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Old    Brett Hileman (bhileman)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-10-2008, 1:31 PM Reply   
I am looking for some advice in starting a wakeboard club and I am at the point where I don't know american laws enough to know if I am covered.

Heres the situation:
We are starting a wakeboard club and one of the member's parents is allowing us to use their boat for the club. We are going to have around 10 members that pay semester fees and get access to the boat once or twice a week. My question is what should I do about the insurance for the boat to give us the most coverage in case of an injury. I have heard of opening a LLC for the club and having the member's parents lease the boat to the LLC, but I am an engineering major and I am out of my league here. I could really use some advice from someone who is more knowledgeable in this field.
Thanks, Brett
Old    Chris Cantrell (151)      Join Date: Jun 2008       08-10-2008, 1:45 PM Reply   
Brett, one thing to consider is your states recreational land use statute. If you will be riding on a private lake it might apply.

I think most states have one and basically they say that a land owner cannot be sued by a party allowed to use the land for recreation. It only applies if nothing is charged for the use of the land.
Old    Brett Hileman (bhileman)      Join Date: Apr 2005       08-10-2008, 4:15 PM Reply   
Yeah we are on public lakes so I don't think it applies. Good thinking though
Old    protag (protag)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-11-2008, 5:19 AM Reply   
Brett, an LLC would definitely limit the liability of the club, however, under certain circumstances the driver might be personally liable, too (e.g. gross negligence), and his liability might not be limited.

If you don't establish a corporate entity for your club, the club might even be considered an 'agent' of the family providing the boat, which would make the boat owner liable (case law on that exists with regard to car 'rental', though it might not be applicable in your situation).

Anyway, the law is different in each state (in particular corporate law), so it prob would make sense to let the details be checked by a local lawyer.

good luck
Old    Matt (ncsuuh)      Join Date: Jan 2007       08-11-2008, 6:51 AM Reply   
My suggestion is to talk to your school. Tell them what you want to do. (I am assuming you are in college) They can help with a lot of things. (i.e.- insurance, funds, etc.) You could also increase the number to about 25 people. It might sound like a lot but there is no way you will have everyone using the boat. I was the president at the North Carolina State Wake Club and we had roughly 25 members every semester and only had about 6-8 people constantly using it. The more people you have the more money you will receive. Most people just like the idea of being apart of the wakeboard club. If you are an official club with the school the student government distributes funds to each club.(this is the case for most universities) If you have any further questions just let me know.
Old    A-dub (behindtheboat)      Join Date: Aug 2006       08-11-2008, 1:33 PM Reply   
"most people just like the idea of being apart of the wakeboard club"

Sorry I had to. Yes, going through the school would be the best option.
Old    Captain OA (cptoafficiency)      Join Date: May 2006       08-11-2008, 1:38 PM Reply   
See a local attorney. LLC's have nothing to do with the liability of the club; they provide liability protection for the owners/members provided proper rules/procedures are followed. The LLC and its assets would still be subject to suit if the LLC was at fault. It all depends on the state, but a good, local business attorney should be able to guide you in the right direction for insurance, releases, organization, etc. You're going to get nothing but mis-leading and conflicting information from this post.
Old    Ozark King (onthewatermo)      Join Date: Jan 2008       08-11-2008, 5:50 PM Reply   
I am a wakeworld attorney and I approve the above message.
Old    protag (protag)      Join Date: Aug 2007       08-12-2008, 8:22 AM Reply   
CaptainOA, your post that LLC's have nothing to do with the liability of the club is about as (in)accurate as me saying a LLC would limit the liability of the club.

Basically, it depends on who the shareholder of the LLC is. The shareholder's liability will be limited. Therefore, if the club is the shareholder, the club's liability is limited. If the club is just set up in form of an LLC, the members' liability (in case they are the shareholders, which is not necessarily the case, rather unlikely) would be limited; the club, however, would be fully liable, limited with its assets. A piercing of the corporate veil is generally not possible, however depending on e.g. whether the capital is fully paid up, exceptions to this rule might apply.
Old    Matt (ncsuuh)      Join Date: Jan 2007       08-12-2008, 11:14 AM Reply   
You guys are complicating the situation. Just talk to the school.

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