PARTOWNERS. Persons who hold real or personal property by the same title, either as tenants in common, joint tenants, or coparceners. They are sometimes called guasi partners and differ from partners in this, that they are either joint owners, or tenants in common, each having an independent, although an undivided interest in the property; neither can transfer or dispose of the whole property, nor act for the others in relation to it, but merely for his own share, and to the extent of his own several right and interest.
2. In joint tenancy of goods or chattels, it is true, the joint tenants are seized per my et per tout; but still each one has an independent, and to a certain extent a distinct right during his lifetime, which he can dispose of and sever the tenancy.
3. Tenants in common hold undivided portions of the property by several titles, or in several rights, although by one title. Their possession, however, they hold in common and undivided. Whereas, in partnerships, the partners are joint owners of the property, and each has a right to sell or dispose of the whole, unless otherwise provided for in the articles of partnership. Colly. Partn. 86; Wats. Partn. 66; Story, Partn. §91.
4. At common law, each of the owners of a chattel has an equal title and right to possess and use it; and in the case of common cbattels the law has generally left this right to the free discretion of the several owners but in regard to ships, the common law has adopted and followed' out the doctrine of the courts of admiralty. It authorizes the majority in value and interest to employ the ship upon any probable design. This is done, not without guarding the rights, of the minority. When the majority desire to employ a ship upon any particular voyage or adventure, they have a right to do so, upon giving security by stipulation to the minority, if required, to bring back and restore the ship to them, or in case of her loss, to pay them the value of their shares. Abbott, Shipp. 70; 3 Kent Com. 151, 4th ed.; 2 Bro. Civ. Law, 131; Molloy, B. 2, c. 1, §3; 2 Pet. Adm. R. 288; Story, Partn. 428 11 Pet. R. 175. When the majority do not choose to employ the ship, the minority have the same right, upon giving similar security. 11 Pet. R. 175; 1 Hagg. Adm. R. 306; Jacobi: Sea Laws, 442.
5. When part owners are equally divided as to the employment, upon any particular voyage, the courts of admiralty have man fested a disposition to support the right of the court to order a sale of the ship. Story Partn. §439; Bee's Adm. R. 2; Gilpin, R. 10; 18 Am. Jur. 486.