IMPA on Pilotage (eBook)

Published Date

May 2014

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IMPA on Pilotage (eBook)

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This publication brings together the experience and expertise of over 30 pilots and other industry experts, offering insight into the role of the marine pilot. It covers navigation in different locations, such as canals and rivers as well as deep sea and Coastal waters. Operational considerations, such as the capabilities and limitations of main tug types, are also given.

This publication begins with a brief history of pilotage and pilot liability. It then provides detail on practical aspects of pilotage, such as the Master/Pilot exchange, pilot transfer, ship handling, fatigue management and training and certification. Legal considerations, such as civil liability and exemptions, highlight pilot responsibility for ship damages. Photographs, AIS screenshots and illustrations support the more practical sections on conducting pilotage.

1.         Legal and Statutory

            1.1       International Maritime Organization (IMO)

            1.2       National Instruments

            1.3       Liability and Criminalisation

            1.4       Immunity and Exemptions

2.         Conducting Pilotage

            2.1       Planning – Pilot’s Passage Plan

            2.2       Master/Pilot Exchange (MPX)

            2.3       Communications and SMNV

            2.4       Underkeel Clearance (UKC)

            2.5       Winter Pilotage

            2.6a     Canal Pilotage – Panama Canal

            2.6b     Canal Pilotage – Kiel Canal

            2.7       River Pilotage

            2.8       Deep Sea Pilotage

            2.9       Straits Pilotage

3.         Ship Handling

            3.1       Propulsion, Steering and Power

            3.2       Ship Blackouts, Shaft Generators and Controllable Pitch Propellers

            3.3       Navigation Technology and Equipment

            3.4       High Sided Vessels

            3.5       Azimuthing Control Devices

            3.6       Squat

            3.7       Interaction

            3.8       Tug Use

            3.9       Sailing Vessels

            3.10     Handling Unusual Vessels

            3.11     Warships
            3.12     Fast Craft

4.         Requirements, Training and Certification

            4.1       Overview

            4.2a     Entry Routes to the Profession – France

            4.2b     Entry Routes to the Profession – USA

            4.3       Continuous Professional Development

            4.4       Mentoring Training

            4.5       Use of Simulators

            4.6       Scaled Manned Models

            4.7       Bridge Resource Management for Pilots

5.         Human Element – Fatigue

            5.1       Fatigue Management

6.         Transfers

            6.1       Ladder Safety

            6.2a     Pilot Boat Evolution

            6.2b     Pilot Vessel Types

            6.3       Helicopter Use

7          IMPA Strategy

Within this book you will find articles that look forward to the harnessing and use of technology for ever larger and more complex ship types and tasks. This is as it should be, for the maritime industry is progressive. However, pilots must continue to employ traditional skills, keeping mindful of the need to look out of the bridge window while adding the use of marine technologies to their skill set.

The publication contains a large number of articles from pilots all over the world. This is reflected by American articles being written in American English and other articles, in UK English.


IMPA, The International Maritime Pilots’ Association, is a professional, nonprofitmaking body with a truly international outlook. It is primarily concerned with promoting professional standards of pilotage worldwide in the interests of pilots’ safety. It seeks to fulfil this momentous task by encouraging both consultation between its members and the exchange of technical information with other industry partners and regulators at the local, national and international levels.

The association was formed thanks to the initiative of pilots’ associations from the five continents whose representatives met in Kiel, Germany in June 1970.IMPA was officially launched in Amsterdam in May 1971.

To date, it has over 8,000 members in 54 countries. IMPA seeks to achieve its principal objective – the promotion of professionally sound and safe pilotage.

Title: IMPA on Pilotage (eBook)
Number of Pages: 256
Product Code: WS1413EA
ISBN: ISBN 13: 978-1-85609-635-5 (9781856096355), ISBN 10: 1-85609-635-1 (1856096351)
Published Date: May 2014

Customer Reviews

The Experts Guide to Pilotage Review by Lloyd's List
Lloyd’s List Review
Saturday 28 June 2014, 11:00
By Michael Grey

The experts’ guide to pilotage.

The Bosporous Strait, Panama Canal and other waters make different demands on pilots.

Veterans offer valuable insights and guidance on a profession that faces many hazards.

ONE of the problems of 21st century maritime life has been the attempt to reduce virtually every operational function to a set of procedures.

