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By an exception in the charter-party-not to be liable for an injury arising from the act of God, the Queen's enemies, fire, &c.-the owner or master is not responsible for any injury arising from the sea or the winds, unless it was in his power to prevent it, or it was occasioned by his imprudence or gross neglect.


FREIGHT.The sum paid by the merchant or other person hiring a ship, or part of a ship, for the use of such ship or part, during a specified voyage or a specified time.

The rate of freight is usually fixed by the charter-party or bill of lading; but in the absence of any formal stipulations in reference to the subject, it would be determined by the custom or usage of the trade.

In the absence of an express stipulation to the contrary, freight is not due until the whole cargo is ready for delivery, or has been delivered to the consignee in accordance with the contract for its conveyance.

If a consignee receive goods in pursuance of the usual bill of lading, by which it is expressed that he is to pay the freight, he by such receipt, makes himself liable for the freight. But a person acting as agent for the consignor, and who is known to the master to be acting in that character, does not make himself personally liable for the freight by receiving the goods, even if he should enter them in his own name at the Custom House.

If a portion of a cargo be thrown overboard for the necessary preservation of the ship and the remainder of the goods, and the ship afterwards reach the place of destination, the value of this part is to be answered to the freighter by way of general average, and the value of the freight thereof allowed to the owner. So, if the master be compelled, by necessity, to sell a part of the cargo for victuals or repairs, the owners must pay to the freighter the price which the goods would have fetched at the place of destination, and therefore are allowed to charge the merchant with the money that would have been due if they had been conveyed thither.*

If the cargo, or any part of it, is damaged during the voyage through the fault or negligence of the master or crew, the freighter is entitled

* If chartered, but have signed bills of lading to a consignee, before you part with the cargo the consignee should produce the endorsed bill of lading. He should also undertake for payment of freight according to bills of lading, particularly if you have any doubt of your charterer's solvency.

to compensation, being the amount of depreciation in the value of the goods, less freight; if, however, the damage arises from circumstances over which the master has no control,—such as the peculiar nature of the goods (even if this is increased by confinement in the ship), or the perils of the sea, the act of God, -the merchant must bear the loss and pay the freight.

The time and manner of payment of freight are frequently regulated by express stipulations in a charter-party, and when that is done, the payment must be according to the agreement; but if there be no express stipulation contrary to, or inconsistent with, the right of lien, the goods may be retained until the freight is paid," for the master is not bound to deliver them, or any part of them, without payment of the freight and other charges in respect thereof. But the master cannot detain the cargo on board the vessel, as the merchant would, in that case have no opportunity of examining the condition of the goods. When the master is doubtful of payment, the practice in this country is to send the goods to a public wharf (if there is no stipulation that they are to be delivered at any particular wharf), ordering the wharfinger not to part with them until freight and other charges are paid.

When a ship, before the completion of her voyage, becomes disabled from proceeding upon it, the master has the option, within a reasonable time, either to repair her or hire another-tranship, and forward the goods in the other. Upon there delivery by such means, he will become entitled to the freight-since the contract is for the delivery of the goods, not for the arrival of the ship in which they were first laden. If the merchant prevents or discharges him from doing this, the owners will be entitled to the whole freight. If the master declines to tranship, and, without requiring him to do this, the merchant agrees to accept the goods at the intermediate port, freight will be due according to the proportion of the voyage performed.


In case of damage having happened during the voyage, or being suspected to have happened, to ship or cargo, the master should, within twenty-four hours of his arrival in port, cause a Notary Public, or, in a foreign port, the British Consul, to note a protest "against wind and

*The master cannot hold the cargo for demurrage.

weather," as the term is, giving the particulars of the voyage; the storms or gales encountered, as entered in the log-book; protesting that any damage that may have happened was caused by winds, bad weather, &c.

The protest need not be extended until it has been ascertained what is the nature and amount of damage, if any. A protest is not valid unless extended within six months from the date of noting.

And when a certain number of lay days are fixed for delivery of the cargo, the master must await the time, or, if no lay days have been fixed, he must await the usual or customary time allowed at the port of discharge for that purpose; and if, on the expiry of that time, the cargo be not fully unladen, he ought then to protest against the merchant or cosignee, so as the ship may thereafter lay on demurrage. Similar protests ought to be taken at the expiry of the demurrage days; and at all events, before sailing with an incomplete lading, it seems necessary that the master should protest against the shipper or his agent, so as to put these parties on their guard as to the time when, and the circumstances under which, he sailed.

