Because of the often substantial financial interests involved in the water recreation industry, it is important that contracts are legally sound and as clear as possible.
Van Emstede & Slager Advocaten is the author of the 13 sets of HISWA general terms and conditions and a number of standard contracts as they were declared applicable to contracts concluded by members of the HISWA Association in 1992. With the changes made to the various sets of general terms and conditions after 1992, they are still considered to be balanced, clear and consumer-friendly sector conditions.
The standard contracts presented in 1992 have been used by HISWA Association members to this day, with a few minor changes here and there.
For most agreements, you do not need a written contract. You can conclude an agreement verbally or with a firm handshake. In the nautical world, concluding an agreement verbally is still common.
So why is a written contract preferable? A deal is a deal, right?
The answer is simple: what is not in writing is difficult or impossible to prove and if you claim that there is a contract, you will have to prove it in the event of a dispute.
A written agreement sets out the rights and obligations of the parties.
Both parties expect each other to comply with them. A dispute arises as soon as these expectations differ, as soon as you assess a right or duty differently from your customer or supplier. You think you are right, but being right is one thing and being right is another and this simple equation of ‘one and one is two’ can be solved much more quickly with a good contract.