|n.||1.||(Mar. Law) A contract in the nature of a mortgage, by which the owner of a ship, or the master as his agent, hypothecates and binds the ship (and sometimes the accruing freight) as security for the repayment of money advanced or lent for the use of the ship, if she terminates her voyage successfully. If the ship is lost by perils of the sea, the lender loses the money; but if the ship arrives safe, he is to receive the money lent, with the interest or premium stipulated, although it may, and usually does, exceed the legal rate of interest. See Hypothecation.|
BOTTOMRY, maritime law. A contract, in nature of a mortgage of a ship, on
which the owner borrows money to enable him to fit out the ship, or to
purchase a cargo, for a voyage proposed: and he pledges the keel or bottom
of the ship, pars pro toto, as a security for the repayment; and it is
stipulated that if the ship should be lost in the course of the voyage, by
any of the perils enumerated in the contract, the lender also shall lose his
money but if the ship should arrive in safety, then he shall receive back
his principal, and also the interest agreed upon, which is generally called
marine interest, however this may exceed the legal rate of interest. Not
only the ship and tackle, if they arrive safe, but also the person of the
borrower, is liable for the money lent and the marine interest. See 2 Bl.
Com. 458; Marsh. Ins. B. 21 c. 1; Ord. Louis XIV. B. 3, tit. 5; Laws of
Wishuy, art. 45 Code de Com. B. 2, tit. 9.
2. The contract of bottomry should specify the principal lent, and the rate of marine interest agreed upon; the subject on which the loan is effected the names of the vessel and of the master those of the lender and borrower whether the loan be for an entire voyage; for what voyage and for what space of time; and the period of re-payment. Code de Com. art. 311 Marsh. Ins. B. 2.
3. Bottomry differs materially from a simple loan. In a loan, the money is at the risk of the borrower, and must be paid at all events. But in bottomry, the money is at the risk of the lender during the voyage. Upon a loan, only legal interest can be received; but upon bottomry, any interest may be legally reserved which the parties agree upon. See, generally, Metc. & Perk. Dig. h. t.; Marsh. Inst. B. 2; Bac. Abr. Merchant, K; Com. Dig. Merchant. E 4; 3 Mass. 443; 8 Mass. 340; 4 Binn. 244; 4 Cranch, 328; 3 John. R. 352 2 Johns. Cas. 250; 1 Binn. 405; 8 Cranch, 41 8; 1 Wheat. 96; 2 Dall. 194. See also this Dict. tit. Respondentia; Vin. Abr. Bottomry Bonds 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1246-57.