Pilot Boat Transfer Procedures:
If the arriving vessel is advised that the pilot boat will be used for pilot transfer, one of two boats will be used:
- The pilot boat ASTORIA, which is 72 feet long with a yellow hull and yellow superstructure with the word PILOT prominently displayed on the side of the house
- The pilot boat COLUMBIA, which is 72 feet long with an orange hull and orange superstructure with the word PILOT prominently displayed on the side of the house
When either the ASTORIA or the COLUMBIA is used, communications will be on VHF channel 13 and the speed of the vessel should be 10-12 knots.
General Ladder Requirements:
- The pilot ladder should be rigged two meters above the waterline. The ladder should be rigged on the side instructed by the pilot boat, as close to midship as possible, and clear of all discharges and obstructions.
- On arriving vessels, no man-ropes should be rigged. On departing vessels, man-ropes should be rigged at the direction of the bar pilot.
- The ladder must be rigged in accordance with SOLAS V/23 and IMO Res A.1045.
- When regulations require a combination ladder, the rigid ladder platform must be at least five to seven meters above the water and should be attached to the hull. A heaving line and a ring buoy with self-igniting light must also be provided. Click the image above for an enlarged PDF version of the Boarding Arrangements Poster.
When transferring pilots off Astoria, the pilot boat Connor Foss is used. It is 65 feet long with a dark green hull and white superstructure. The word PILOT is prominently displayed on a signboard forward of the house. When using the Connor Foss, the pilot ladder should be rigged midship, two meters above the waterline, in accordance with SOLAS requirements. Maximum speed of the vessel should be 9 knots.
A pilot who has climbed a sound ladder, well rigged, and attended by an officer and a deck party will be in the right frame of mind to give his best attention to the safety of the vessel.
In the interest of safety of all state pilots and of the crews navigating the waters of Oregon, the Oregon Board of Maritime Pilots endorses and supports the rigging of pilot ladders to meet the international requirements of SOLAS regulations.