✹ About Friday 4 April 1662 Nate Lockwood on 5 Apr 2015 • Link Paying off the ship was much the same through the end of the 1950's in the US Merchant Marine (commercial vessels). One would sign articles for the duration of the voyage which specified an ending date and an ending port, whichever came first. During the voyage one could draw on accumulated pay not to exceed 1/2 of that due (with any deductions taken into account). This practice was to discourage 'jumping ship' some idyllic (never visited one of those myself). After one long voyage my payout was something like $100 and a few cents and I was forced to accept a $100 bill. Unfortunately the only way to get from the shp into the nearest town was by taxi or walking, no taxi driver would have change for 100 dollars, and it would be hard to find any business to break the bill. Some things never change.