Originally Posted by capt_douglas
I took courses in Admiralty Law and salvage rights - and I agree 100%. I've got to carry a Lloyds Open Form but hope I never have to use it.
In some cases, a "no cure, no pay" (such as LOF) can work
out very fair to all concerned... BUT a few words of caution:
The advantage is that salvage is not held up by negotiating a contract
, and the salvage award
is determined by a "neutral" arbitrator. The value of the vessel (as well as cargo) and the difficulty of the salvage are all weighed. Good for an owner/insurance co, in that "soft" groundings and the like are not charged crazy rates.... Some of the assistance towing companies will charge $100/ft for a soft grounding that might involve 20 minutes' work! It is also good for a salvor, in that the job becomes "his" and competitors or other contractors now have to work
through him. As mentioned earlier, there is no pay if there is no cure, and awards are based on the salvor's performance... a great motivator for the salvor to complete the salvage efficiently and promptly. If a "Time and Materials" contract
is entered, it is in the interest of the salvor to drag his feet, to run up the clock.
The disadvantage is that LOF is not widely understood in the world of small vessels, in that it is a product of Lloyd's and is entirely under British Maritime Law. Vessels NOT insured through Lloyd's or a subsidiary might not be able to use the LOF, and should consult their insurer to confirm coverage AND contractual obligations; it is not uncommon for a small vessel owner to be forced to pay a salvor out of pocket and then seek reimbursement... often at a reduced amount than the actual bill!