Pilotage for Yachts
38 § 86. Vessels Required to Take Pilot
Every foreign vessel and every American vessel under register, with a draft of 9 feet or more, entering or departing from any port or harbor within the waters described in section 86-A must take a pilot licensed under this chapter. Any master, owner, agent or consignee that fails to take a pilot licensed under this subchapter is subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $15,000 per day, payable to the State. This penalty is recoverable in a civil action.
38 § 87A. Exceptions
1. Vessels exempt. This subchapter does not apply to:
A. Vessels under enrollment; [1985, c. 389, §35 (NEW).]
B. Fishing vessels; [1985, c. 389, §35 (NEW).]
C. Vessels powered predominantly by sail; [1999, c. 355, §7 (AMD).]
D. [2011, c. 498, §1 (RP).]
E. All military ships navigating the Kennebec River to and from the Bath Iron Works Corporation for the purpose of accomplishing overhaul, repair, post shakedown availability and sea trials; and [2011, c. 14, §2 (AMD).]
F. Noncommercial foreign vessels with overall length of under 253 feet. [2011, c. 14, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 498, §1 (AMD) .]
2. Limitation. If any such vessel employs a pilot, the pilot is entitled to receive as compensation for that pilot's service pilotage fees in the amount established by the commission.
[ 1999, c. 355, §7 (AMD) .]
In April 2015 LD 198 was signed by Governor LePage which modified an exisiting exemption to non-commercial vessels to employ a pilot. The modification increased the length overall from 200 feet to 253 feet (77 meters). The exemption is intended to apply to non-commercial mega-yachts.
Although yachts less than 253' in length are exempt from pilotage requirements, pilots may be employed if requested by the vessel's master, owner, or agent.
The exemption does not apply in the waters of Portland Harbor or Casco Bay which is governed by a separate body.
If you have any questions regarding pilotage for a yacht or other non-commerical vessel, you may contact the Administrator of the Maine Pilotage Commission for assistance at (207) 899-7123 or firstname.lastname@example.org.