A pilot boat is a type of boat used to transport maritime pilots between land and the inbound or outbound ships that they are piloting. Pilot boats were once sailing boats that had to be fast because the first pilot to reach the incoming ship got the business. Today, pilot boats are scheduled by telephoning the ship agents/representatives prior to arrival.
Modern pilot boats can be from 7 metres to over 25 metres in length, built to withstand heavy seas and bumping against 100,000 ton tanker ships. They are high-powered and hence both very quick and durable purpose-built boats. They are normally painted a highly visible colour such as orange, red or yellow.