A solid newbuild contract

Let’s assume, as I write this blog, I am stranded on a desert island. Picture one palm tree and small circle of sand sort of spot.

Now I’m here, because the newbuild vessel I’d purchased split and sank like a stone whilst I was underway on a solo voyage. Still, there’s a smile on my face because the contract I’d drafted with the boat builder was tight. It was a beauty and if I can only get off this damn sand, I’ll get them good. When they find my bleached bones years later, the contract will be praised because it contained, among other things, the following items:

1. A concisely written statement as to the purpose and intended use of the vessel to be built.

2. A clear statement as to the builder’s obligations and warranties.

3. A plainly worded arbitration term requiring that all disputes between the parties must be resolved via binding arbitration before a recognized maritime arbitration service such as the Society of Maritime Arbitrators Inc.

Anyway, the point is that it’s worth having your maritime attorney participate in your quest for a new vessel. From regulatory issues to contract wording to negotiating strategies, your admiralty attorney can be an indispensable source of information.  And you know what? If you don’t feel that way about your admiralty attorney, find a new one. 

Underway and making way.


About the author

John K. Fulweiler

John K. Fulweiler is a licensed mariner and experienced admiralty attorney. He represents individuals and companies throughout the East and Gulf Coasts and has recently taken command of his own maritime law firm. He enjoys navigating the choppy waters of the maritime law, but readily admits to missing life on the water. He can be reached at john@fulweilerlaw.com . His website is www.saltwaterlaw.com.

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