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Sub-section 3 (c) of section 451 of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, permits deals, battens, or other light wood goods to a height not exceeding 3 feet above the deck to be carried as deck cargo by British or foreign ships arriving at a port in the United Kingdom between the last day of October and the 16th day of April in any year,

Questions having arisen with r:ference to the interpretation to be placed upon the words "light wood goods in that section, the Board of Trade desire to acquaint shipowners and shipmasters concerned that they have informed their Surveyors that, as at present advised, they are willing to regard as "light wood goods" analogous to deals any goods of " light wood" the units of which are of no greater cubic capacity than 15 cubic feet.

All goods of light wood the units of which are of greater cubic capacity than 15 cubic feet, must be deemed to be timber within the meaning of sub-section 3 (a) of the above-mentioned section.

The girth of all round timber is to be measured by string, and that of square timber by calipers.

Any goods of pitch-pine, mahogany, oak, teak, or other heavy wood, be the pieces ever so small, are a' solutely prohibited from being carried on the deck of a ship arriving at a port in the United Kingdom between the last day of October and the 16th day of April.

(Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, Section 238).

Foreign States with which, in pursuance of Orders in Council, arrangements have been made under the Merchant Shipping Act for the prevention of persons going on board, or being on board, their ships without permission, and for the punishment of offenders: Orders in Council dated March 2, 1881.


Sweden & Norway

America (U.S.)

Belgium ...











(Independent State).

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(Merchant Shipping Act, 1894, Section 238).

Reciprocal engagements have been entered into between Great Britain and each of the following States for the mutual surrender of seamen who desert from the merchant ships of either country in the ports of the other, namely:

America(United States) Germany.



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Oct. 25, 1881.
Nov. 30, 1882.
May 22, 1883.
Oct. 17, 1884.
Sept. 15, 1887.

July 23, 1889.



Morocco and Fez.







Sweden and Norway.






Every merchant vessel should carry on board some official voucher of her nationality, issued by the authorities of the country to which she belongs.

The official voucher of a vessel which belongs to a country possessing a register of its mercantile marine, is a certificate of her Registry in other cases its form varies, and is called a "Passport," "Sea-brief," &c.


The Certificate of Registry is a document signed by the registrar of the port to which the vessel belongs, and usually specifies the name of the vessel and such port; her tonnage, &c.; the name of her master; particulars as to her origin; and names and description of her registered owners, &c., and is the evidence of the nationality and identification of the vessel.

The Passport purports to be a requisition on the part of a Sovereign Power or State to suffer the vessel to pass freely with her company, passengers, goods and merchandise without any hindrance, seizure, or molestation, as being owned by citizens or subjects of such State. It usually contains the name and residence of the master; together with the name, description, and destination of the vessel.

The Sea-letter, or Sea-brief is issued by the civil authorities of the port where the vessel is fitted out; and it entitles the Master to sail under the flag and pass of the nation to which he belongs; and also specifies the nature and quantity of the cargo, by whom it is owned, and its destination.

The Charter-party is the written contract by which a vessel is let, in whole or in part; the person hiring being called the charterer. It is executed by the owner or master, and the charterer.

Amongst other things it usually specifies the name of the master, the name and description of the vessel, the port where she was lying at the time of the execution of the charter, the name and residence of the charterer, the character of the cargo to be put on board, the port of loading, the port of delivery, and the freight which is to be paid.

The Charter-party is almost invariably found on board a vessel which has been chartered.

The Official Log-book is the log-book which the master is compelled to keep in the form prescribed by the statute law of the country to which the vessel belongs. (See digest of M.S. Acts.)

The Ship's Log is the log kept by the master or mate for the information of the owners of the vessel.

The Builder's Contract is found on board a vessel which has not changed hands since she was built. It sometimes serves, in the absence of the pass or sea-letter or certificate of registry, for verification of a vessel's nationality.

A Bill of Sale is an instrument by which a vessel is transferred to a purchaser. It should be required whenever a sale of a

vessel is alleged to have been made either during a war or just previous to its commencement, and if there is any reason to suspect that the vessel is liable to detention, either as an enemy's vessel or as a British or allied vessel trading with the enemy.

Bills of Lading usually accompany each lot of goods.

A Bill of Lading on board a vessel is a duplicate of the document given by the master to the shipper of goods on the occasion of the shipment; it specifies the name of the shipper, the date and place of the shipment, the name and destination of the vessel, the description, quantity, and destination of the goods, and the freights which are to be paid.

The Invoices, which should always accompany the cargo, contain particulars of each parcel of goods, with the amount of the freight, duties, and other charges thereon, and specify the name and address of the shippers and consignees.

The Manifest is a list of the vessel's cargo, containing the mark and number of each separate package, the names of the shippers and consignees; a specification of the quantity of goods contained in each package, as rum, sugar, &c., and also an account of the freight corresponding with the bills of lading. In many cases packages are signed for "contents unknown."

The Manifest is usually signed by the ship-broker who clears the vessel out at the custom-house, and by the master.

The Clearance is the certificate of the custom-house authorities of the last port from where the vessel touched, to show that the custom duties have been paid. The clearance specifies the cargo

and its destination.

Articles of Agreement are the documents signed on engage. ment of seamen. They should be signed by every seaman on board, and should describe accurately the voyage and the terms for which each seaman ships, and specify the provisions to be supplied.

Crew List and Articles of Agreement.-Upon arriving in a foreign country the master of a vessel deposits these papers with the Consul representing the flag which covers the vessel, and takes a receipt therefor: these papers are returned to the master when clearing from his Consul.

