Unseaworthiness. If the condition of a vessel is such that she is not reasonably fit in all respects to encounter the ordinary perils of the sea, either by insufficient maintenance and repairs, incomplete crew, insufficient equipment or wrong stowage of cargo, etc., she is referred to as being unseaworthy.
Unseaworthiness can affect charterparties and other contracts of carriage of goods by sea and can also affect the shipowners’ protection under his marine insurance policy.
In addition to these problems, many ports exercise port state control, whereby they inspect ships visiting their ports and if the ships are so unseaworthy as to be dangerously unsafe, the penalties for the shipowner and the master can be very high. The ship can also be detained.