Category Archives: Dutch Pilot Association

Rowing boat ‘Laura G’ of Loodswezen during ‘Grachtenrace’


It remains a very tough race, 23 km through the canals and surrounding rivers of Amsterdam. But the pilots of the rowing boat ‘Laura G’ of Het Loodswezen, Region Amsterdam-IJmond are doing very well. Here they have just passed the Frans Hendriksz Oetgensbridge between the Prinsengracht and the Amstel. After a sporting race ‘Laura G’ crosses the finish in 2.30.19 hrs.

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Pilotage by helicopter

Saturday February 9, 2013 I suddenly got the opportunity to go with the pilots of Amsterdam on a special mission, namely a pilotage by helicopter. Deep draft vessels coming to the Port of IJmuiden are restricted because of the tide. These vessels have to use the so called IJ-geul. The IJ-geul is a man made channel at the North Sea, 450 metres wide and 25 miles long, accessible for vessels with a maximum draft of 17.8 meters. For safety reasons these vessels are always piloted by two specially trained pilots who use state-of-the-art navigational equipment. The pilots get to the vessel by helicopter and board near the helicopter rendez-vous area at the entrance to the IJ-geul. The bulk carrier “Cape Sunrise” (length 292 m, width 45 m, draft 16,5 m), a so called cape-sizer, heading to the IJ-palen at Tata Steel, was piloted by Wiggele Warnar and Roelof Favot, pilots of the Region Amsterdam-IJmond.


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Pilots of the River Scheldt.

Lock of Berendrecht, May 30, 2008 7.30 pm

The River Scheldt is an important waterway in the south of The Netherlands. Special of this area is the close cooperation between the Belgium and the Dutch pilots. The Dutch pilots take care of 27,5% of all the pilot services of The River Scheldt. In 2008 I had the opportunity to sail with Jan Mastenbroek, pilot of the region Scheldemonden, from the entrance at Vlissingen up the lock of  Berendrecht, the entrance of the Port of Antwerp.

For more pictures see: Pilots of the River Scheldt

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Pilots of The North.

In my post of November 4, 2012 I mentioned the journey with the Sedov during DelfSail 2009. In the context of the project “Pilots of the World” I want to show the work of  the pilots in the north of the Netherlands. Because I didn’t actually sail with the pilots of The North, I decided to publish a pilotage of the tallship Sedov at DelfSail.

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Pilot cutter ‘Mirfak’ out of service.

Pilot station Steenbank, North Sea, June 2, 2011 1.08 pm

Despite earlier reports the Dutch Pilot Association has decided not to use the pilot cutter ‘Mirfak’ (length 59 m breadth 12 m) anymore. After 35 years of service the pilot cutter ‘Mirfak’ is replaced by the new pilot station vessel ‘Polaris’. The pilot cutter ‘Markab’ continues to sail until the second pilot station vessel will be ready.

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Pilotcutter ‘Markab’ out of service?

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland April 22, 2011 6.25 am

Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.07 am
Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.08 am

Rede Hoek van Holland sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.26 am
The pilotcutter ‘Markab’ is after 40 years of service no longer used by the Dutch Pilots Association. Guided by Herman Broers, the President of the Rotterdam Pilots, I visited the ‘Markab’ (length 59 m and breadth 10 m) when the pilotcutter vessel was still on service.


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New Pilot Station Vessel ‘Polaris’ (2)

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.05 am

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.15 am

Bergahaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.20 am

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland, December 1, 2012 11.35 am

Last Saturday I had a guided tour on the Pilot Vessel Station ‘Polaris’. It was the second tour for the staff, pilots and former pilots of the Dutch Pilots Association. There were as many as 600 people to visit the vessel. The vessel, length 81 m and breadth 13 m, was moored as a proud Princess on a special built pier. It is an impressive vessel. On 6th of December the vessel ‘Polaris’ enters service. I wish the ‘Polaris’ and the crew a safe journey.

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New Pilot Station Vessel

Publication, © Dutch Pilot Association, November 2012
The Dutch Pilot Association developed a new Pilot Station Vessel and ordered three vessels to built by Barkmeijer Shipyards. The first vessel ‘Polaris’, is baptized on October 10, 2012 by her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. December 6, 2012 the ‘Polaris’ enters service and will replace the old pilot station vessel ‘Markab’.  In 2013 the other two vessels will be finished.
For more detail information see link:—2012/2131/

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Pilotage Tall Ship “Sörlandet”.


Delfzijl, August 26 2009, 6.22 am

During the Sail Out of DelfSail 2009 I sailed with pilot Erik Koenz during the pilotage of the Norwegian tall ship “Sörlandet” from Delfzijl direction Borkum. The ship “Sörlandet” is a former school ship, now used for offering  adventure sailings for young people of all ages”, based in Kristiansand. What I particularly liked that the crew consisted of many women.


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Pilotage Tall Ship “Cisne Branco”

Eemshaven, August 22, 2009 5.18 am

During DelfSail I had the opportunity to sail with the pilot on the “Cisne Branco”. It was an early start but worthwhile. The weather was good and the light was beautiful. On the way from Eemshaven to the “Cisne Branco” I had a beautiful sight on the other ships. When we arrived at the “Cisne Branco” everyone was still asleep and the deck was complete empty. Later the sailors and crew climbed up the mast and the rigging to prepare the ship to sail. Of the pilotage I made a photo shoot and a compilation I put in a YouTube video (including with Brazilian music from Joao Gilberto).

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