When a vessel has arrived at the port of loading, and the merchants, who have covenanted to furnish a lading there, are unwilling or unable to furnish a cargo, on the expiration of the lay days allowed by charter, the master must note a protest against the merchants for non-fulfilment of the charter-party-after which he is at liberty to seek a freight in another direction, and claim compensation for loss of time, as well as any loss arising from his being obliged to accept a less remunerative freight than stipulated for in the orignal charter-party. It is improper to wait the demurrage days unless required so to do by the merchant.

It may be necessary, while opening the hatches, before breaking bulk, to hold a survey, in order to ascertain weather they have been properly secured, as, should this not be the case, and damage through leakage have thus occurred to the cargo, it will have to be sustained by the shipowner-stress of weather having occurred notwithstanding.

When it has been ascertained that damage has occurred, surveyors should be called to give a written report or certificate, as to the particulars of the damage. And in the event of the damage being repaired, the same surveyors should be called to inspect the vessel, and give a written report, or certificate, as to the repairs which have been executed. The survey report of a cargo must particularise the goods damaged, mentioning their marks, numbers, &c.; and, being signed, must be given to the master of the vessel.

In surveying a cargo, merchants acquainted with the nature of the cargo should be called as surveyors; if in a dock, apply to the surveying officer. In surveying a ship, two ship-masters, or in their absence, any two qualified persons, should be called as surveyors. It is not necessary, in either case, to call Lloyd's agents.

In case of dispute on discharging, if the surveyor declare the dunnage insufficient, the ship is liable for the damage in the bottom, although the surveyor may not be able to cite any authority as to what would have been sufficient dunnage. The general rule is, that the dunnage must be sufficient according to the nature and quality of the cargo.


It is a very prevalent notion that Lloyd's agents have a controlling power over all ships in difficulties; but this is a mistake. The master alone is the responsible Agent for all concerned; and unless he abandons his charge, or is superseded by the authority of the Consul, or of a Naval Court, the authority of the master cannot be dispensed with.


THE contract of Bottomry is a pledge of the ship as security for the repayment of money advanced to the master or owner, to enable him to carry on the voyage. If the ship be lost on the voyage, the lender loses the whole of his money; but on the ship terminating the voyage successfully, the money lent, and also the premium or interest, becomes repayable, the vessel as well as the person of the borrower being thus liable for the money lent. No objection can be made on the ground of usury, though the stipulated premium exceeds the legal rate of interest, because the lender is liable to the casualties of the voyage, and may not receive his money again. Money thus obtained must be expended on repairs and the equipment of the ship.

When money is advanced upon the lading, the borrower is said to take up money upon Respondentia. In this distinction as to the security, consists the only difference between Bottomry and Respondentia.


A Bottomry or Respondentia Bond has no settled or precise form, but it is necessary that there be expressed the names of the lender and of the borrower; those of the ship and master; the sum lent, with the stipulated marine interest; the voyage proposed: with the commencement and termination of the risk which the lender runs.

In the place of owner's residence, the master is prohibited from borrowing on Bottomry or Respondentia unless with his consent.

A vessel may be hypothecated (pledged) by the master in a distant port abroad-as if a British vessel in a British colony or in a foreign port; or of a foreign vessel in this country-provided that the money to be raised is absolutely required for the repairs and equipment of the ship; that he is not able to obtain money upon the present credit of himself and the owners; and that he has no means of communicating with the owners in sufficient time to answer the purposes for which he makes the pledge.

Money to be borrowed on Bottomry should always be advertised for, and that offered at the lowest rate of interest accepted. This regulation is intended to prevent the master from making any interested arrangement with the lender, and to enable the claim to be made upon the underwriters.

Where several Bottomry Bonds have been given at different periods during the course of the voyage, the last in date is entitled to the priority of payment-on this presumption, that the last loan advanced was the means of preserving the ship, and that, without it, the previous lenders would have wholly lost their security.

Whenever the master may pledge the ship, he may add the security of the freight, and, if necessary, he may likewise pledge the cargo; all of which securities are, accordingly, sometimes included in a Bottomry Bond over the ship, cargo, and freight. Sometimes a Bottomry Bond, is given as a collateral security, to be enforced only in case of the draft on the shipowner being dishonoured; with the understanding that, if the draft be duly accepted, no Bottomry premium shall be exacted, but merely the cost of insuring the disbursements for which the bond was granted. If, however, the advances have been originally made on the security of such bills drawn by the master on the owner, or otherwise on personal credit, a Bottomry Bond subsequently taken would be null. A bond procured from the master by compulsion is void.

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