PILOTAGE IN CONFINED WATERWAYS OF THE UNITED STATES: A PRELIMINARY STUDY OF PILOT DECISION MAKING

This report presents the results of a preliminary investigation of piloting practices on board U.S. vessels entering a number of ports in this country. Major goals of this investigation were the assessment of the feasibility of obtaining data which is useful for identifying pilot's sources of information, studying the manner in which this information is processed, and determining how the information and its processing relate to the pilots' commands. Thirteen transits, representing more than eighty-five hours of on-bridge time, were made in five different ports and waterways for the purpose of collecting data. Two data collection procedures were used. The first involved non-structured interviews conducted in a conversational manner with the pilot while he conned the vessel. The second method involved having the pilot think out loud while performing his piloting tasks. Audio and video recordings were made during the transit. The transcripts of these recordings contain detailed information about pilotage practices, procedures, and problems. The verbal protocol collected by the second method was analyzed in a limited way to test the technique's potential value for future studies. One of the important findings revealed by the protocol analysis involves the detailed knowledge of the waterway and its surroundings stored in the long-term memory of highly experienced pilots. The presence and ready availability of this detailed knowledge, among other things, permits the full time attention of the pilot to be centered on the primary piloting function of safely and efficiently conning the vessel. Supportive tasks, such as referring to charts and taking bearings, are thus minimized and therefore do not detract from the prime piloting function of conning the vessel.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • The U.S. Guard Office of Research and Development's technical representative for the work performed herein was Jonathan R. Amy.
  • Corporate Authors:

    Maritime Institute of Technology & Grad Studies

    Linthicum Heights, MD  USA 
  • Authors:
    • Huffner, J R
  • Publication Date: 1976-7

Media Info

  • Pagination: 303 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00142319
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: United States Coast Guard
  • Report/Paper Numbers: CG-D-96-76 Intrm Rpt.
  • Contract Numbers: DOT-CG-53,680-A
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 23 1976 12:00AM