Time Charter Party Main Features

Description of the vessel: It is quite common to supplement the succinct description of the vessel stated in the opening lines of a standard form charter party with ap- pended clauses listing more fully the ship’s specifications and capacities. In addition, the charterer may be provided with copies of relevant plans of the ship.
Seaworthiness and cargo worthiness of the ship: The shipowner is under an obligation to deliver the ship “in every way fitted for ordinary cargo service” (BALTIME, cl. 1). According to the New York Produce Exchange, the ship must be “ready to receive cargo with clean swept holds and tight, staunch, strong and in every way fit- ted for ordinary cargo service” (NYPE, line 41). The undertaking of seaworthiness is absolute on behalf of the shipowner.
The ship’s performance clause: A time charter contains a warranty by the owner that the ship is capable of steaming, fully laden, in good weather and smooth water at a stated speed and at a stipulated rate of bunker consumption. The speed and consumption clause is a continuing warranty; the ship must be capable of attaining her chartered speed at the time of delivery (The Apollonius, 1978). Where the ship fails to attain her chartered speed-in good weather and smooth water-during the voyage, or where the bunker
consumption is in excess of that stipulated in the charter, the ship- owners may be liable. The speed warranty applies only when the ship is loaded. In addition, if the stipulated speed is prefixed by the word about, the shipowner is generally allowed half a knot leeway on the stated figure.
Reasonable dispatch:
The shipowner has an obligation to send the ship to the loading port within a reasonable time and perform the voyage to the place of delivery without delays. Deviations are allowed due to weather conditions and to save human life. The shipowner must have ample knowledge, abide by local and international laws and regulations, and set safety as a priority.
Operating expenses:
The shipowner incurs all the costs of all vessel-related expenses.