| Archives: July 2014

Award 1219 – C/P Supplytime 2005 – Multi-purpose support vessel – Cablelaying – Draft in excess – Vessel deficiencies – Shipowner’s liability for excessive draft (no), for deficiencies (yes). A support vessel was time-chartered for submarine cable-laying – The charter period was divided into two periods ; a socalled stand-by period during which the vessel was to be equipped by the charterer and another at a higher hire to carry out the laying and ploughing in of the cable. In one part of the ploughing area, it appeared that the vessel’s draft was too deep which required an additional charter of an anchor handling tug. In other respects, several deficiencies were ascertained after the vessel’s delivery. The charterer claimed the vessel was to be put off-hire during the period spent waiting for the vessel’s equipment and during the charter period of the anchor handling tug. As a secondary point, the charterer asked to extend the stand-by period to the whole waiting period. In the first place, the arbitrators considered there was no reason to suspend the hire for excessive draft when the anchor handling tug had to be chartered in since the charterer had had the support vessel inspected before the charter-party was agreed, so the vessel was on this point in accordance with her description. Regarding the other deficiencies, although they were established, they did not prevent the vessel from working and the charter-party provided the hire could only be suspended when the vessel was prevented from working. Therefore the charterer’s claim for off-hire was dismissed. On the other hand, the arbitrators decided to extend the stand-by period until the deficiencies were made good by the owner, who had to reimburse the hire paid in excess.