Bottomry, * maritime law. A contract, in nature of a mortgage of a ship, on which the owner borrows money to enable him to fit out the ship, or to purchase a cargo, for a voyage proposed: and he pledges the keel or bottom of the ship, pars pro toto, as a security for the repayment; and it is stipulated that if the ship should be lost in the course of the voyage, by any of the perils enumerated in the contract, the lender also shall lose his money but if the ship should arrive in safety, then he shall receive back his principal, and also the interest agreed upon, which is generally called marine interest, however this may exceed the legal rate of interest. Not only the ship and tackle, if they arrive safe, but also the person of the borrower, is liable for the money lent and the marine interest. See 2 Bl. Com. 458; Marsh. Ins. B. 21 c. 1; Ord. Louis Xiv. B. 3, tit. 5; Laws of Wishuy, art. 45 Code de Com. B. 2, tit. 9.

2. The contract of bottomry should specify the principal lent, and the rate of marine interest agreed upon; the subject on which the loan is effected the names of the vessel and of the master those of the lender and borrower whether the loan be for an entire voyage; for what voyage and for what space of time; and the period of re-payment. Code de Com. art. 311 Marsh. Ins. B. 2.

3. Bottomry differs materially from a simple loan. In a loan, the money is at the risk of the borrower, and must be paid at all events. But in bottomry, the money is at the risk of the lender during the voyage. Upon a loan, only legal interest can be received; but upon bottomry, any interest may be legally reserved which the parties agree upon. See, generally, Metc. & Perk. Dig. h. t.; Marsh. lnst. B. 2; Bac. Abr. Merchant, K; Com. Dig. Merchant. E 4; 3 Mass. 443; 8 Mass. 340; 4 Binn. 244; 4 Cranch, 328; 3 John. R. 352 2 Johns. Cas. 250; 1 Binn. 405; 8 Cranch, 41 8; 1 Wheat. 96; 2 Dall. 194. See also this Dict. tit. Respondentia; Vin. Abr. Bottomry Bonds 1 Bouv. Inst. n. 1246-57.

* From Bouvier's Law Dictionary, 1856 Edition. Please see Bouvier's Legal Abbreviations & Abbreviated References for help with obscure nomenclature & references.

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