Type: Harbor Pilot
Length on deck: 54 foot
Launched on August 7, 1914, Pilot served as San Diego Bay's official pilot boat for commercial ships entering and leaving the harbor for 82 years. Harbor pilots are responsible for steering large vessels safely into and out of the bay. The pilot boards the ship, takes command, and returns the vessel to the captain after it has docked or left the bay.
In World War II, Pilot was taken over for military uses, serving both as a patrol boat and continuing to carry civilian pilots out to ships. After the war, Pilot left military service with a new engine and rebuilt pilothouse, courtesy of the Coast Guard, who had operated her under Navy command. To acknowledge Pilot's role in duty to her country, the Secretary of War authorized the display of six chevrons on her stack, one for every six months of service.
Due to her age and condition, Pilot was taken out of service in 1996 and donated to the Maritime Museum of San Diego for the purpose of rehabilitation and retrofitting the vessel for use as a floating classroom. From January 1999 to April 2002, volunteers and museum staff members worked at the B Street Pier restoration site to restore the craft and bring it up to Coast Guard standards to return Pilot to the water and start a new stage in her long career.
Pilot continues her long career hosting school groups on voyages around San Diego Bay. An environmental education curriculum has been developed to promote awareness of the interdependency of our local industry and the marine environment as students tour the bay.
Pilot in 1916.
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