non-negotiable.
     
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    styxchaser

    REALLY OLD GUY
    Jun 1, 2005
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    OJAI, CA
    Name
    STYX
    Boat
    HAPPILY NONE
    Back when I had a boat my friends and I used to use my boat most of the time. I was going out anyway so I bought the diesel. My friends usually brought bait, ice, drinks and a bucket of chicken. The more knowledgeable guys helped any newbies and helped with general cleanup. Never became an issue and no money ever changed hands.

    At the time I spoke to local CG officer who said they had no problem with what we were doing as long as I was not soliciting for passengers or charging anything. They told me that they considered bring lunch or drinks to be normal courtesies among friends.

    Another consideration is that if you charge your friends you may be technically in violation of your insurance policy. My policy at the time did not cover me if carrying paid passengers since my boat and I were not licensed to do so.
     
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    Shewillbemine

    "should of" is NOT a thing
  • Oct 19, 2012
    2,551
    2,913
    California
    Name
    Shewillbemine
    Boat
    Chips N Guac
    Guests who are going on a pleasure cruise and drinking alcohol and eating cheese and crackers on my boat?

    I've never asked for a penny.

    Guests who fish and bring their gear and we go offshore for the whole day?

    We all split the cost of gas, bait, and food/drinks.

    It's important to have a solid crew that has a bond of friendship as well.
     
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    swami 805

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Mar 9, 2016
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    Bill
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    sunk it
    In the years I had a boat I never asked for anything, if they wanted to give me some $ that was fine. If I took someone it was because I enjoyed their company, I figured I was going anyway. I did appreciate it though.
    When I go on someones boat Always offer some dough, bait or whatever else. Equally important is be on time or early, don't flake at the last minute and stay until the boat is totally cleaned up even if there's not much to do just for moral support.
     
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    rock lobster

    rock lobster
    Sep 10, 2003
    114
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    62
    Bonsal
    Visit site
    Name
    steve
    Boat
    20 skippy
    I agree with all, but to me one of the most important things is remember you are not a chartered boat. Be a good deck hand and be usefull. Like above said help with clean up/maintenance if you want to be invited again. Ah yes helping out with fuel and bait also helps.
     
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    plj46

    I Post A Lot But I Can't Edit This
    Jan 7, 2008
    8,729
    11,603
    Socal
    Name
    john
    Boat
    24 ft grady white
    Whatever a guest wants to contribute i'm good with,i'm going anyway.And the Coast Guard/charter situation ? I wouldn't have a problem telling them who paid for what.What are they going to do ? It's not an illegal charter.
     
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    blowncar

    Member
    Sep 8, 2013
    824
    505
    Ocean Shores Washington/Mexico waters
    Name
    james
    Boat
    52' Hatteras C Lobos Del Mar
    It cost me anywhere from $400 -$700 in fuel alone for a full 8-12 hour trip. We always take a mate and provide tackle food and drink. If I invite a guest who's a non fisher person or newbie it's not costing them anything back to me but i do suggest they tip the deckhand.

    If they are an experienced fisherman i would expect them to cover their equable share of all cost. If they are cheap stakes and think throwing in $50 for an experience that if they were to private charter would cost $1500 or more for the day; they won't be going again. What's a full day's expense for a cattle boat if you add in fish processing, tips, beer and food?

    Most fisherman ask up front what it takes $ to run the boat for the day. Often times they offer to cover the full fuel use especially if there are 2 or more coming along. In the end a fair share is about $150-200 if 4 of us go.
     
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    rancanfish

    wow, how deep is it here?
    Jul 5, 2004
    615
    287
    Dublin, CA
    Name
    Harold Head
    Boat
    1971 BW Menemsha
    I get to go out with the new owner of my old Outrage. I always give him a chunk of cash. Part of his offer to buy my boat was free rides, but that would be taking advantage. I understand the expenses that aren't seen too.

    I had a boat owner and his bud go fishing with me one time. When we pulled up to my house, he grabbed his fish, handed me $5 and split with his pal . I cleaned the boat, flushed the engine and backed the rig into my yard with no help.
    I had fueled the truck and boat that day in front of them so they knew it wasn't cheap. After that I just blew those guys off, even online in forums.
    I had done business with them prior, but never again.
     
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    MYNomad

    Heading South
    Dec 12, 2007
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    Pacific Northwest / West Coast Mexico
    Name
    Rick
    Boat
    Yes
    When we pulled up to my house, he grabbed his fish, handed me $5 and split with his pal . After that I just blew those guys off, even online in forums.
    I had done business with them prior, but never again.

