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Off-hire clause – vessel en route to repairing port on instructions from Class – route to repair yard coinciding with route intended by charterers before the casualty – vessel nevertheless off-hire.

 The Facts

Two identical time charters on the NYPE 93 Form contained the following additional clause:  “Unless caused by charterers’ servants, if the vessel is off-hire for a period of 20 consecutive days, then the charterers have the option to re-deliver the vessel when next cargo-free”.

 The vessel was employed in an anti clockwise rotation between Japan and China.

 The vessel discharged and loaded containers at Yokohama en route for Shanghai.  Instead of sailing to Shanghai, as ordered by the charterers, the Master anchored outside Yokohama fearing the approach of a typhoon.

 Shortly thereafter the vessel dragged her anchor and collided with a nearby breakwater.

 As a result, the owners declared general average and Class directed that the vessel proceed directly to Hong Kong to discharge the entire cargo (including the cargo destined for Shanghai) after which she was to sail to Guangzhou for repairs.

 Owners contended that the vessel came on-hire again en route to Hong Kong because the route to Hong Kong and Shanghai were identical.

 The significance of the confluence of the routes (which continued for 1½ days) was that the charterers would then not have been entitled to terminate the charter, the vessel not being off-hire for a period of 20 consecutive days


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