Chapter 2. Ship Masters And Cargoes of California Harbors And Navigation Code >> Division 4. >> Chapter 2.
The master of a vessel is appointed by and holds his
appointment at the pleasure of the owner.
The master of a vessel shall be always on board when it is
entering or leaving a port, harbor, or river unless the vessel is in
charge of a mate who possesses a master's license.
On entering or leaving a port, harbor, or river, the master of
a vessel, the navigation of which is not in charge of a pilot,
licensed for that port, harbor, or river, shall take a pilot if one
offers himself. While the pilot is on board the navigation of the
vessel devolves on him.
The master of a vessel may enforce the obedience of the mate
and seamen to his lawful commands by confinement and other reasonable
corporal punishment; but the master is responsible for the abuse of
The master of a vessel may confine any person on board, during
a voyage, for wilful disobedience to his lawful commands.
If, during a voyage, the vessel's supplies fail, the master,
with the advice of the officers, may compel persons who have private
supplies on board to surrender them for the common want, or payment
of, or on giving security for, their value.
The master of a vessel shall not abandon it during the voyage,
without the advice of the other officers.
The master of a vessel, upon abandoning it, shall carry with
him, so far as it is in his power, the money and the most valuable of
the goods on board, under penalty of being personally responsible.
If the articles thus taken are lost from causes beyond his control,
he is exonerated from liability.
The master of a vessel, who engages for a common profit on the
cargo, shall not trade on his own account, and if he does, he shall
account to his employer for all profits thus made by him.
The master of a vessel shall use great care and diligence in
the performance of his duties, and he is responsible for all damage
occasioned by his negligence.
The master of a vessel is a general agent for its owner in all
matters concerning the vessel.
The master of a vessel has authority to borrow money on the
credit of its owner, if it is necessary to enable him to complete the
voyage, and if neither the owner nor his proper agent for such
matters can be consulted without injurious delay.
During a voyage, the master of a vessel is a general agent for
each of the owners of the cargo, and has authority to do whatever
they might do for the preservation of their respective interests, but
he can not sell or hypothecate the cargo, except in the cases
mentioned in this chapter.
The master of a vessel may procure all its necessary repairs
and supplies, may engage cargo and passengers for carriage, and, in a
foreign port, may enter into a charter-party. His contracts for
these purposes bind the owner to the full amount of the value of the
vessel and freightage.
The master of a vessel may hypothecate the vessel, freightage,
and cargo, and sell part of the cargo, in the cases prescribed by
the articles on bottomry and respondentia, and in no others, except
that the master may also sell the cargo, or any part of it, short of
the port of destination, if it is found to be of such perishable
nature, or in such damaged condition that if left on board or
reshipped it would be entirely lost or seriously endanger the
interests of its owners.
When a vessel, whether foreign or domestic, is seriously
damaged, or the voyage is otherwise broken up beyond the possibility
of pursuing it, the master, in case of necessity, may sell the vessel
without instructions from the owners, unless by the earliest use of
ordinary means of communication he can inform the owners and await
The master of a vessel may sell the cargo if the voyage is
broken up beyond the possibility of pursuing it, and no other vessel
can be obtained to carry it to its destination, and the sale is
otherwise absolutely necessary.
The master of a vessel in case of its capture may engage to
pay a ransom for it in money or in part of the cargo, and his
engagement will bind the vessel, freightage, and cargo.
The power of the master of a vessel to bind its owner, or the
owners of the cargo, ceases upon the abandonment of the vessel and
freightage to insurers.
Unless otherwise expressly agreed, or unless the contracting
parties give exclusive credit to the owner, the master of a vessel is
personally liable upon his contracts relative to the vessel, even
when the owner is also liable.
The master of a vessel is liable to third persons for the acts
or negligence of persons employed in its navigation, whether
appointed by him or not, to the same extent as the owner of the
vessel; but neither the owner nor the master of a vessel is
responsible for the negligence of a pilot whom he is bound by law to
employ, unless an option is allowed between pilots, some of whom are
competent, or unless he is required only to pay compensation to the
pilot, but is not required to use his services.
The owner of a vessel is bound to pay to the owner of the
cargo, at the time of arrival of the vessel at the port of the
destination, the market value of that portion of the cargo which has
been sold to enable the master to pay for the necessary repairs and
supplies of the vessel.