ATB Pilotage Required Based on Combined Gross Tonnage


Sorry, yes they fall under that section requiring a pilot.

What’s your point?


That’s not the issue. Barges under 10,000 GT are allowed to have their regular officers act as the pilot as long as they have recency. See the quote I provided earlier.


It was the Sabine/Neches River. Sabine pilots, of course.


True, and this brings up another topic. The tug is SOLAS and on most documents the ITC of 682 is listed, often without the domestic tonnage even being mentioned. I’m not very savvy with SOLAS regs. We have been told that the boat is manned with licenses of 1600 ton and greater because of that. That has never made sense to me because as far as I had understood before this was that because licenses are issued under both STCW tonnage and domestic tonnage that as long as both of the vessel tonnages were within their corresponding license tonnages then it was good. This idea that the tonnage of the domestic license would be used cover the tug’s ITC tonnage just seems like comparing apples and pears.


So this is another question I keep forgetting to research. I seem to recall this definition from my exams years ago but… What is a US Vessel sailing under “register?” Is that a US flagged vessel registered in the foreign trade? If so, is that only when returning from a foreign trip? What organization is a vessel “registered” with? Forgive my ignorance, but I’ve always been confused by this.


Solas has nothing to do with it.

The USCG uses domestic GRT. That is the “regulatory tonnage” in the US. foreign port state control will use ITC GT.

‘Sailing under “register” is for foreign trade. It means that the Certificate of Documentation issued by the USCG is endorsed for “Register.” If it’s not endorsed Register, it will be endorsed Coastwise for domestic trade.

If a vessel is 197 GRT and 687 GT, all that is required by the USCG is Master of Towing at least 200 tons. A vessel under 200 is not subject to STCW or Solas. Getting a Solas cert is a voluntary option for the owners. It’s not required by regulators, but charters may appreciate it.

That’s not to say what some foreign port state control inspector may think. He may think that a 687 GT vessel is subject to STCW and Solas.


Thank you, that confirms what I’ve understood to
Be the common consensus. Thanks for the note on COD and sailing under register. I’m pretty sure our COD indicates “Coastwise.”


How wide is the barge?


78 foot beam. All of our larger barges were built in Wisconsin and had to pass the locks in the seaway.


Gotcha. Barges over a certain width are required to have pilots on the Sabine River but I think it’s 100 ft so I guess that’s not the reason


By the way, thanks to everyone who responded. This was a bit of a trivial question but considering it came from our boss seemed like it needed a little sussing out just for the sake of knowing. Sorry I didn’t get back to it right away, was offshore for a few days and then busy at home. Have a good one, all!


I don’t really know much about this. I sail on a U.S. flag foreign-going vessel. In U.S. waters it’s “under registry” in foreign waters it’s U.S. flag. Also the COD specifies that the ship is not authorized for coastwise or fisheries.

Beyond that I normally get pilotage info from the local agents.

I might be mistaken but it appears that using the Coast PIlot to determine if a pilot is required or not does not work with barges.


I will admit I do not fully understand the Recently rules. But if you did not have rencency to go up the River, does that now comply the requirements, if not than I see the need to have a federal licensed Pilot to shift.


Both the captain and I have recency in the river up to McFadden bend. We take pilots regardless. This was just a moment that we thought we could save the company the money for a pilot to shift. From Philly all the way to Canada we don’t take pilots anywhere that we have our 12 round trips.


Towmasters has a good post on this subject: Tugboat Pilotage 101

Has a good explanation including recency.

’ll take this opportunity to point out that virtually all towing vessel officers routinely refer to their authority to “act as pilot” as “recency.” This is technically incorrect and, more importantly, confuses another very important aspect of pilotage as well. The slang term recency , when correctly used, refers solely to whether or not you’ve made a round trip over a given route within 5 years of your last round trip on that route, thereby keeping your authority to “act as pilot” active or valid. Hence the term recency ! The Coast Guard officially refers to this in the regulations as “currency of knowledge.” As per 46 CFR § 10.713 (a) ,

Also Tugboat Pilotage 102

In Tugboat Pilotage 101 the subject was confined to inspected coastwise tank barges and the requirement that they be under the “command and control” of an individual qualified to serve as pilot when underway in designated pilotage waters or the navigable waters of the United States not designated as pilotage waters. But what if it’s some other kind of barge? How about a dead-ship tow? Or a dredge? What if you’re just running around light boat? As usual, the regulations are more complicated, convoluted and scattered than they need to be. And in some ways they’re also inconsistent with the logic behind requiring pilotage in the first place. Anyway……