Pilotage is the condition or an instance of being piloted. To pilot a boat or other watercraft means to guide a vessel, such as a ship, boat, submarine, hovercraft, or aircraft, through water using an engine or other mechanical means.
How to Pilot
Pilotage is the process of guiding a vessel through coastal waters, often called “coastal navigation.” Piloting can be a complex and stressful task, which is why it’s important to have a qualified pilot on board. Here are four tips for getting the most out of your pilotage experience:
- Plan Ahead
Before you embark on your voyage, make sure to study the local waters and tides. This will help you avoid any potential conflicts with other vessels or shorelines.
- always wear a life jacket
Even if you think you don’t need it, always wear a life jacket while onboard your vessel. The coast is notorious for rough seas and sudden gusts, which can cause serious injury if you’re not wearing one.
- know the signals
If something goes wrong while you’re piloting, know the signals for emergency situations. These could include calling out “Mayday,” “SOS,” or “Paddle Hard!” If necessary, use them to warn other vessels or shorelines of your predicament.
- stay calm under pressure
Common Pilotage Terms
- Piloting: The activity of steering a ship or vessel.
- Pilotage: The service of providing a pilot for a ship or vessel.
- Pilot: A licensed person who is responsible for the safe navigation of a ship or vessel.
- Pilotage Rate: The fee charged by a pilot to provide services.
Additional resources on pilotage can be found through the following websites:
- Piloting.net provides a comprehensive guide to all things piloting, including information on pilotage
- The Pilot’s Bible is a comprehensive, authoritative resource on all aspects of aviation, including pilotage
- The Pilot’s Directory is an online resource that includes information on more than 1,000 pilots and pilot training schools worldwide