Skip to content. | Skip to navigation

Personal tools

The Ultimate Cruisers' Planning Tool


You are here: Home / Users / doina / Washington & Alaska State Pilotage Requirements

Washington & Alaska State Pilotage Requirements

By doina — last modified Mar 26, 2008 05:01 PM

Published: 2008-03-26 17:01:09
Countries: USA

Washington State Pilotage Requirements

The Washington State Pilot Board has a regulation requiring all foreign flagged vessels carry a pilot or get an exemption. The exemption requires a fee of $300 for three months, or $500 for a year and is applied to all foreign cruising yachts except for Canadian yachts that regularly sail West Coast waters.

Application forms for the exemption can be submitted online and submitted via email. The form is available at

Judy Bell, Washington State Pilotage Commission, 206-515-3647
To read the complete language of the statute and the rules go to Link to the RCW (88.16.070) and the WAC (363-116-360) from the box at the right on the Home page. The WAC will show the fee schedule.

Alaskan Pilotage Requirements

Foreign pleasure vessels not carrying passengers for hire will require a pilot. Exemptions apply to: vessels under 65 feet in length, US-flagged vessels, and Canadian-flagged vessels that regularly sail Alaskan waters.

Non-US pleasure vessels of 65ft to 174ft require an exemption to transit without a pilot. However, they must use a pilot for navigation of Wrangell Narrows and Peril Strait.

Pleasure craft of 175ft and larger, and foreign registry, must have a pilot at all times. All foreign-flagged vessels for commercial use must employ a pilot, regardless of length and tonnage.

The exemption is valid for one year from the date on which the exemption is issued. The application for an exemption must be submitted to the board at least 30 days before the vessel enters the state. Exemption fees are $250 plus $50 for every foot over 65 feet (20m). Pilotage fees through Wrangell Narrows and Peril Straights will be several thousand additional dollars.

Failure to meet these requirements can result in a fine of up to $20,000.

Renda Heimbigner, Marine Pilot Coordinator
Alaska Board of Marine Pilots
Phone (907)465-2548, Fax (907)465-2974
PO Box 110806, Juneau, AK 99811-0806

Further information on the Statute: