San Francisco Bar Pilots

Learn more about San Francisco Bar Pilots, Watch Video

Life on the water with San Francisco Bar Pilots, Watch Video


environmentFor more than 160 years, the San Francisco Bar Pilots have been guiding the world’s largest ships through some of North America’s most difficult waterways.  These highly skilled professionals are maritime experts who utilize navigational experience, ship-handling skills and local knowledge to perform a critical public service.

Every day, the state-licensed Bar Pilots navigate commercial ships to and from the nine ports within San Francisco Bay and the Port of Monterey. These vessels include oil tankers, container ships and cruise ships, many of which are much larger than the 853 foot tall Transamerica Building. With extreme care, the Bar Pilots deliver passengers, agricultural products, manufactured goods and hazardous materials throughout the Bay as far south as Redwood City, and as far inland as the Ports of Stockton and Sacramento.

“We are commissioned and licensed by the State of California. The job is demanding and dangerous, but with so much at stake, our commitment is to perform each assignment with safety, professionalism and service. We support our shipping partners and are accountable to California – at no cost to taxpayers.”

Captain Joseph Long, Port Agent