LEGAL ISSUES

LEGAL ADVICE IN THE MARINE INDUSTRY

Purchase Agreements/Contracts

When buying a boat seek legal advice and counsel and have the contract checked by an attorney. Ensure that you receive your own copy of the contract and sign it before witnesses. Warranty procedures should be clearly written and understood by all parties concerned. Address all issues PRIOR to signing the signing of the contract. Most South African manufacturers have clear procedures and

Address all issues PRIOR to signing the signing of the contract. Most South African manufacturers have clear procedures and well-written contracts and these are there to protect both the seller and the buyer.

Warranty Advice

Warranties can present a problem for purchasers, builders and sellers. Traditionally maritime warranties are rectified at the port of launch. Since in most cases a yacht will have sailed away, the question of how to handle a warranty claim at distance arises.

There are also issues around equipment warranties and equipment manufacturers may also claim that builders have not installed their equipment correctly. Therefore, procedures for handling warranties must be written into the contract.

It is normal to state that the builders have the opportunity to rectify any defect at their cost, or by their nomination of a subcontractor, it would be normal for the owner to be paid the price it would have cost the builder. All this obviously can lead to problems and in such cases, the services of an Arbitrator can be most useful.

Legal/Arbitration

Resolving problems between builders and owners through the courts becomes time consuming and expensive. Unless issues are very serious, arbitration can be the most effective method of solving disputes.

Arbitrators may be Maritime Lawyers or Surveyors depending on whether it is a legal problem or a technical one. Arbitrators are trained in the dispassionate resolution of problems based on documentation and verbal evidence. Experience has shown that the use of arbitration is frequently the most satisfactory way of solving owner and builder disputes.

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