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Cancelled Charter

Discussion in 'General Yachting Discussion' started by WD40, Apr 29, 2019.

  1. WD40

    WD40 New Member

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    Apr 29, 2019
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    Hi, new to the forum.

    I recently chartered a yacht and signed an MYBA contract. The Charter was cancelled recently and I should have been due a 25% compensation payment, but the Yacht owner has said the cancellation was Force Majeure. They're explanation was "The ship did not suffer of any lack of maintenance but from an hidden defect discovered upon disassembling" (the engines).

    Does anyone have any idea how best to deal with this? I have incurred substantial costs, having to charter another yacht and I'm certain they are just trying to avoid paying the compensation fee. Is there some certified paperwork that must be produced with regards to maintenance of the Yacht?

    Hoping not to get solicitors involved.

    WD40
  2. dennismc

    dennismc Senior Member

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    I do not thing Murphy is covered under Force Majeure. Your situation is one for the lawyers or reasonable people. Is there an arbitration clause in the contract ?
  3. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    If you signed the standard MYBA contract, it's worse than you think. Now only do you not get compensation, but the broker still gets their full fee.

    It is a very one sided contract, but widely used. My personal opinion based on my knowledge of previous situations is that there is no way you'll prove inadequate maintenance or anything per the contract to entitle you to compensation. Engines fail. Even properly maintained engines may. If that's what happened, then everyone is hurt. The owner is out his income for several charters likely, plus the cost of repair. You and other charterers are only out the benefit of the charter. You have the loss of the experience and pleasure but you can walk away without financial loss.

    Now, that's with the exception of the possibility of the broker retaining their fee. Their logic is that their job is just arranging the charter and they did that. However, some brokers don't enforce that clause in circumstances like this.

    I would say your chance of recovery from the owner without a lawyer are virtually nil and with a lawyer are not much better. Did they breach the contract? Not likely. Can you prove it was their fault and liability under the contract? Not likely. If you otherwise prevailed somehow, can you prove financial loss related to their breach? Not likely.

    This is the contract you signed, one my attorney has always changed before I signed. Still, if the boat has mechanical problems, I've never had a contract that would pay me. Same with weather conditions and seas. It is a force majeure.
  4. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    This is one of those things that if you want to pursue absolutely calls for a solicitor.
  5. Danvilletim

    Danvilletim Senior Member

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    That’s a shame. We had to cancel a charter for Christmas but only because we didn’t deem it worth while to run to St Martin. And we paid the 25%. Maybe go after the charter broker? Seems for as much as they make they should take some responsibility.
  6. olderboater

    olderboater Senior Member

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    Yours was an entirely different situation and reason. You simply decided you didn't want to do it, so you definitely owed the 25%.