Their size and mass makes large ships very difficult to maneuver

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Their size and mass makes large ships very difficult to maneuver

Post by jancancook on Sun Mar 27, 2011 10:24 pm

Their size and mass makes large ships very difficult to maneuver; the stopping distance of a supertanker is typically measured in miles (kilometres) and even a slight error in judgment can cause millions of dollars in damage. For this reason, many years of experience in an operating area are required to qualify as a pilot.[citation needed]

By far the most challenging part of any ship's voyage is the passage through the narrow waterways that lead to port and the final docking of the ship. The pilot brings to the ship expertise in handling large vessels in confined waterways and expert local knowledge of the port. In addition to bringing local maritime expertise on board, the pilot also relieves the captain from the economic pressures that can compromise safety. Instead of being part of the ship's crew, pilots are employed locally and therefore act on behalf of the public rather than of the shipowners.[citation needed] However, the master of a ship that calls at only a few ports, such as a ferry, are issued a 'pilot exemption certificate'. Ships with an exempt ship master do not need to carry a pilot.[citation needed]

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