Ship Off-Hire

Hire is payable throughout the charter period irrespective of whether the charterer has any use for the vessel. On the other hand, provision is normally made in an off-hire clause that no hire shall be payable during periods when the full use of the vessel is not available to the charterer because of some accident or deficiency which falls within the owner’s sphere of responsibility. The clause specifies the occasions on which the vessel will go off-hire and is normally triggered by the mere occurrence of the event, irrespective of any fault on the part of the shipowner. Should the clause operate, the charterer will, of course, be entitled to an adjustment of the hire to compensate for the time lost. Many off-hire clauses include express provision designed to enable the charterer to deduct the appropriate amount from the next installment of hire and, even in the absence of such an express right, the courts are apparently prepared to imply a right to deduct, provided that such deductions are made in good faith and on reasonable grounds.