In the State of Alaska, a pleasure craft (yacht) of foreign registry that is 65 feet or longer must employ a state-licensed marine pilot while the pleasure craft is in mandatory pilotage waters of the state. A “pleasure craft” is "a vessel that does not carry passengers or freight for hire. "For hire" means "for consideration contributed as a condition of carriage on a vessel, whether directly or indirectly flowing to the owner, charterer, operator, agent, or other person having an interest in the vessel".
The operator of a pleasure craft of foreign registry of more than 65 feet length overall, but less than 175 feet length overall, may apply for an exemption from the state pilotage requirement.
Contact the Alaska Marine Pilot Coordinator at (907) 465-2548 phone, fax (907) 465-2974 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The owner or operator of a pleasure craft of foreign registry who fails to employ a state-licensed marine pilot as required under Alaska Statute 08.62 is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 for each violation. Each entry into state waters in violation of AS 08.62 is a separate violation.
To apply for an exemption from state pilotage requirements, the operator of the pleasure craft must complete the Application for Pilotage Exemption for Pleasure Craft of Foreign Registry, form #08-4479, and submit it along with the required documentation and applicable fee. The operator of a pleasure craft seeking an exemption from state pilotage requirements must employ a Vessel Agent listed on the register of agents maintained by the Board. The Vessel Agent must be identified on the exemption application.
If a pleasure craft of foreign registry of more than 65 feet overall length enters compulsory pilotage waters without a pilot or a pilotage exemption, the operator of the pleasure craft will not be granted a subsequent pilotage exemption until the operator provides the State Marine Pilot Coordinator satisfactory documentation detailing the pleasure craft’s entry into compulsory pilotage waters and all subsequent voyages in violation of Alaska law, and pays the appropriate charges for pilotage services which should have been used.
The application fee is $250.00 plus $50.00 for each whole foot in length of the vessel that exceeds 65 feet length overall. Overall length is measured from the most forward part of the fore end to the most after part of the after end of the hull. Payment may be made by check, credit card, or money order.
Applications for exemption must be submitted at least 30 days before the vessel enters State waters. The application will be approved or denied within 10 working days from the date of its receipt by the AK Board of Marine Pilots. lf additional information is requested from the applicant to complete or clarify the application for exemption, the 10-working-day time period is suspended while the Board is waiting for a response to its request.
An exemption granted by the Board will be confirmed in writing. A pleasure craft is not exempt from state pilotage requirements until the vessel operator has received written confirmation of the exemption. The operator of the vessel must retain the exemption certificate on board while the vessel is in State waters. An exemption from state pilotage requirements is valid for one year from the date on which the exemption was issued, unless surrendered by the applicant or revoked by the Board.
A pilotage exemption does not exempt a vessel from the requirement to employ a state-licensed marine pilot while the vessel is in Wrangell Narrows or in the waters between Chatham Strait and Sitka via Peril Strait.
The operator of a pleasure craft of foreign registry more than 65 feet overall length but not more than 125 feet overall length that has received a pilotage exemption shall proceed upon its initial entry into state waters to the first port of call to receive navigational and safety information from the registered vessel agent employed by the operator of the vessel.
The operator of a pleasure craft of foreign registry more than 125 feet overall length but less than 175 feet overall length that has received a pilotage exemption shall employ a state-licensed marine pilot from initial entry into state compulsory pilotage waters to the first port of call. The marine pilot shall provide navigational and safety information relating to the pilotage region to the operator of the vessel.
A pilotage exemption may be revoked if the vessel is not operated in a manner that is appropriate to protect human life, property, and the marine environment, if the vessel violates the terms of the exemption, or if the vessel does not comply with all applicable local, state, and federal laws.