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LEADING LIGHTS OF THE BRISTOL CHANNEL. CHARTER-PARTY.

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Remarks.

When in one, leading a cables

length S. of Nash Sand.

A gong is sounded in foggy

weather.

Part bright, part red. The E.

limit of the red light, clears the W. end of the Helwicks, bearing S.E. by S. distance 13 miles.

When in one, they lead clear

of the Crow and Toes Rocks

CHARTER-PARTY is a contract by which a ship or part of a ship is hired for the conveyance of goods, on certain specified conditions. It is not required to be drawn up in any precise form of words, for, as ships may be engaged under a great variety of circumstances, and on voyages of very different characters, and as there are frequently peculiar regulations and customs attaching to certain trades, so there must be a corresponding diversity in the forms of charter parties, which are necessarily adapted to suit the wishes and intentions of the parties concerned, and the trade in which the vessels are to be employed.

A charter-party settles the terms on which the cargo is to be carried and specifies the nature of the voyage: the owners (ór agent, or master, as the case may be) usually covenant to provide a ship strong, staunch and in every respect seaworthy, well and sufficiently found in sails, sailyards, anchors, cables, ropes, &c. and other instruments, tackle, apparel, furniture, provision, &c. needful and necessary for such a ship and for the given voyage, together with an able master and a sufficient number of mariners ;-binding themselves also that the cargo shall be delivered (the perils and dangers of the seas excepted) well conditioned, and with as much speed as may be, at the place of discharge agreed upon; the merchant or freighter stipulates to comply with the payment promised for freight according to the terms of the contract: and both parties bind themselves in penalties for non-performances of the covenants, articles and

agreements in the charter party: it is signed by the contracting parties and a witness.

In a vessel's home port, the charter-party is executed by the owner or owners, and the freighter or his agent; but in a foreign port, it is executed by the master, or the owner's authorised agent (if there be such), and the freighter or his agent.

A charter-party executed by the master, at home, under the evidence of the expressed or implied assent of the owner; or when in a foreign port, and there is no evidence of fraud, is binding on the owner.

A A charterer may load the vessel with his own goods, or, with those of other parties; or he may underlet the vessel to another, providing no clause in the charter-party prohibits him so doing

The owners are bound to prepare and furnish every thing necessary to commence and fulfil the voyage. The ship must also be properly dunnaged, according to the usages of the trade in which she is employed, or according to the nature of the cargo: and in stowing the cargo, the various goods must be arranged and placed in the most approved methods, to prevent damage.

Expedition is of the utmost importance in all commercial and maritime transactions, if therefore either party be not ready at the specified time, for the loading of the ship, the other is at liberty to seek another ship or cargo, and bring an action to recover the damages he has sustained by the nonperformance of the contract.

If the charter-party specifies any particular route, or names several ports and the order in which they are to be taken, the master must pursue that course; but without such special mention, they must be taken in geographical order, on the usual or shortest course. A deviation from the prescribed or usual course is justifiable for the purpose of repairs rendered necessary by tempests, or accidents, to procure supplies, or to avoid an enemy; but the vessel must be detained no longer than is absolutely requisite, and the voyage

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afterwards continued from the port in which she had taken refuge.

For the purpose of loading and unloading the ship, a certain number of days, called lay days, are generally agreed upon; it should be specified whether these are working or running days; and in addition it may be stipulated that the freighter is at liberty to detain the vessel a further fixed time, on payment of a daily sum, as demurrage. Should the vessels be detained beyond both periods, the freighter is liable to an action for damages, although the delay may not be attributable to any fault on his part.

When no lay days are specified, the length of time for loading and unloading must be determined by the nature of the cargo, or the number of days usually allowed at the port.

As soon as the vessel has the full complement of cargo, and all things necessary are arranged, as clearing at the custom house, payment of port charges, &c. the voyage must be forthwith commenced, weather permitting.

The master must not take on board any contraband goods, or have in his possession any false or colourable papers, whereby the ship and cargo are rendered liable to seizure; but he must obtain all papers and documents which are necessary to protect the ship and cargo in all the countries to which he is trading

In time of war, if there is any stipulation to sail with convoy, the master must repair to the place of rendezvous, in good time, and be careful to procure all the instructions issued by the commander of the convoy, as he is accounted answerable for all losses brought about by neglect in such

a case.

By the terms of the charter-party, not to be held liable for injuries arising from “ the act of God, and the Queen's enemies, &•c.” the master or owner is not responsible for

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damage arising from the sea and winds, unless such injury or damage was the result of negligence or imprudence.

If the master receive goods at the quay or beach, or send his boat for them, his responsibility commences with the receipt of them. With goods to be sent coastwise, the responsibility of the wharfinger ceases on delivering them upon the wharf.

When the charter-party names a full and complete cargo, the master must take on board as much as he

can,

with safety, and without injury to the ship; and the freighter is obliged to furnish the same, either of his own goods, or the goods of others.

If any clause of the charter-party is ambiguous, the interpretation should be liberal, or if the charter-party is silent in respect to any paint, the usage of the trade in which the

, ship is employed must be adopted.

In the case of a vessel having, by the terms of the charter-party, to proceed to a foreign port, the merchants covenanting to furnish a lading there, and being arrived, if the contracting parties or their agents are unwilling or unable to furnish a cargo, on the expiration of the lay days, the master must note a protest against the merchants for non-fulfilment of the charter-party, after which he may seek a freight in another direction.

A prohibition by the government of that country to export the proposed articles, neither dissolves the contract, nor excuses the non-performance of it.

It is customary for the master, before delivering the cargo, and within 24 hours of his arrival in port, to cause a notary-public note a protest “ against wind and weather as the term is, giving the particulars of the voyage-the

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