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 Pilotage Directions

Application of Compulsory Pilotage

Pilotage is compulsory for all vessels navigating within Larne Pilotage District subject to the following exemptions:
(a) Vessels under 60 metres in length without a bow thruster.
(b) Vessels under 75 metres fitted with an operational bow thruster.
(c) HM ships and foreign warships.
(d) General Lighthouse Authority tenders.
(e) Fishing vessels less than 60 metres.

Larne Pilotage District comprises all waters within the statutory harbour limits as described in the Larne Harbour Order (NI) 1998.


The exemption contained in sub-sections 1.1 (a) will not apply to:
(a) Ships with a Passenger Certificate.
(b) Ships carrying hazardous cargoes in bulk or marine pollutants.
(c) Ships in ballast which are not gas free.
(d) Ships not fitted with a working radar installation when due to fog, mist,
falling snow or heavy rainstorm, or any other similar causes, visibility
is less than 1000m.
(e) Ships or their tow, if any, having any one of the following defects:
(i) are unseaworthy in any respect, or
(ii) have defects to main engine, steering gear or auxiliary machinery
which may affect the manoeuvring of the ship, or
(iii) have inoperable capstan, windlass, mooring winches or anchors
that are not cleared or ready for use, or
(iv) have a list of over 5 degrees, or are excessively out of trim, or
(v) have any hull or machinery damage which may affect the safety
of the ship or the containment or safety of the cargo or bunkers.

Vessels under Tow

For the purpose of the Pilotage Directions the length of a tug and tow shall be interpreted to be as stated in Rule 24 of the International Rules of Prevention of Collision at Sea, i.e. ‘from the stern of the towing vessel to the stern of the last vessel towed’.

Suspend Directions

The Harbour Master may temporarily suspend any of these Directions from time to time without notice as, in his opinion, may be necessary.


At Larne Port we operate a zero tolerance policy to substandard Pilot Ladders and Pilot boarding arrangements.



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