Contracts and charter rules

Boatsetter generates a Time-Charter contract for up to six guests and a Bareboat contract for up to twelve guests.

What does the term “Time Charter” mean?

A time charter is an agreement providing the charterer with the use of a vessel for a stated length of time, or for one or consecutive voyages among ranges of port.

  • The maximum number of passengers allowed on board is six
  • The captain of the boat may be assigned and the renter does not need to select the captain
  • The owner of the boat may be the captain (must have USCG license and is limited to 6 passengers)

What does the term “Bareboat” mean?

Bareboat means that the renter is renting a boat from an owner and takes full possession of the vessel during the contracted period.

A bareboat charter (or ‘demise charter’) is an arrangement for the chartering of a boat whereby no crew or provisions are included as part of the agreement. Instead, the people who rent the vessel from the owner are responsible for those arrangements.

  • If a captain for hire is onboard, they must be hired separately from the boat
  • The renter must select the captain and should not be influenced in this decision
  • The maximum number of passengers allowed on board are 12
  • The owner is not allowed to be onboard

The term “Bareboat” can be misleading and can make it seem like the renter will always be driving the boat. However, this is not the case. A bareboat rental can be either a renter driving the boat OR a hired captain driving the boat.

Passenger Capacity 

The vast majority of recreational or pleasure boats have a capacity of 12 passengers regardless of length or crew. Your boat might have a placard or sticker on the vessel that lists the vessel's max capacity or max weight. This number is determined by the manufacturer and only refers to the boat’s stability and buoyancy requirements; it has nothing to do with rental/charter operations. For this reason, while this placard or sticker number may be greater than 12, the Peer-to-Peer insurance policy that is in place during a Boatsetter rental is limited to 12 passengers.  

Passenger capacity can also be impacted by the owner of the boat being on board. The Boatsetter platform will automatically provide the correct type of contract with each booking to correspond with your passenger count. 

Owners are allowed to restrict the passenger count to less than that of the vessel's maximum stated capacity at their own discretion.

Only boats that can provide Boatsetter with a COI (USCG Certificate of Inspection) and a copy of the vessel's insurance will be able to carry more than 12 passengers.

Please contact Boatsetter Support at if you have a specific question about capacity restrictions.

COI - “Certificate of Inspection”

You are not required to have a COI to list on the Boatsetter platform. Some boats have a COI, or Certificate of Inspection, from the Coast Guard that allows them to have more than 12 passengers. Obtaining a COI is a lengthy and expensive process, often taking years and thousands of dollars, and it is difficult for common recreational vessels to obtain a COI.

The majority of boats that possess a COI were specially built with COI specs at the time of their creation. In order for a boat to be listed as being able to take more than 12 passengers on board, the owner must present Boatsetter with a valid COI.

These general guidelines are not intended to be comprehensive or operate as legal advice. To determine whether your captain's license is sufficient to operate in particular circumstances, see 46 CFR Part 11, Subpart D, NVIC N7-94, the Passenger Vessel Safety Act of 1993, the resources found at, or consult a maritime attorney.