MARITIME CONTRACT. One which relates to the business of navigation upon the sea, or to business appertaining to commerce or navigation to be transacted or done upon the sea, or in seaports, and over which courts of admiralty have jurisdiction concurrent with the courts of common law.
2. Such contracts, according to civilians and jurists, include, among others, charter parties. bills of lading, and other contracts of affreightment, marine hypothecations, con tracts for maritime service in building, repair i ng, supplying, and navigating ships or vessel s, contracts and quasi contracts respecting ave rages, contributions, and jettisons. See 2 Gall. C. C. 398, etc., in which Judg:e Story gave a very elaborate and learned opinion on the subject. Parsons, Merit. Law.
It is, however, very doubtful whether his views in respect to the admiralty jurisdiction in cases of marine insurance would now be concurred in by the supreme court of the United States ; and that learned tribunal, in the late case of The People's Ferry Co. rs.
Beers, 20 How. 393, intimated that a contract for building a vessel was not a maritime con tract. See, also, 7 HOW. 729 ; 19 id. 171.
3. The term " maritime contract," in its ordinary and proper signification, does not strictly apply to contracts relating to the navi gation of our great inland lakes and our great navigable rivers; and yet contracts in respect to their navigation from state to state are now within the admiralty jurisdiction of the United States to the same extent as though they were arms of the sea and subject to tidal influences. 12 How. 443, 468. Such contracts are, therefore, frequently denomi nated maritime contracts, and may, perhaps, be properly denominated quasi maritime, as being vvithin the jurisdiction of the admiralty or maritime courts.