Towing & Navigation


1) Towing is compulsory :

  •  For sailing boats without a propulsive engine or with an en-
    gine of inadequate capacity.
  • For ships of 800 Net Registered tonnage and over.
  • For ships of less than 800 Net Registered tonnage, in cases
    where the Service deems a passage without towing inse-
    cure, on the strength of definite evidence.
  • For ships carrying explosives, inflammable and dangerous
    cargoes in general, as well as for empty Oil tankers.

2) The Canal Service is obliged to furnish a tug to ships of less
than 800 Net Registered tonnage, if so requested by the Ma-

3) Towing operations are performed by the tugs provided by
the Canal for that purpose.

4) While negotiating the Canal, the ships engine must be kept
running, granted that the chief function of the tug is to keep
the ship on the canal’s axis.

5) The ship must provide the cables and hawsers required for
towing with her engines idle.




1) Piloting through the Canal is compulsory for all towed ships.
For ships not under tow, piloting is optional, unless the Ca-
nal Service deems it indispensable. Piloting during the hours
of night is compulsory for all ships over 100 Net registered

2) To prevent accidents during the passage through the Canal,
the pilots must check whether the rudder functions regularly.
If any damage or abnormality of function is thus ascertained,
it must at once be reported to the Canal Service, for the pur-
pose of prohibiting the ship’s passage.

3) The pilots set their experiance and knowledge of the con-
ditions in the Canal at the disposal of the ship’s Masters, and
offer their advise to the Masters, who take that advise into
consideration. The Masters are the only responsible agents
for any accident in which their ship is involved, that occurs on
board ship, amogst the crew and/or to the property of the
Canal, arising from whatever cause.

4) In a situation where the execution of a very rapid manoeuvre
is necessary, the Master may allow the pilot to issue directly
the orders required for the steering of the ship. The Master is
not. however, thereby relieved of his responsibilities.

5) Masters of ships are obliged to come to stand – still and in
such a way as to allow the mooring of the pilot boat on the
leeward side, for the safe boarding and dropping of the pilot
and the employees of the Company assigned to the boat.

6) Masters of ships are obliged to provide the pilot and dele-
gated Company employees with all information and attesta-
tions necessary under these present regulations.

7) The pilots are members of the pilot station personnel and are
assigned to a ship on each particular occasion by the Canal
Service. At the request of the Master, more than one pilot
may be placed at the disposal of a ship.

8) The pilots are entitled to no additional fee, bonus, or consi-
deration whatsoever.