Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

Bar Pilot

A bar pilot or maritime pilot is a professional who helps to guide ships through navigationally challenging waters.

What is Bar Pilot?

A bar pilot guides ships over the dangerous sandbars at the mouth of rivers and bays. While he or she is on board, he or she provides advice to the captain; this advice is based on knowledge of local waters, weather conditions, and the abilities of the captain's boat. Typically, the captain retains legal control and responsibility of the ship, although a bar pilot can be held accountable for egregious navigational errors which result in substantial damages.