Pilot Requirements for Yachts
Both New York and New Jersey Law require certain foreign flag yachts to take a state-licensed
Sandy Hook Pilot when entering or departing the Port and transiting applicable state waters.
The various state requirements are provided below for your information.
Please direct any questions concerning these requirements to our Chief of
Dispatch at 718-448-3900 Ext. 213 during normal business hours.
Please note that, in addition to entering from sea via Ambrose, yachts entering or
departing the Port of New York/New Jersey via the East River and Long Island Sound
must also take a state pilot. The Sandy Hook Pilots embark and disembark vessels
transiting the East River near Execution Rocks at the western terminus of Long Island Sound.
Ordering a Pilot
Orders for arriving vessels, including yachts, must be placed no less the 24
hours prior to arrival at pilot station. Orders can be placed by telephoning
our dispatch office 24 hours a day at 718-448-3900 Ext. 225. Ordered cannot be
accepted by email or other electronic means. Payment options for yachts,
including use of a credit card, are best arranged in advance through our billing office during normal business hours.
Changes to arrival times must be received no later than 6 hours before scheduled arrival time.
New York Yacht Requirements
These requirements apply to all yachts transiting any
portion of New York State waters even if their ultimate
destination is in New Jersey. For example: transiting
Upper New York Bay to a marina on the New Jersey side of the
As of January 2006
- All foreign flag yachts 100 feet in overall length and over, entering or departing
the ports and waters of New York State, shall be required to take a state pilot.
- Vessels that fail to comply with the NY State Navigation Law are subject to
- Any foreign flag vessel, including yachts as specified above, failing to take
a pilot shall also be reported to the USCG/Captain of the Port of New York or USCG/Captain
of the Port of Long Island.
State of New Jersey Statute
12:8-35 Vessels required to take a maritime pilot; exceptions
Every United States vessel and every foreign vessel shall take a State-licensed
maritime pilot when entering or leaving pilotage waters and shall take a licensed
maritime pilot or docking pilot, as provided herein, when otherwise underway in
pilotage waters. This requirement shall not apply to:
- A vessel documented under the United States flag and operating in a coastwise
- A public vessel of the United States or a vessel otherwise exempt from state
pilotage regulation by United States law; or
- A yacht of less than 200 feet in length.
If a regulated vessel underway on State pilotage waters fails to take a maritime
pilot, the owner, master, agent or charterer shall pay the pilotage fees as if one
had been employed and be subject to penalties under the commission’s regulations.
State of New York Navigation Law
Every foreign vessel and every American vessel under register entering and departing
from the Port of New York by the way of Sandy Hook or by the way of Sands Point
or Execution Rocks, shall take a Sandy Hook Pilot licensed under the authority of
this article or of the laws of the state of New Jersey or a person heretofore licensed
as a Hell Gate pilot. Whenever the services of such a pilot are refused, the master,
owners or consignees, shall pay pilotage as if one had been employed. Such pilotage
shall be paid to the pilot first speaking or offering his services as pilot to such
vessel. The pilotage authorized to be collected whenever a pilot shall be refused
by a vessel shall be sued for and recovered in the name of the pilot tendering such
service. Such pilotage, when recovered, shall belong to and may be retained by such
pilot for his own benefit and use.