Merchant Shipping Act 1873

Cited as1873 c. 85
JurisdictionUK Non-devolved


Merchant Shipping Act, 1873.

(36 & 37 Vict.) CHAPTER 85.

An Act to amend the Merchant Shipping Acts.

[5th August 1873]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

Preliminary.

Preliminary.

S-1 Short title.

1 Short title.

1. This Act may be cited as theMerchant Shipping Act, 1873.

S-2 Construction of Act.

2 Construction of Act.

2. This Act shall be construed as one with the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, and the Acts amending the same, and the said Acts and this Act may be cited collectively as the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1854 to 1873.

Registry (Part II. of Merchant Shipping Act, 1854).

Registry (Part II. of Merchant Shipping Act, 1854).

S-3 Particulars to be marked on British ships.

3 Particulars to be marked on British ships.

3. Every British ship registered after the passing of this Act shall before registry, and every British ship registered before the passing of this Act shall, on or before the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, be permanently and conspicuously marked to the satisfaction of the Board of Trade, as follows:

Her name shall be marked on each of her bows, and her name and the name of her port of registry shall be marked on her stern, on a dark ground in white or yellow letters, or on a light ground in black letters, such letters to be of a length not less than four inches, and of proportionate breadth:

Her official number and the number denoting her registered tonnage shall be cut in on her main beam:

A scale of feet denoting her draught of water shall be marked on each side of her stem and of her stern post in Roman capital letters or in figures, not less than six inches in length, the lower line of such letters or figures to coincide with the draught line denoted thereby. Such letters or figures shall be marked by being cut in and painted white or yellow on a dark ground, or in such other way as the Board of Trade may from time to time approve.

The Board of Trade may, however, exempt any class of ships from the requirements of this section or any of them.

If the scale of feet showing the ship's draught of water is in any respect inaccurate, so as to be likely to mislead, the owner of the ship shall incur a penalty not exceeding one hundred pounds.

The marks required by this section shall be permanently continued, and no alteration shall be made therein, except in the event of any of the particulars thereby denoted being altered in the manner provided by the Merchant Shipping Acts, 1854 to 1873.

Any owner or master of a British ship who neglects to cause his ship to be marked as aforesaid, or to keep her so marked, and any person who conceals, removes, alters, defaces, or obliterates, or suffers any person under his control to conceal, remove, alter, deface, or obliterate any of the said marks, except in the event aforesaid, or except for the purpose of escaping capture by an enemy, shall for each offence incur a penalty not exceeding one hundred pounds, and any officer of customs on receipt of a certificate from a surveyor or inspector of the Board of Trade that a ship is insufficiently or inaccurately marked may detain the same until the insufficiency or inaccuracy has been remedied.

Provided that no fishing vessel duly registered, lettered and numbered in pursuance of the Sea Fisheries Act, 1868, shall be required to have her name and port of registry marked under this section.

Provided also, that if any registered British ship is not within a port of the United Kingdom at any time before the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventy-four, she shall be marked as by this section required within one month after her next return to a British port of registry subsequent to that date.

S-4 Particulars to be entered in record of draught of water.

4 Particulars to be entered in record of draught of water.

4. The record of the draught of water of any sea-going ship required under section five of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1871, shall, in addition to the particulars thereby required, specify the extent of her clear side in feet and inches.

The term ‘clear side’ means the height from the water to the upper side of the plank of the deck from which the depth of hold as stated in the register is measured, and the measurement of the clear side is to be taken at the lowest part of the side.

Every master of a sea-going ship shall, upon the request of any person appointed to record the ship's draught of water, permit such person to enter the ship and to make such inspections and take such measurements as may be requisite for the purpose of such record, and any master who fails so to do, or impedes or suffers anyone under his control to impede any person so appointed in the execution of his duty, shall for each offence incur a penalty not exceeding five pounds.

S-5 Rules as to names of foreign ships placed on British register.

5 Rules as to names of foreign ships placed on British register.

5. Where a foreign ship, not having at any previous time been registered as a British ship, becomes a British ship, no person shall apply to register, and no registrar shall knowingly register such ship, except by the name which she bore as a foreign ship immediately before becoming a British ship, unless with the permission of the Board of Trade granted in manner directed by section six of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1871.

Any person who acts or suffers any person under his control to act in contravention of this section shall for each offence incur a penalty not exceeding one hundred pounds.

S-6 Restrictions on re-registration of abandoned ships.

6 Restrictions on re-registration of abandoned ships.

6. Where a ship has ceased to be registered as a British ship by reason of having been wrecked or abandoned, or for any reason other than capture by the enemy or transfer to a person not qualified to own a British ship, such ship shall not be registered until she has, at the expense of the applicant for registration, been surveyed by one of the surveyors appointed by the Board of Trade and certified by him to be seaworthy.

Masters and Seamen (Part III. of Merchant Shipping Act, 1854).

Masters and Seamen (Part III. of Merchant Shipping Act, 1854).

S-7 Agreements with seamen.

7 Agreements with seamen.

7. Any agreement with a seaman made under section one hundred and forty-nine of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854, may, instead of stating the nature and duration of the intended voyage or engagement as by that section required, state the maximum period of the voyage or engagement, and the places or parts of the world (if any) to which the voyage or engagement is not to extend.

S-8 Agreements with fishermen.

8 Agreements with fishermen.

8. The owner or master of any British vessel engaged in fishing off the coast of the United Kingdom may enter into an agreement with any person employed on such vessel that such person shall be remunerated wholly by a share in the profit of the fishing adventure.

Every such agreement shall be in writing or in print, or partly in writing and partly in print, and shall be signed by the contracting parties in the presence of a superintendent or deputy superintendent of a mercantile marine office.

The superintendent or deputy superintendent shall, before such agreement is signed, read and (if necessary) explain the same to the contracting parties, and shall attest the signature of the agreement, and certify that it has been read to and agreed to by the contracting parties.

Any such agreement, if made in the manner by this section required, shall be valid and binding on all the contracting parties, notwithstanding anything contained in section one hundred and eighty-two of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1854.

S-9 Compensation to seamen for unnecessary detention on charge of desertion.

9 Compensation to seamen for unnecessary detention on charge of desertion.

9. If a seaman or apprentice belonging to any ship is detained on a charge of desertion or any kindred offence, and if upon a survey of the ship being made under section seven of the Merchant Shipping Act, 1871, it is proved that she is not in a fit condition to proceed to sea, or that her accommodation is insufficient, the owner or master of the ship shall be liable to pay to such seaman or apprentice such compensation for his detention as the court having cognizance of the proceedings may award.

S-10 Power for Board of Trade to establish mercantile marine offices and to hold examinations at certain ports.

10 Power for Board of Trade to establish mercantile marine offices and to hold examinations at certain ports.

10. In any case where the business of a mercantile marine office is conducted otherwise than under a local marine board, the Board of Trade may, if they think fit, instead of conducting such business at a custom house or otherwise, establish a mercantile marine office, and for that purpose procure the requisite buildings and property, and from time to time appoint and remove all the requisite superintendents, deputies, clerks, and servants. They may also in the like case make all such provisions and exercise all such powers with respect to the holding of examinations for the purpose of granting certificates of competency as masters, mates, or engineers, to persons desirous of obtaining the same, as might have been made or exercised by a local marine board.

S-11 Power for Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to apply certain provisions of Merchant Shipping Acts to foreign ships.

11 Power for Her Majesty, by Order in Council, to apply certain provisions of Merchant Shipping Acts to foreign ships.

11. Whenever it has been made to appear to Her Majesty that the government of any foreign state is desirous that any of the provisions of the Merchant Shipping...

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