Compulsory Pilotage

I’ve always wondered why US flag vessels that can provide their own pilotage (tug/barge with recency for example), still must employ a pilot when sailing on register, aka going foreign, or coming from foreign? I understand when, not the Why.

For pilotage purposes, the use to which a vessel is being put is determined by examining thevoyage leg upon which it is engaged at any given time. A voyage leg is considered to be any trip betweentwo ports or any transit within a port. For any given voyage leg, a dual- or multi-documented U.S. vesselis deemed to be operating on its registry endorsement so long as it is:
(a) carrying any domestic cargo for delivery to a foreign port;
(b) carrying any foreign cargo for delivery to a U.S. port or place embraced within thecoastwise laws;
© carrying any foreign cargo for delivery to a foreign port (even though there may beintermediate stops in U.S. ports); or
(d) sailing in ballast from a U.S. port to a foreign port or from a foreign port to a U.S. port.

Anyone able to explain the logic there? Why is a foreign voyage different than a domestic one? There are obvious reasons I can imagine, but in modern times they really don’t make sense.

$$$$$$$$$$

yeah that would fall under obvious reasons. But they had to have a cover story at one time, right?

Always wondered the same. Even light tug you had to have a pilot. The one pilot had I had for going up the Delaware bitched about his ex-wife the whole time to the point I asked him to go downstairs

[QUOTE=Tugted;161593]Always wondered the same. Even light tug you had to have a pilot. The one pilot had I had for going up the Delaware bitched about his ex-wife the whole time to the point I asked him to go downstairs[/QUOTE]

Holy shit. Didn’t know my ex got remarried. . . .

One line of defense to make sure the crew isn’t under duress. (Held hostage by some terrorists with a nuke or a load of nerve gas for example). This was given to me as a reason post 9/11 but I think the rule predates that by quite a bit.

I dont know but having someone up in a cramped upper wheelhouse with you for two or three hours is awesome. The AB should be up there learning to steer. That would be a better use of the space.

[QUOTE=Slowsailor;161630]One line of defense to make sure the crew isn’t under duress. (Held hostage by some terrorists with a nuke or a load of nerve gas for example). This was given to me as a reason post 9/11 but I think the rule predates that by quite a bit.[/QUOTE]

Perhaps, but what about the need to take a pilot when leaving the US to go foreign?

[QUOTE=z-drive;161651]Perhaps, but what about the need to take a pilot when leaving the US to go foreign?[/QUOTE]

Don’t really know, is it a loophole to let the regular Jones Act coastwise guys come and go without a pilot?

[QUOTE=Kennebec Captain;161653]Don’t really know, is it a loophole to let the regular Jones Act coastwise guys come and go without a pilot?[/QUOTE]

Simply put, it is legal extortion!!!

Jones act coastwise guys aren’t always exempt especially when moving oil. Penobscot bay is compulsory for them.

do you mean Piscataqua? I know a pilot is mandatory there. I never insist I am right but I remember, and have been on domestic voyages on the Penobscot bay/river without a pilot.

You could be right. Maybe it was my company policy at the time. I haven been to searsport or bucksport in many years. I was under the impression state pilots were mandatory for penobscot bay if you had an oil barge.

I’ve never seen it written but was told it was a requirement after a certain tonnage. The last 24 years I sailed with 2 different companies were with oil barges over 500’ and large ATBs. For domestic runs, we’d take federal pilots where available and state pilots everywhere else. The only exceptions being 2 masters that had pilotage for a couple of ports. Foreign runs required state pilots. Even lightering a foreign tanker off SW Pass we had to take state pilots to Baton Rouge

[QUOTE=injunear;161706]I’ve never seen it written but was told it was a requirement after a certain tonnage. The last 24 years I sailed with 2 different companies were with oil barges over 500’ and large ATBs. For domestic runs, we’d take federal pilots where available and state pilots everywhere else. The only exceptions being 2 masters that had pilotage for a couple of ports. Foreign runs required state pilots. Even lightering a foreign tanker off SW Pass we had to take state pilots to Baton Rouge[/QUOTE]

Right, I just don’t see why in some cases a state pilot is suddenly required. Same vessel, same port, different voyage. I don’t have an issue with it, just was hoping some old salt knew why.

[QUOTE=z-drive;161709]Right, I just don’t see why in some cases a state pilot is suddenly required. Same vessel, same port, different voyage. I don’t have an issue with it, just was hoping some old salt knew why.[/QUOTE]

You posted part of the federal regs. State regs must apply in many cases as well. That would complicate things.

I only had a federal pilot one time. I thought he was going to put me up on the bank, windy night. I much prefer getting a State pilot.

Yes, state regs tend to be stricter, like New Hampshire for example; a pilot is always required over 150 tons.

We see interport in NY etc, usually us flag ships from Beth to berth. Federal pilots in some places tug and barges (domestic) go as well when lacking recency and state pilots aren’t the only show in town. Some federal pilots are interesting…I agree on your comments. Hell even I am licensed as one in some places!

To paraphrase from a handy website, "Another important point: any tug or tow engaged in foreign trade (sailing on a Registry endorsement) is subject to state pilotage regulations. Translation: you will need a state pilot when departing and re-entering any U.S. ports whenever you’re sailing on a Registry endorsement, regardless of whether or not you’re a first class pilot or have authority to “act as pilot” on that route. "