Welcome to The Northeast Marine Pilots!

The Northeast Marine Pilot Association has a long history of dedicated and expert service. They uphold the longstanding maritime traditions and high standards of professional marine pilots.They utilize the most advanced navigation equipment
and continuing training available. The association maintains the necessary infrastructure in way of a manned dispatch communication center and fast reliable pilot boats. This allows their highly trained and experienced members to provide the most up to date, efficient and safe pilot service available. They carry both Federal and State licenses and offer competitive rates to domestic as well as foreign vessels. The Northeast Marine Pilots not only work to safeguard the local waters through their profession, but they are also citizens of the local area and are active in marine environmental protection pursuits. As an example they were the recipients of the environmental hero award from the National Oceanographic Administration for their work on helping to save the Right Whale.

In order to be considered for application to train to become a Northeast Marine Pilot today, a person must already hold an Unlimited Master's license and have extensive sea going experience. Once accepted as an applicant they commence a long period of extensive training and testing which takes years before they are made full pilots. They must pass both Federal and State pilot exams to be certified as a state pilot. This is followed by a long period of gradually increasing of the size of the vessels the pilot may handle. Even after the applicant is made a full pilot the training continues. The Northeast Marine State Pilots must periodically attend schools which utilize radar and ship simulators in order to test and enhance the pilot’s skills. Ship simulators are designed to look and feel like the bridge of a ship right down to the rolling motion. The pilots utilize the simulators to practice maneuvering vessels just as they would in real life. The Northeast Marine Pilots also send their members to very specialized ship handling training at Port Revel France. This training is accomplished by having pilots sit in and maneuver scale model ships which are scientifically designed to react exactly as the giant vessels they are modeled after. The man made lake they operate in is engineered in such a way that various current and sea conditions can be created to challenge the pilots. The training, testing and recertifying of the Northeast Marine Pilots does not end until they retire.

The Northeast Marine Pilots utilize cutting edge technology in order to help ensure the safe passage of vessels through the waters they service. They carry on board a computer which projects the position of the vessel they are maneuvering onto a computer generated chart. Even if the vessel’s navigation equipment malfunctions the pilot can still ascertain his position and prevent a catastrophe. These computers and their software have an extremely high degree of accuracy and are specifically designed for this service. The Northeast Marine Pilot Association also staffs and runs a communications center from which the pilots are dispatched and their four pilot boats and crews are directed. The dispatch office plays a large part in keeping ship traffic moving safely and efficiently. The pilot boats are attentively maintained in order to be reliable and dependable at all times. They are staffed by professional crews which are on call 24 hours a day.

When a ship arrives wanting to enter the local waters a Northeast Marine Pilot is transported by one of their pilot boats out to the inbound vessel before they enter into our state waters. They board the vessel and under the authority of the ship’s master, safely navigate these giant ships through the confined waters of our ports, rivers and bays. The pilots are experts who use their specialized knowledge of local conditions to safely guide and dock vessels in these waters. The pilot has an extremely detailed knowledge of the local shipping channels, traffic patterns, water depths, underwater hazards and local shipping rules and regulations. He also uses his knowledge of the local currents, tides, winds, weather and topography. He specializes in the profession of ship handling in confined waters, maneuvering vessels which can be over 1000 feet long.



The maritime pilot profession has a long history in America. The first congress of the United States enacted a law in 1789 giving states the right to regulate pilotage in their waters. All foreign flag vessels and all United States-flag vessels engaged in international trade are required to take a state pilot when entering state waters. The state regulates the rates charged for pilotage. Pilots operate under the mandate of the state and on behalf of the public interest. The pilot is a local representative who protects the local waters by helping to ensure that vessels arriving from sea are properly equipped and operated safely. Effective and professional pilotage is essential for states to safeguard their waters. Their beautiful shorelines and the economic engine of their ports are vital to all maritime states. Pilots play a key roll in the efficient and safe movement of shipping commerce. They help to ensure safety and environmental protection in our local waters. The state places a great degree of trust and confidence in its pilots. They are held to very high standards and official accountability. They are expected to act in the public interest safeguarding the area in which they serve. State pilots are licensed and strictly supervised by the state pilot commission which is a state government entity..

The Northeast Marine Pilots are proud to provide the most professional, safe and efficient state and federal pilotage service in the areas they cover!


Applications are administered by the Executive Director, Capt. Paul Costabile. ( pcostabile@nemarinepilots.com). When an applicant is accepted for training they ride vessels on their own time with the pilots to gain certification. They are not compensated in the initial years of training and are therefore expected to maintain outside employment. Most applicants continue going to sea as  a ship's officer and train on their time off. The apprentice  R.I. State requirements can be seen at:

State Pilotage Rules & Regs

Northeast Marine Pilots Association
Richard Astles -- Pilot, Board Memeber
Vince Kirby -- Pilot, Board Memeber
Clint Walker – Pilot, Board Member
Sean Bogus – Pilot, Board Memeber, President
Paul Costabile -- Pilot, Executive Director
Howard Mcvay– Pilot, Board Memeber
Joseph Maco -- Pilot
Ted Sanford – Pilot
Dale Harper -- Pilot
Alex Soukhanov – Pilot
David Gray -- Pilot
Adam Sanford -- Pilot
Steven Crombie -- Pilot