    Did you discuss expense sharing in advance? Either way, my response would have been "what's this for?". If you hadn't discussed, then you shouldn't expect even $5, but if he is giving you $5 under the guise that he is covering his share I would have let him know that it is on me and his $5 doesn't come close to covering an even split of the costs.
     
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    bajachild

    Almost A Member
  • Jul 13, 2005
    164
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    so. cal
    Name
    mike
    Boat
    2019 Montauk 170
    I’m going out anyways. If friends come along it’s just company. I don’t not go because there aren’t paying friends to be found. So if I invite someone, I don’t expect a greased palm. If they do, thanks.
     
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    wdlfbio

    Once you go Cat, you never go back
    Sep 15, 2008
    9,695
    9,733
    Olympia, WA
    Name
    laurence
    Boat
    2021 Allied WildCat 30
    We can burn 70-200 gallons of fuel, $100-$150 in bait, $50 in ice, plus replacement cost of gear lost. Everyone knows up front. They’re clear that I’m. Or the guy funding their hobby for the day. If they choose to not cover at least their share (1/# fishing), that’s up to them. But, they’ll never step aboard again. Usually, each crew can handle the math and reimburses at least their share.

    we're heading out On a short trip with a buddy tomorrow. He’s trailering his boat, we are riding with him. I’ll be covering truck fuel, launch fee, and boat fuel.
     
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    miaf

    I Should Upgrade My Account
    Apr 14, 2013
    1,145
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    .
    It seems like a lot of guys on here invite strangers on their boat, because they can’t afford to run them by themselves. If need to invite people on your boat to offset the price of the trip, you need to think about selling your boat.
     
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    smokinwater

    "Fire's Out!"
    Apr 27, 2011
    1,382
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    Chula Vista, CA
    Name
    Jon
    Boat
    won't b mine
    Not a boat owner, but I do remember this being asked before. At that time, someone said they know roughly how much a typical trip costs them, so they tell people joining the trip money would be collected up front, used t pay the expenses, and remainder split evenly back to everyone.
     
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    SaltH20Angler

    I'm not superstitious... cuz it's bad luck.
  • Aug 6, 2016
    1,377
    1,892
    SoCal - Corona
    Name
    Christopher
    Boat
    I know a couple guys...
    I've been offshore boat ho'ing for several years now and have caught a lot of good fish, got to experience fishing on all kinds of boats I would have never got to if I wasn't boat ho'ing, met a bunch of great people most of whom have become good friends. It's one of the best things I have done fishing-wise and has paid off for me and the various skippers in so many ways.

    Someone is only a stranger until you talk to them or fish with them once. A really good resource here on BD is the boat ho/ride share thread. The boat ho/ride share thread gives ho's a chance to let Skippers know what you are about... experienced ho's use this to provide a lot of good info about who they are, their fishing experience, how they care for the boat/fish, if they smoke or drink, etc.

    I put a ton of info in my posts (probably too much) and I get a bunch of responses every time I bump it looking for new Skippers to fish with. I realize I may be an exception, but take a look at my post if you have time..its a long read but I think it does a good job of letting Skippers know what me and my main fishing buddy (Benny) are about. Right now, we just so happen to be looking for a new Skipper to hunt BFT with.


    In my experience, not one single skipper I've fished with couldnt afford to run the boat by themselves. The bottom line is that it can get to be really expensive to increase success fishing offshore and why wouldn't a skipper want to capitalize on the funds, knowledge, work (cleaning and all the deckhand functions) that good/experienced ho's provide, especially if the ho's are good people that are fun to be around regardless.

    This reply has gotten way too long but the last thing I'll say is that when you use a boat ho, the approximate costs are discussed in detail and everyone knows who is paying what and there is no mystery when it comes to forking over the dough after a day on the water.

    Tight lines guys!!!
     
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    pukahd

    I’m getting nibbles
    Oct 30, 2004
    909
    865
    Torrance
    Name
    Brian
    Boat
    Cabo 216
    I "heard" guys on a trip add up the cost of fuel, bait, parking, wash down, ice and truck gas and divide by # of participants. Thats what I "heard".

    On my boat, everyone knows that I and only I pay for all cost. Everyone rides for free 😃 I dont want to get busted the DFW officer and get called out as a unlicensed charter.
     
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