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    Settling in. judyryall's Avatar
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    Default Ship Pilot

    My great-great grandfather Samuel James Vincent is listed on census records as being a ship pilot in St. Mawes. Could anyone tell me exactly what that job entailed ?

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    Could anyone tell me exactly what that job entailed ?
    Just the same job as a pilot today. He would be skilled in navigating the harbour at St Mawes. His duties would be to board incoming ships at the harbour mouth and take over full control of navigating the ship to the dockside or mooring place. He would do the same thing in reverse for departing ships.

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    Geoffers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Goodey
    He would do the same thing in reverse for departing ships.
    Which isn't to say that departing ships left the harbour in reverse ........................sorry

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    sorry Peter but he wouldn't take over the actual controls. What a Pilot does is advise the Captain of where to steer. It is not compulsory to have a Pilot on board, (except in certain places). It is the Captain's choice whether he asks for one or not.

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    Mutley
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    Nicolina is correct, the pilot only guides, he does not take the conn.

    Wikipedia has a fairly good explanation of the occupation.
    There is an Association of European Maritime Pilots
    www.
    empa-pilots.org/

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    unfortunately he doesn't always do a very good job, as was witnessed, on the Humber, 3 times one week.
    We actually threw a Pilot off one ship, I sailed on, (not physically) and we made sure he never set foot on board again.

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    I think Peter may have meant the pilot directed navigation rather than physically took control.

    Mutley has already given a useful wikipedia link but while I was googling I found this report about the Vallermosa shipping accident.

    http://www.maib.gov.uk/cms_resources...rt-Annexes.pdf

    Reading on from the last paragraph on page #6, the report describes the actions of the pilot. He was in charge (he had the conn) and directed the helmsman and other bridge staff (under supervision of the master.) Anyway, it will give you a little bit of an insight into the duties of a pilot.

    Note: I have no real knowledge of pilots - just a fond memory of a pilot being used in one of my favourite kids book - "We didn't mean to go to sea"

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    I think Peter may have meant the pilot directed navigation rather than physically took control.
    Thank you for reading what I wrote and not inventing something I didn't write.

    The wording in the Ministry of Labour 1921 Dictionary of Occupational Terms includes the phrase "takes over control of navigation from master". Nothing in that phrase says that he physically handles any control mechanism.

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    This "land-lubber" is learning a lot and I thank you all for that.
    I should have waited a bit to ask about ship pilots because I've run across an updated census on my great-great grandfather and see that he eventually became a Master Mariner. Do I understand correctly that it would be the next step up from Ship Pilot or is it basically the same thing ?

  10. #10
    Geoffers
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    A Pilot had a specific job as outlined above..

    A mariner is basically a sailor

    A Master Mariner is a sailor who had passed examinations to become a Ship's Master.

    Put the kettle on and have a read through this TNA guide on Merchant Seamen: Officers' service records 1845-1965

    There are loads of other research guides which may be of interest - click on 'M' and look at the links prefixed 'Merchant Seamen'.

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