Pilotage Exam Lawsuit: CG told to follow own regulations

Interesting in that the CG was found to be misinterpreting its own regulations, but ultimately not likely a win for the plaintiff in the long run. I’m not sure this really weakens any pilotage association control over their future members, though it brings some questions on the CG’s delegation of authority.


Well considering that the grading of a chart is done by the Coast Guard and is completely subjective, good luck bud.

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It’s not First Class Pilotage. It’s for a U.S. Registered Pilot, see 46 CFR 401 et seq.

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Perhaps it’s time for good old fashioned capitalist competition in the provision of pilotage services. Pilotage companies would seem to me to be the ultimate closed shop businesses very protective of their exclusive rights to provide services, include or exclude pilots, keep their pay high and rule the roost.

I see no reason why, in larger ports at least, individuals or companies couldn’t compete for the provision of such professional services. It shouldn’t be the private province of a single organisation.

So who and how determines the qualifications of a Registered Pilot?

Aquire Federal Pilotage license, no easy task as well. Still monitored by the USCG. Draw the chart, answer the local knowledge questions, you can navigate without a state pilot. Helped my paycheck, but much less fee. Did it for my pocketbook, was driving anyway. My pal is still making bank in Philly. Good for him.

Will have to look at my licence from 2003 what it says rergarding pilotage and limits. I do know it says unlimited tonnage for the ports I drew. Damn, have to go into the Haunted 4th room.

Regardless of how well you do on a state test, the members still have a vote.as to who they want in their association. You will pay a shitload of money for a share if you get voted in. A Federal test, you pass or fail. Any decent company will pay you for your services, not full pilot fees, but a nice check none the less. Not a pilot hater by any means, they are awesome. Just the way I made extra cash while sailing.

It might be in the linked article that you apparently did not read…

FFS. This is not the same as the first class pilotage you (and I) got by drawing a feckin’ chart.

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How so sir? I drew the printed chart that was available at the time. Answered the local knowledge questions as printed in the books available as requested by USCG. If a fish farted I could tell you what color.Then, not now. Too feckin old now.

Drawing the chart is first class pilotage. The guy in the article already has that. He wants to be a “U.S. Registered Pilot.” The test is not local knowledge. It covers Great Lakes pilot regulations, memoranda of understanding with Canada on vessel navigation and pilotage, administrative law, etc. It’s not done at an REC and isn’t administered by the NMC. It’s administered by an office in CG HQ (CG-WWM-2) and the test is given at location convenient to the applicant.

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This is a weird thing that only exists up on the lakes from my understanding of it. The Coast Guard regulates the pilotage much like a state pilot commission does everywhere else in the US.

This seems like a case tantamount to someone trying to strong arm their way into a state pilots association. It should make for some interesting precedent if it works out in this guys favor.

It is only for Great Lakes. The issue in this case is that the Coast Guard’s regulations [46 CFR 401.210(a)(3)] require that an applicant be “of good moral character and temperate habits.” The Coast Guard has essentially allowed that determination to be made by a private pilot association, with which the applicant has a dispute. It is unlikely to be binding precedent for anything other than U.S. Registered Pilots.

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I would rather see the CG hauled to court for the gross mismanagement of the Great Lakes Pilotage system…until very recently it was work you hind end off for not much more money than a 2nd or 3rd Mate with NO guaramteed time off during the season.

There was a mass exodus of people starting around 2008 that continued until around 2014. 11 years and not a whole lot to show for my time beyond a divorce, a mountain of debt, and some very hard feelings toward the USCG.

Much better now for the guys who hung around, but not worth the hassle at the time. When you give up a pilot gig to work Mate on a mud boat, it is pretty bad.


When I read the requirement to be of good moral character and temperate habits I couldn’t help thinking, “Well I guess that counts me out.”… :roll_eyes:

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With the exception of Florida State Ports and San Francisco. Both are strictly buy exam. In the case of Florida you can sit for the exam with 360 days on a Second Mate license. It gives mariners a fighting chance at these great jobs.

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