Vessels and agents should call to schedule pilots well in advance of arrival or departure to minimize the risk of delays due to other scheduled traffic or tide and current restrictions.
Vessels are requested to report their estimated time of arrival (ETA) to St. Johns Lighted RACON Buoy (STJ), and their deepest fresh water draft, by radio to the pilot station at least 2 hours and again 1 hour prior to their arrival at the sea bouy. The pilot station will confirm start in time and requested side for pilot ladder. The pilot station monitors VHF ch. 16 & 13 and Pilots work chnls 14 and 17. Vessels bound for Naval Station Mayport should contact Mayport Harbor Control on VHF ch 12.
Pilot boarding area is a half (1/2) mile East of buoy STJ.
Pilot ladder shall be rigged in accordance with SOLAS Regulation 17, Chapter V, on the ship’s lee side, the lowest rung 3 meters, (10 feet) above the water.
Requested boarding speed is 8-10 knots through the water.
Main Channel Operational Draft Limits:
Sea to Talleyrand Terminals: 40’’ (12.18m)
Talleyrand to Main St Bridge: 31′ 6″ (9.59m)
Main Channel Air-Draft Limits:
Blount Island Overhead Power Cables: 175′
Broward (Dames Point) Bridge: 169′ (174’ for center 400’)
Mathews Bridge: 152′
Hart Bridge: 135′ (141’ at center)
Main Street Bridge: 135′ open; 40′ closed
Deep draft vessels may be restricted in their boarding and sailing times due to tide and tidal current conditions. These times are based on the current at the St. Johns River entrance. To see the current draft restrictions please contact the Pilot Station for information.
Docking and Undocking Restrictions
Due to the unique characteristics of the following facilities, it is necessary to establish specific times for the docking and undocking of vessels.
Inbound: All shipyard berths, Gate Maritime Terminal, U.S. Gypsum Company berth.
Outbound: U.S. Gypsum Company berth, and certain vessels sailing from berths in the West Channel.