It is a characteristic of our risk-averse society, which cannot tolerate the thought that there might be certain things done on board ship that might rely more upon immeasurable phenomena such as seamanship or judgement.

Procedures and regulations are regarded as essential for the subsequent inquiry and trial, should matters go wrong in the wild, dynamic environment afloat, when, with the perfect judgement of hindsight, those responsible can be suitably judged.

One area that tends to defy all attempts to boil it down to a set of standard procedures is the handling of ships in confined pilotage waters.

Sure, there are now earnest requirements about berth-to-berth passage planning, and the suitable information exchange between master and pilot when the latter boards.

There is all manner of guidance about the bridge team — and how often is this a lone exhausted and preoccupied shipmaster? — not mentally switching off with a pilot on board and doing useful things such as parallel indexing around the bends and constantly checking what is going on.

Pilotage, says Geoff Taylor in his foreword to the International Maritime Pilots’ Association new book IMPA on Pilotage, is about “highly skilled individuals using their judgement, experience and good seamanship to bring vessels through the dangers that can be found in pilotage waters”.

Capt Taylor is a former IMPA president and was a Tees pilot for more than 30 years. He knows what he is writing about. I have watched him at work.
But how can the business of pilotage, which is different in every port in the world, on account of its geography, topography, hydrography, meteorology and doubtless several other ologies that have so far eluded me, be confined between the hardbacked covers of a single volume?

You can’t learn to be a pilot from a book, can you?

Of course, pilots do learn on the job, assisted these days by wonderful training aids such as manned models and simulators.

However, there is a great deal that they do need to know that is specific to their specialist calling and this excellent volume will fill many of the gaps that might otherwise require some hard searching elsewhere.

Experts’ chapters

It is a book that acknowledges the spectrum of differences between pilotage operations, calling on a large number of practical experts from around the world to write chapters and sections appropriate to their skills.

Thus the singular business of pilotage in straits is described by two experts from the Bosphorous Strait, a Panama Canal pilot writes on this unique waterway, where responsibility for safe navigation is taken by the pilot,and two London pilots and trainers cover simulator training.

The information throughout the book comes, as it were, from the horse’s mouth. It is not secondhand wisdom.

The book begins, perhaps appropriately in this litigious age, with legal and statutory matters, placing pilotage within the context of the International Maritime Organization, national instruments, where the pilots stand in their somewhat exposed position on issues of criminalisation and liability, and what immunity and exemptions might offer them some relief.

You hear a great deal of tripe about casualties in pilotage waters, chiefly from people who have never been on a ship’s bridge in any operational role, who make idiotic statements about “most accidents occurring with a pilot on board”.

This fails to acknowledge the huge numbers of casualties there would be without the intervention of this specialist during a transit through the riskiest part of a voyage.

It tends to be the same people who think competition between pilots would improve matters and that Pilotage Exemption Certificates should be offered to the ship’s cook. But I digress.
There are extensive chapters on the conduct of pilotage, from the routine to the special circumstances of winter pilotage, deepsea operations, canals and straits.

There is a comprehensive section on ship handling, taking in propulsion, steering and power and emergencies such as blackouts, handling high-sided vessels, the use of azimuthing control devices and phenomena such as squat and interaction.

There is good advice on the use of tugs, handling warships, sailing vessels and fast craft.

Would-be pilots will be interested in the section on requirements, training and certification, with various routes into the profession and the importance of continuous professional development, mentoring and simulators.

Bridge-resource management for pilots is described, showing how important it is that the pilot is integrated into the ship’s team at this important part of the voyage.
Fatigue and its management are given a special section, important in what is a stressful, round-the-clock profession.

There is an important section on the business of pilot transfer and ladder safety, which has been an issue over all my working life.

Pilots are still killed and injured in what remains a hazardous evolution, particularly in open roadsteads or marginal weather conditions.

The book goes on to describe the use of pilot boats and helicopters.

The final section of the book provides IMPA policies,with the organisation’s views on competition, the use of electronic charts, E-navigation and guidelines on design and use of portable pilot units, covered in separate appendices.

The book recognises the pilot’s role in a fast-changing world in which, as Geoff Taylor notes, the pilot must be “ever mindful of the need to look out of the bridge window while adopting and adapting marine technologies to their skill set”.

IMPA on Pilotage is published by Witherby Publishing Group,, price £75 ($127.70). (Posted on 03/07/2014)

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