46 CFR § 11.703 - Service requirements.
(a) The minimum service required to qualify an applicant for an endorsement as first-class pilot is predicated upon the nature of the waters for which pilotage is desired.
(1) General routes (routes not restricted to rivers, canals and small lakes. The applicant must have at least 36 months of service in the deck department of self-propelled vessels navigating on oceans, coastwise, and Great Lakes, or bays, sounds, and lakes other than the Great Lakes, as follows:
(2) River routes. The applicant must have at least 36 months of service in the deck department of any vessel including at least 12 months of service on vessels operating on the waters of rivers while the applicant is performing bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of the master or a qualified officer.
(3) Canal and small lakes routes. The applicant must have at least 24 months of service in the deck department of any vessel including at least 8 months of service on vessels operating on canals or small lakes.
(c) Completion of an approved or accepted pilot training course may be substituted for a portion of the service requirements of this section in accordance with § 10.404 of this subchapter. Additionally, roundtrips made during this training may apply toward the route familiarization requirements of § 11.705 of this subpart. An individual using substituted service must have at least 9 months of shipboard service.
(d) An individual holding a license or MMC endorsement as master or mate of inspected self-propelled vessels of more than 1,600 GRT meets the service requirements of this section for an endorsement as first-class pilot.