Bar draught

Bar draught. This expression relates to the maximum draught enabling the ship to pass over a “bar”, for example the Martin-Garcia bar in the River Plate. A “bar” is a restriction in the depth of water, caused by a build-up of sand or silt on the bottom, in a river or across the entrance to a harbour.

The quantity of cargo, which can be loaded in the up-river ports of the River Plate, will depend entirely upon the water level at the rime when crossing the bar. In the event the vessel has too great a draught, it will be necessary to discharge part of the cargo into lighters, which cargo will have to be reloaded after passing the bar: This extra handling of cargo is an expensive operation in the River Plate. In most cases a vessel, which has been loaded in up-river pans to bar draught, will complete loading down river, after having crossed the bar, at a lower rate of freight. The quantity of cargo, which can be loaded down river, in order to bring the vessel down to her marks, must also be considered. It is obvious that if a small quantity is involved, shipowners may decide to refrain from completing below bar, taking into account extra port charges, delay etc. assuming they are not committed to load a full and complete cargo.

A similar situation exists at Rangoon (named “Yangaon” in 1990). The following clause can therefore be inserted in a charterparty for vessels, which on account of their draught cannot complete loading rice at the normal loading berth in Rangoon:

“If steamers draught does not allow loading fully at Rangoon (steamer always lying safely afloat ) charterers shall ship part of the cargo to be fixed by the captain outside the moorings where the ship can lie safely afloat. Any lighterage incurred thereby to be for charterers’ account.” Such ports are called “bar ports”. Vessels, which are prevented from crossing the bar through their draught exceeding the maximum depth of water on the bar, are “bar bound”.

Bareboat charter or demise charter. The owners lease (“demise”) a ship out for an agreed period to a “demise Charterer”. The charterers obtain complete control, possession and management of the ship and operate it, for example appointing the master and the crew, as if they are the owner (“disponent owner”).

The actual, registered ownership still remains with the owner.

In times when building costs are very high shipowners may prefer to defer ordering new tonnage and in that case may resort to chartering suitable tonnage on a bareboat basis, in order to meet their immediate requirements. Casualties to their own ships may also necessitate the chartering of suitable ships on a bareboat basis.

Shipowners may not readily agree to let their ships on a bareboat basis, because they then relinquish the management and control to charterers, unless the owners are well satisfied with the general experience and management of the charterers, thereby reducing the possibility of financial liability.

Because bareboat chartering was not common before the 1970s, there were no standard forms of contracts. If bareboat charters were made, companies used forms based on self-modified time charters. These led to problems because of the legal consequences that were not considered when drawing up a form. The Americans used a private form: “Form 149′ and, during the Second World War, they used “Warship demise” to requisition ships from owners. Some oil companies have used their own forms, such as the Shell Oil Company’s “Shell-demise”. It was not until 1974 that BIMBO published two standard forms, “Barecon `A”‘ and “Barecon `B”‘ which became very popular. Changes in the shipping business have required changes in the Barecon standard bareboat charters and a new standard bareboat charter has emerged from BIMCO, an amalgamation of the Barecon A and Barecon B. The new form is called BARECON 89.


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Baltimore Berth Grain Charterparty (Form C) (BALTIMORE FORM C) (BFC)