Seaworthy trim clause. If charterers have the option of discharging at two or more ports an appropriate clause in the charterparty can state:
“If ordered to load or discharge at two berths and/or ports, the vessel is to be left in seaworthy trim to the Master’s satisfaction for the passage between such berths and/or ports at Charterers’ expense. Time used for placing the vessel in seaworthy trim shall count as laytime or time on demurrage.” (MULTIFORM)
If the charterers intend to send the ship to more than one port of discharge, the master must be appropriately advised before or at the time of loading so that he can arrange the stowage of cargo in such a way as to maintain seaworthiness after discharging at the first port without having to take any risks.
The “expense” for the charterers includes expenses incurred by the owner to shift transfer or secure the cargo within the ship. However, the charterer is not normally liable for any delay. It may also include the requirement to secure part of the ship’s cargo, for example, by loaded bags, if the cargo is grain, to prevent the cargo from shifting while the ship is at sea and causing the ship to be placed in danger.
The word “trim” refers to the difference in draughts at the forward and after ends of the vessel. Normally, ships can navigate safely and efficiently with a slight “trim by the stern” (“after draught” greater than the “forward draught”) or on “even keel” (same forward and after draughts.) The expression “seaworthy trim” means that the ship must be in suitable trim to meet navigational perils between ports.