As the Competent Harbour Authority (CHA) for the Port of Poole, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) provide pilotage 24 hours a day, 7days a week. The Port of Poole Pilotage Directions define PHC’s area of jurisdiction and the requirements for compulsory pilotage within it. It also defines circumstances under which Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC’s) are issued.

Poole Harbour Commissioners will:

– Ensure that our pilotage service is compliant with national regulations, guidelines and competency standards.

– Review and maintain our Pilotage Directions to ensure that they are in accord with the current safety management plan

– Maintain a competent and authorised pilotage force.

– Maintain a fully supported Pilotage Service.

– Administer the PEC system to ensure that all PEC applicants and holders fully meet the requirements laid down in Pilotage Directions and Guidance

pilots RS near a boat
commissioner monitoring Poole Harbour

Compulsory pilotage

The following categories of vessel are subject to compulsory pilotage: –

a) All vessels of 50 metres or more in overall length.

b) All vessels of 30 metres or more in overall length, or 10 metres overall beam, carrying more than 12 passengers.

c) Commercial vessels with an overall length of between 30 metres and 50 metres, carrying dangerous goods or hazardous substances.

Calling procedures

Vessels entering the Harbour should establish contact with PHC not later than one hours steaming from the Bar Buoy, then again 15 minutes from the Bar Buoy to request permission to enter. Further reporting points are at Bar Buoy, Channel Buoy, Aunt Betty Buoy, Stakes Buoy and when secured alongside.

Vessels leaving the Harbour should establish contact 15 minutes before departure, requesting permission to leave immediately before slipping and thence reporting when underway. Further reporting points are at Stakes Buoy, Aunt Betty Buoy and on clearing the Bar Buoy.

Vessels moving within the Harbour should establish contact 15 minutes before moving, requesting permission to move immediately before slipping, when underway and reporting when secured on their new berth.

Request for pilots

Vessels requiring the services of a pilot should make their request 24 hours beforehand to:

Poole Harbour Control
Tel: 01202 440230
Fax: 01202 674801

An additional call at least 1½ hours before the Bar buoy should be made, confirming the vessel’s draught.

Full details of the Pilotage system in place in Poole Harbour can be found in the current documents published by Poole Harbour Commissioners:

Pilotage Directions

Pilotage Plan

photo of a boat at Poole Harbour Boat Show 2019

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