Pilotage Directions

Pilotage Plan

Berth Plan

Pilotage Policy

Poole Harbour Commissioners, the Competent Harbour Authority (CHA) for Poole Harbour and the Port of Poole, provide a safe and effective pilotage service, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

The Pilotage Directions define the pilotage district area and the requirements for compulsory pilotage within it.

A system of Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PEC) is operated by PHC for ships’ Deck Officers who are regular callers at the Port. The process of issuing these Certificates involves intensive assessment of each applicant with annual renewal requirements.

pilots RS near a boat

Compulsory pilotage

Pilotage is compulsory for all ships, including tug and tows, navigating in the Compulsory Pilotage Area

Compulsory Pilotage does not apply to the following categories of excepted vessels:

  • Her Majesty’s vessels
  • Vessels of less than 50 metres in overall length unless 30m or more in overall length carrying dangerous goods or liquid bulk dangerous cargoes of flammable or toxic properties or carrying more than 12 passengers

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.

photo of a boat at Poole Harbour Boat Show 2019

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

Additional calls at 1 hour before and 15 minutes before the Pilot Boarding Station should be made on VHF Channel 14, confirming the vessel’s draught and nature of any defects if applicable.

Departing vessels should request a pilot, on VHF Channel 14 or by telephone, at least 1 hour before.

Full details of requirements can be found in the Pilotage Directions.