A pilot is an experienced mariner who is brought onboard a vessel to help its crew proceed through areas where navicability can be a concern. The pilot position is an advisory one, they have no power of compelation over the vessels captain or crew. The pilot is employed by the public trust of the harbour in question, relieving the ships owner and operators of some liability in the event of error.
Pilots undergoing continuous training in the operations and navigation of large vessels. They must be experienced and knowledgable in the local hydrographic conditions (tides, currents, submerged dangers) as well as with the operations of the port itself (traffic flow, local practice and regulations).
For naval architects, operations of pilot services must be considered both in the design of pilot boats themselves, and when considering the pilots embarkation methodology. Pilots are boarded and deboarded via jacob's ladders, though accomodations ladders or helicopters may also be used.