A contract (C/P) for hire of the use of a vessel to make a specific voyage between two identified terminal ports. The vessel will be carrying cargo or passengers for and on behalf of the Charterer's. The Charterer's pay for the the use of the ship either on the basis of a lump sum or in the case of cargo at a 'Freight Rate'. This freight rate is so much per tonne carried and delivered. This would not be the form of charter normally used in the business of yacht chartering.
A contract (C/P) for the hire of the use of a vessel for a specified period of time and can take one of two basic forms,
* Basic Time Charter
* Demise or Bareboat Charter
The Basic Time Charter;
An agreement between the owner of a vessel, or if allowed the disponent owner, and a charterer who wishes to use the vessel for his own purposes without being responsible for the operation of neither the vessel or its day-to-day management.
Throughout the period of the charter the owner/operators must maintain the vessel in a thoroughly efficient state ready in all respects to do as the charterer requires provided it is in accordance with the terms of the charter. The charterer must pay the agreed hire and is responsible for any damage or loss directly attributable to his use of the vessel.
Demise or Bareboat Charter;
An agreement between the Owner of the vessel and a Charterer whereby in exchange for the payment of hire the charterer obtains full possession and control over the usage of the 'bare' vessel. It is for an agreed period of time subject only to any restrictions imposed by the owner and written into the agreement (C/P). In this the Master and crew are the employees of the charterer. The charterer must return the ship in the same condition as it was received allowing only for fair wear and tear at the end of the charter period.
The Charter is responsible in Law for the safe operation of the vessel and is liable in Law for any infringement of regulations and,or damage caused by the operation of the vessel.
While under charter both Parties have obligations one to the other and under Law. These are fairly standard and are written in as part of the C/P.