Do I require a pilot?

The following questions will give an indication if pilotage is compulsory. For definitive directions see the Pilotage Directions section of the Pilotage Information 2017.

A pilot can be requested by the Master even if not compulsory and would be particularly useful for Masters unfamiliar with the port or during periods of inclement weather. There may be circumstances where vessels of any size when directed by the harbour master or dock master – in the interests of safety of the vessel, other vessels, persons, the port or its infrastructure – may need to take a pilot.

1. What is your vessel Length Overall (LOA)?

These directions shall apply to tugs and tows as if the aggregate length of the tug and tow is the length overall of a single vessel.

2. Charts

Are you carrying updated and authorised charts that cover all of the Pilotage Zones to the following scales:

Zone A and B 1:35,000 (UKHO Chart 154)
Zone  C and D : 1:12,000 (UKHO Chart 32)
Zone C, west of Pennarrow Point and The Governor Buoy 1:5,000 (UKHO Chart 18)

Zone diagram


Do you have an authorised and approved ECDIS system on board to SOLAS Chart carriage Requirements V -Res MSC.232 (82)

3. Dangerous or Polluting Goods

Are you carrying Dangerous or Polluting Goods Cat  Class 1-9 as defined by IMDG CODE.

4. Safety and manoeuvrability

Do you have any defect or incident which compromises shipping safety, including failures likely to affect the ship’s manoeuvrability or seaworthiness, or any defects affecting the propulsion system or steering gear, the electrical generating system, navigation equipment or communications equipment. (MCA – MSN – 1817 )

5. Special Category Movement

Are you a Special Category Movement (SCM) Vessel?

6. Pilotage Zones

Please state all the Pilotage Zones you will be transiting and destined for:

Pilotage Zone diagram

Note: There are some exemptions for HM ships (navy) and foreign warships as well as registered fishing vessels of less than 47.5m