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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 06:16am - Apr 6,15
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Location: Valparaiso

Post Posted: 04:28am - Apr 7,18 
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CHICAGO – A U.S. Coast Guard Hearing Officer imposed a $14,000 civil penalty to Jim Finnegan of Prospect Heights, Illinois on March 19, 2018 for operating a commercial passenger vessel in violation of federal regulations.

As part of a concerted effort by the U.S. Coast Guard and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, officials were able to determine that on July 29, 2017, Finnegan operated the 31-foot cabin cruiser Irish Wake as a passenger vessel. Nine of the 11 passengers onboard paid Finnegan via a web-based application to get underway for a four-hour-voyage.

Operators who take on paying passengers are considered to be operating a charter vessel. Operating a charter vessel without the required documents and license may be a violation of federal law, and the operator could be subject to criminal or civil liability.

The owner was found violating the following federal regulations:

Operating in commercial service without a licensed operator onboard - $5,000,
Failure to enroll in a drug testing program - $5,000,
Operating with more than six paying passengers without a valid Certificate of Inspection - $2,000, and
Operating with more than six paying passengers without a “Stability” letter issued by the Coast Guard - $2,000.
If the boat is carrying more than six paying passengers, it is required to be inspected by the Coast Guard. The Certificate of Inspection should be displayed in an area accessible to passengers.

“Regulations are in place to help ensure the safety of passengers,” said Cmdr. Zeita Merchant, commanding officer of Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago. “Illegal Passenger Vessel operations pose a significant hazard to life, property and the marine environment.”

Anyone who wishes to verify the inspected status of a vessel, or who wishes to report a vessel suspected of operating illegally, may contact Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Chicago at 630-986-2155.

-USCG- :winker

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Joined: 06:23pm - Apr 7,08
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Location: Naperville, IL __ Boston Whaler Conquest w/twin Mercs

Post Posted: 08:41am - Apr 7,18 
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I'm surprised it wasn't more. They busted quite a few boats last year. There are a TON of illegal charters and rentals in Chicago.


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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 09:10pm - Mar 17,11
Posts: 221
Location: Arlington Heights

Post Posted: 09:22am - Apr 7,18 
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Dang, I'd be curious to know if his boat was "actually" un-safe, was he on drugs, did he overload his boat, did he not have the required safety equip.?

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Joined: 06:23pm - Apr 7,08
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Location: Naperville, IL __ Boston Whaler Conquest w/twin Mercs

Post Posted: 02:02pm - Apr 7,18 
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Mhimes28 wrote:
Dang, I'd be curious to know if his boat was "actually" un-safe, was he on drugs, did he overload his boat, did he not have the required safety equip.?



If it is a 6 Pack Boat OUPV the rules are a little more relaxed and not much different then a normal boat inspection. Things like you need a Type 1 PFD that has to have a certain amount of reflective tape on it.

Inspected boats a whole different ball game. The boats are built to a higher standard, Need to have stability tests, Fire Suppression systems, Regular Coast guard inspections that go beyond the boat like man overboard drills. The Captain even has to be licensed differently. You need to have your Master Captain's license and but a FCC Marine radio operator permit. Leaving a harbor you need to do a Securite when leaving/entering a harbor. A small inspected boat is also referred to as a T boat which is part of the Code of Federal Regulations. Its in that section that you find all the regulations.

I cant remember if you need to be on a drug program with just a 6 pack.

I have
Coast Guard 50 Ton Master and Towing
FCC Marine Radio Operator Permit
FCC General Radio Telephone Operator License
FCC Ship Radar Endorsement


The big thing to do in Chicago is to Bare Boat. What happens is you rent your boat out to someone and require them to have hire a captain that they must approve pilot the boat. Doing so this way the renter can have whatever the maximum amount of passengers the boat is rated for. What some owners are doing is giving people a list of 1 to 3 people that are approved captains and by doing so they are then providing a captain in which it is then it turns into a T boat. Kind of a blurred line I think. Then some even just rent out the boat as a bare boat but drive it themselves which is a huge No No.

I had a long talk with the coast guard last year about it. They said they have a large log book of boats that are suspected in operating in illegal charters and look out for them. They said they have boarded some bare boats that have had the entire front stateroom filled floor to ceiling with life jackets.

None of this is even taking into account Getting a permit from the DNR and from Chicago Harbors who has very strict rules on not only providing all the permits but they have high requirements for insurance that are not easy to get with new captains.

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Chitown-Angler

Joined: 07:43pm - Nov 21,14
Posts: 610
Location: United States

Post Posted: 02:18pm - Apr 7,18 
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All of this is a great explanation for people who think charter fishing is expensive.

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Joined: 05:19pm - Feb 22,06
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Post Posted: 02:35pm - Apr 7,18 
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Yes to the question of drug testing for a 6 pack lic.

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