The first ships were not written because few people were literate.  But in the 18th century, most sailors expected the articles to be written, even if they could not read themselves. Finally, in the 1900s, laws required in many countries that ship articles be written and freely accessible to any signed sailor.   In addition to cash payments, seafarers on board ships traditionally received accommodation (docked station), meals (food and care), medical care (on-board physician) and sometimes also laundry services or a premium of alcohol. This is how many times expressed in boat articles as so „a month and found”.   This agreement is reached between the employer/employer representative and the sailor, as stated below in agreement with the collective agreement sector, i.e. NMB (INDIA)/INSA-MUI/others -…………… in accordance with the above conditions: under the MS Act of 1958, the master of every Indian vessel, with the exception of an inland navigation vessel of less than 200 GT, enters into an agreement with any engaged sailor in which he intervenes and is transported at sea as a member of his crew. Ship items are considered part of a „ship document” that constitutes the legal environment on board the vessel.  They are necessary to resolve disputes between sailors and their captains, as well as between sailors and owners of ships and cargo.   They are subject to port authorities and foreign consular officials to establish the Bona fides of a ship.  By a Congressional Act of 1790, the agreement was a document required by each ship sailing for a foreign port, and for any vessel of 50 tons or more related to an inland port, with the exception of a ship in a neighbouring state.
Fishermen who worked in the fishing industry also had to sign boat articles and were entitled to the same privileges and rules as seafarers. The document included the signatures of the master and each crew member (or his signature) and was considered a separate contract for each person undersigned. It provided legal evidence not only of the nature and duration of the trip, but also of the obligations to be fulfilled and the wages due. A copy of the items authenticated by the collector was to be taken on board by the master and should, if necessary, be presented to any consul or commercial agent with whom a complaint has been filed. Since a new contract was required for each trip (and they were not recalled by customs), these documents are often present in maritime collections. They are one of the most valuable and extensive sources of research and provide important information on a wide range of maritime issues. In the 17th and 18th centuries, privateers and pirates developed into an authority independent of the laws of each nation. Although there was no consistency among these articles, there were common topics known as „The Pirate Code” or „Jamaica Discipline.”  The ship`s items (shipping goods, more formally the ship`s contractual objects) are the documents that constitute the contract between the sailors and the master of a ship.   They indicate the name of the vessel, the conditions of employment (including the size and assessments of the proposed complement), compensation for seafarers (actions or payments), the mode of transport and duration and the rules applicable on board and port, including criminal offences and penalties.
    Traditionally, each sailor is required to sign the articles and articles contain for each sailor, his assessment, the place and place of the signing and the date of signing the ship.   The agreement must cover the requirement for advances and allowances and other provisions that are not contrary to the law.