Pilot station

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Old pilot station at Ouraluoto island.

A pilot station is an onshore headquarters for maritime pilots, or a place where pilots can be hired from. To get from a pilot station to an approaching ship, pilots need to use fast vessels to arrive in time, i.e. a pilot boat. Historically, pilot stations would often be found on an island or other point at sea near a harbour, giving them ample time to transfer to an approaching boat. However, with modern pilot boats being much faster, this need has been reduced, and most pilot stations are now on the mainland.

Occasionally pilot station can refer to a place on the bridge of a ship where a pilot is positioned while guiding a ship, for example a pilothouse, but this use is less common.