Harbor Pilots and What They Do

Harbor pilots, often known as maritime pilots, bar pilots or river pilots, possess a specialized knowledge of a particular port, harbor, river or other body of navigable water. They are the watchdogs for the numerous U.S. and foreign flagged cargo and cruise ships coming in and out of our state’s ports, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

They not only direct large ships out of and into the ports, Harbor Pilots also assist local, state and federal authorities with seaport development, new ship operations and port security.

Without the services of harbor pilots, there would be a real chance of ships running aground and damaging the ship, the cargo, or even the port and surrounding ecosystem.

Protecting Port Everglades

"As trained experts with detailed knowledge of Florida’s waterways, shorelines and deepwater ports, Florida’s harbor pilots protect our state’s ports from harm and ensure the safe passage of ship traffic
– 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. We work diligently to maximize the efficiency of Florida’s seaports that serve as hubs for economic growth and stimulus, making their safety and well-being our top priority."

-Capt. Stuart Lilly, President
Florida Harbor Pilots Association

*Shiphandling Guidelines    *Draft Limitations    *Ship Schedules


All about Port Everglades Pilots

Watch Captain Mark Ruppert guide the MV Zhen Hua 25 into Port.

Click the arrow below to watch this 8 minute informative video about the harbor pilots of the Port Everglades Pilots Association.

Become a Harbor Pilot ... click here for more information.


In The News

Professional Mariners features new Port Everglades Baltic Workboats US pilot boat, June 1st 2018

Amazing video of Port Everglades Pilots new Baltic Workboats US wave Piercing Pilot boat in action, December 2017

Port Everglades Pilots take delivery of new 50' Baltic Workboats US wave piercing pilot boat, November 17th 2017

Port Everglades Pilots sign contract for new Baltic Workboats US wave piercing pilot boat, April 21st 2017

The Professional Mariner, June 26, 2012

Florida Harbor Pilots Association Newsletter, September 2011 - Watch-standers ensure smooth sailing at tight Port Everglades

Port Everglades website, August 2011 - Port Everglades Hosts White House Business Council Roundtable

Florida Harbor Pilots Association Newsletter, April 2011 - Port Everglades Pilot Association attended the Broward County Lincoln Day Dinner

Sun Sentinel, August 15, 2010 - Rescuer picked up stranded fishermen off Port Everglades

Sun-Sentinel, June 30, 2010 - Port Everglades takes precautions to prevent oil tanker spills

Soundings Online, Novembr 19, 2008 - Careers on the water

Tug Mates, January 2008 - Busy south Florida port has plenty of work for its two tug operators.

Port Everglades website, September 2004 - Port Everglades Fully Operational After Hurricane Jeanne

Site Navigation..


Port Everglades Pilots Association operates with a cohesive team of pilots, pilot boat captains, maintenance and office staff. The harbor pilots work together and are able to make sure that the ships coming into and out of Port Everglades do so safely. Read more.


All harbor pilots in the Port Everglades Pilots Association are dual licensed by both the State of Florida and the United States Coast Guard to provide marine pilotage to all seagoing vessels calling at Port Everglades or Port Dania. Read more.

Port Everglades

Port Everglades is a deepwater port on the southeast coast of Florida. Many of the world's largest passenger ships call at this major cruise port. It is also one of the largest petroleum ports in the southeast United States, having the second largest non-refinery petroleum storage capability in the country. Read more.

Becoming A Pilot

All persons desiring to become a Harbor Pilot in Port Everglades are required to obtain an extensive maritime background before entering a rigorous on-the-job training program provided by the Port Everglades Pilots Association. Read more.

Images and Videos

Nothing is more explanatory that seeing pictures and watching videos of the harbor pilots in action. See the action.

Link to pilot schedules. Login required

Link to Pilot webmail. Login required.