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CHAPTER 2 The Implied Obligations of Tug and Tow

Law of Tug and Tow and Offshore Contracts

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The implied obligations of tug and tow

The implied obligations of tug and tow

2.1 The law implies certain terms into the contract of towage which define the rights and obligations of tug and tow. These terms will apply to govern the mutual relations of tug and tow under the contract in the absence of express terms having been agreed which are inconsistent with them or which exclude them: see eg The Clan Colquhoun [1936] P 153 per Bucknill J at p. 164: “Until this has been accomplished, the ordinary provision of the common law applies to the rights and duties of each party.” While the implied terms are of little relevance where the towage contract is concluded on one of the commonly used standard forms, where no form or other express terms have been agreed they will define the bounds of the contract between the parties. (For a useful comparative law overview of the general law of towage in other jurisdictions, which it is beyond the scope of this book to consider, see eg Professor William Tetley: “Tug and tow: a comparative study, common law/civil law, US, UK, Canada and France”: 93 Il Diritto Marittimo (1991), 893–923; and in his International Maritime and Admiralty Law (Carswell, 2003), focusing on the general law of towage in the United States and Canada.)

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