§ 453. A ship's-husband is a person employed by the owner of the ship to superintend all matters relating to the repairs,1 equipments, management, and other concerns of the ship. His duties and powers are frequently defined by special agreement. When they are not, he is generally bound to see that the ship is properly repaired, equipped, and manned; to procure freights or charter-parties; to preserve the ship's papers; to make the necessary entries, and to adjust freight and averages; to disburse and receive moneys; to keep and make up the accounts as between all the parties interested; to see to the due furnishing of provisions and stores; and to settle all the contracts with creditors for furnishings.2 Without special powers, he cannot, however, borrow money generally for the use of the ship; nor take bills for the freight, and give up possession and lien over the cargo; nor insure, so as to bind the owners for the premium.3 He has a lien for all expenses and disbursements made by him as agent;4 and his duties and liabilities are ordinarily those of a general agent.
1 The court, in Barker v. Highley, 15 C. B. (n. s.) 27 (1863), thus define the term: "The ship's-husband, or managing owner, is an agent appointed by the other owners to do what is necessary to enable the ship to prosecute her voyage and earn freight." See Coulthurst v. Sweet, Law R. 1 C. P. 649 (1866); Preston v. Tamplin, 2 H. & N. 363 (1857).
2 Abbott on Shipping (Shee's ed.), p. 92; Story on Agency, § 35; 1 Bell, Comm. 503 to 504, 5th ed.; French v. Backhouse, 5 Burr. 2727; Sims v. Brittain, 4 B. & Ad. 375; 13 Law Mag. 365.
3 1 Bell, Comm. 503 to 505, 5th ed.; Abbott on Shipping (Shee's ed.), p. 92; Beawes, Lex Merc. 47.
4 Holderness v. Shackels, 8 B. & C. 612.