US Coast Guard websites and important telephone numbers:
"The carriage of any passenger for hire on the navigable waters of the United States require that an individual licensed by the Coast Guard operate the vessel. Properly licensed Captains may carry up to six passengers aboard an un-inspected passenger vessel, provided they meet federal safety regulations. To further ensure the safety of potential customers, vessels carrying more than six passengers for hire are inspected annually by the Coast Guard and must display an approval decal and Coast Guard Certificate of inspection."
U.S.C.G. Marine Safety Newsletter, September 2000