Investor's wiki



What Is Bottomry?

Bottomry, alluding to the ship's base or fall, is a maritime transaction, where the owner of a vessel gets money and utilizations the ship itself as collateral. In any case, in the event that an accident ought to occur during the voyage, the creditor will miss out on the loan in light of the fact that the guaranteed security no longer exists, or exists in a harmed fashion. Should the vessel endure the excursion flawless and whole, then, at that point, the lender will receive the return of the loaned principal plus interest.

Bottomry transactions are for the most part obsolete in current maritime activity. The interest received by the lender on a bottomry loan is known as maritime interest and might be more than the legal rate of interest.

Borrowing Through the Use of Bottomry

In conventional financing, through credit, the borrower is at risk for the debt consistently. With bottomry contracts, the lender takes on obligation on the grounds that the repayment of money possibly occurs assuming that the voyage is a triumph. These now obsolete financing schemes regularly happened while a cruising vessel needed paying for a dire repair, or during different crises which came up during the long voyages.

Where the ship's owner pledged the vessel as collateral as getting the debt, the deal was known as a bottomry bond. At the point when both boat and cargo became guaranteed it was known as respondentia. In the subsequent case, it was a personal obligation of the owner who borrowed the money to complete the excursion. Bottomry bonds are somewhat low priority loans when compared to other liens against the ship and ceaselessly declined in use as shipping improved during the nineteenth century.

Bottomry is not generally practiced today, with a lot of fraud occurring during its pinnacle utilization.

Subsequently, the subject of bottomry remains principally of interest to students of history, as a nostalgic practice from past years. Greek biographer and writer Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus broadly called bottomry "the most notorious form of money lending."

Writers and history specialists Michael Kaplan and Ellen Kaplan investigated bottomry in their book, Chances Are...: Adventures in Probability. Bottomry, they stated, "is not difficult to depict yet hard to portray. [It is] not a pure loan, in light of the fact that the lender acknowledges part of the risk [and] not a partnership, on the grounds that the money to be reimbursed is determined." Further, they composed the practice was not insurance since it didn't "explicitly secure the risk to the dealer's goods." In the end, they concluded the practice was best depicted as a futures contract in light of the fact that the lender was betting on an event occurring sometime not too far off.


The average bottomry interest during the hour of the Roman Empire.

True Example

Today, there are only from time to time any useful applications for bottomry in shipping. Be that as it may, even in its prime, bottomry frequently saw fraudulent use. The trial of Henry T. Rahming versus The Brigantine Northern Light contested a well known 1864 dispute. Here, the master and part-owner of a vessel executed the bottomry bond. The deal was to secure the payment of $4,228.24 in gold — including the 15% maritime interest. Be that as it may, after the ship showed up in New York, payment was denied, and action followed.


  • The lender is at risk for the ship until the voyage is complete.
  • Bottomry is neither a loan nor a partnership, and has been called "the most unsavory form of money lending" by writer Lucius Mestrius Plutarchus.
  • Bottomry is a transaction where a shipowner gets money involving the ship as collateral.