. SHIPPING, LAW OF, treats of the ownership and employment of ships, the rights and obligations of their owners, masters, and seamen, and of the owners of their cargoes, and all contracts and torts arising from the employment of ships. By the U. S. statutes, the owners, masters, and officers of a vessel must be U. S. citizens to make it a U. S. vessel; it must be built in the United States, and must be duly registered or enrolled. Whenever it is sold, the bill of sale must recite the original certificate of enrollment or registry, or it cannot obtain a new registry. If the vessel is for foreign commerce, the necessary facts are presented on affidavit to the collector of the district, who issues a certificate of registry, which is evidence anywhere of the nationality and character of the vessel, whose name and that of its owners as well as its tonnage, where it belongs, etc., must be recited. if the vessel be less than 20 tons burden, only a license is necessary. If the vessel be over 20 tons burden and designed for fishing or the coast ing trade, a certificate of enrollment issues in the same way in addition to a license. The rules of property in ships, unless modified by statute, are the same as those of other chattels. By statute, title tom, U. S. vessel can be had only by building, by a judicial sale as a prize or for forfeiture, or by purchase and repair in this country at a cost of at least three-fourths its value. of .a wrecked foreign vessel. By statute, also, every con veyance, mortgage, or bill of sale of any vessel or pait of a vessel of the United States must be recorded in the office of the collector of the district where the vessel is regis tered or enrolled; otherwise such conveyance, etc., is valid only against the grantor,
etc., his heirs and devisees, and persons having notice in fact. As to persons employed in navigating the ship, only the powers of the master need be considered here; the rights of the seamen, whose claim for wages takes precedence of all other liens upon the vessel, and is enforced in admiralty by a proceeding in rem, are protected by comprehen provisions. But the liability for wages is conditional upon earning freight on the voyage. The master has an absolute authority over the officers and crew, and in the navigation of the ship. He may bind the owners on all ordinary shipping contracts, which are usually executed in his name, and upon which suit may be brought by or against him personally. He may borrow money for repairs, hypothecate ship or cargo, and, in certain cases, even sell or abandon both. It is now held, however, that, before resorting to any extraordinary step, lie must, if within reach of the telegraph, get instruction from his principals. The rights and liabilities of owners of vessels are, unless limited by statute, identical with those of common carriers. See CARRIERS. For the two principal shipping contracts, see BILL or LADING and CHARTER PARTY. For the rules of navigation, see NAVIGATION, LAW As TO (ante). And for so much of the subject as is not treated here, see MERCHANT SHIPPING ACT (ante), PART OWNERS, SHIP'S HUSBAND, DEMURRAGE, STOPPAGE IN TRANSITIT, FREIGHT, AVERAGE, BOT TOMRy, RESPONDENTIA, SALVAGE.