A Clean Bill of Health is a certificate that the vessel comes from a place where no contagious distemper prevails, and that none of her crew were infected at the time of her departure, and is endorsed that no sickness was prevalent.


Notice in writing must be given by the shipowner to the wharfinger with whom he places goods for safe custody, that the goods are subject to a lien to an amount to be mentioned in the notice.

This lien is only discharged on proof of payment or release of the amount claimed being produced to the wharfinger, or on deposit of the amount claimed with the wharfinger.

Such deposit may, after the expiry of 15 days if no notice to the contrary effect is given, be paid by the wharfinger to the shipowner. If notice be given within the 15 days the shipowner must be apprised thereof; the amount admitted to be due (if any) is then paid to the shipowner, and at the expiry of 30 days, unless legal proceed

ngs have been instituted to obtain the balance, and notice in writing of such proceedings has been served on the wharfinger, the said balance shall be repaid to the owner of the goods. If the lien is not discharged within 90 days the wharfinger may sell the goods by public auction.

The monies arising from the sale are to be applied (1) in payment of any Customs or Excise duties; (2) in payment of the expenses of the sale; (3) in payment of the rent, rates, and other charges due to the warehouse owner (apart from special agreement); (4) in payment of freight, &c. ; (5) the surplus (if any) to the owner of the goods.


(Bills of Lading Act, 1855, 18 & 19 Vict. cap. 3.)

(1) Every consignee of goods named in a B/L to whom in the property in the goods therein mentioned shall pass, upon or by reason of snch consigninent or endorsement shall have transferred to and vested in him all rights of suit, and be subject to the same liabilities in respect of such goods as if the contract contained in the B/L had been made with himself.

(2) Nothing herein contained shall prejudice or affect any right of stoppage in transitu, or any right to claim freight against the original shipper or owner, or any liability of the consignee or endorsee by reason or in consequence of his being such consignee or endorsee, or of his receipt of the goods by reason or in consequence of such consignment or endorsement.



(3) Every B/L in the hands of a consignee or indorsee for valuable consideration, representing goods to have been shipped on board a vessel, shall be conclusive evidence of such shipment so against the master or other person signing the same, notwithstanding that such goods or some part thereof may not have been so shipped, unless such holder of the B/L shall have had actual notice of the time of receiving the same that the goods had not been part laden on board; provided that the master or other person so signing may exonerate himself in respect of such misrepresentation by showing that it was caused without any default on his part, and wholly by the fraud of the shipper or of the holder, or of some person under whom the holder claims.


Before entering upon an explanation of the various formulæ used in determining the tonnage of a vessel, a brief recapitulation of the British tonnage laws may be of interest. Until 1694 no Act of Parliament enforced a rule for tonnage measurement on English ships, with the exception of "keels" and vessels loading coals on the Tyne and Wear. The earliest English tonnage law was passed in 1422, and applied exclusively to "keels " used in carrying coals at Newcastle-on-Tyne. Its object was to measure accurately the "portage" of each keel, and to mark that portage on the vessel so that the king's due of "two pence" per chaldron might be

secured. In 1679 a further Act was passed, extending the law to the Wear, and in 1694 deadweight was substituted for chaldron measure. An Act of 1775 extended this law to vessels loading coal in any of the ports of the United Kingdom. The Act of 1694 was the first Act of Parliament embodying a rule for estimating tonnage for English sea-going and coasting ships. As the first English Tonnage Rule, it is worth reproducing, though the Act was repealed in 1696. It ran as follows:


L length of keel (so much as she treads on the ground). breadth amidships (inboard, from plank to plank).



depth of hold (from plank below keelson to under part of
plank of upper deck, up to which cargo is stowed).
L x B x D



The next English tonnage law, enacted in 1773, applied to all classes of merchant ships. It continued, legally, in force up to 1835, and is even now used, and known as the B.O.M., or

Builder's Old Measurement Rule.-In carrying out this rule, the length was taken on a straight line along the rabbet of the keel from the back of the main stern post to a perpendicular line let fall from the fore part of the main stem under the bowsprit. The breadth was the extreme breadth to the outside planking, exclusive of doubling planks or strakes that might be wrought at that part.

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(LB) x B x

If L = length, B = breadth, then tonnage (B.O.M.) =

Following this brief retrospect, let us now consider present-day methods of computing the tonnage of our ships.

Displacement. To the lay mind, displacement tonnage must convey the most ready and accurate idea as to the relative sizes of ships, as it gives their actual weights, or, in other words, the weights of the volumes of water they displace. It is the system used in denoting the tonnage of all warships. As Sir William White says in his classic work on Naval Architecture, it is usual to express the volume in cubic feet, and for tea water to take 64 lb. as the weight of a cubic foot; so that the weight of the ship in tons multiplied by 35 gives the number of cubic feet in the volume of displacement when the ship floats in sea water. If our ships were simple parallelopipedons, the displacement in tons would, of course, be quickly arrived at, by simply multiplying the length in feet on the load line by the breadth, also in feet, on the load line by the mean draught in feet, and dividing the product by 35. But, as the under bodies of our ships are anything but simple rectangular forms, two processes are generally made use of in computing a vessel's displacement, as the calculations in each process are required to determine the position of the centre of gravity of displacement, or centre of buoyancy, and also because the two results are a check on the correctness of the calculations. One process consists in dividing the length of the ship on the load water-line by a number of equi-distant vertical sections, computing their several areas by one of Simpson's rules, and then treating them as if they were the ordinates of a new curve, the base of which is the load water-line. In the other process the depth of the vessel below the load water-line is divided by a number of equi-distant longitudinal planes parallel to the water-line. The areas of these are computed by Simpson's rule, and are treated as if they were the ordinates of a new curve, the




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