Trim. The trim of a vessel is the difference between the draughts fore and aft. If the draught fore and aft is the same, the vessel is “in trim” or “on even keel”.
If charterers have the option to take delivery of the cargo in more than one port, it is important that the ship will be in seaworthy trim upon sailing from the first port of discharge, i.e., that the draught fore and aft will be such that the ship can proceed on her voyage without affecting its manoeuvrability or safety. It is preferable to arrange for a deeper draught aft than forward, in order to have a more manageable ship in good trim.
It may be added that where a bulk cargo is to be discharged at two or more ports it is customary to stipulate in the charterparty “the vessel is to be left in seaworthy trim between ports of discharge”. If the master has not been informed of the intention of the charterers to exercise the option of discharge at more than one port at the time of loading, additional expenses may be incurred at the first port of discharge to comply with the “safe trim” requirement. These additional expenses are recoverable from the charterers. Leaving the vessel in seaworthy trim may involve more measures and expenses than seeing to the proper draught fore and aft.
“Trim” also refers to the leveling of a bulk (or other dry cargo) either to make more space for other cargo or to prevent the shifting of dry bulk cargo.