History of the Pilot Service
One of oldest organisations in Victoria, the Port Phillip Sea
Pilots service was established in 1939, twelve years before the State. George
Tobin was granted the first licence by Governor Gipps on June 17 1839,
followed by Thomas Sutton on November 21 1839.
vessels are used to transfer the pilots between shore and ship. The first
was the brigantine Boomerang
in 1853, followed in 1854 by the cutter
Corsair, and schooners Anonyma and
Proserpine. Other early vessels
schooners Mavis and Hawk.
As the colony of Victoria grew and shipping increased the
needs of the pilot service changed, requiring frequent updating of the pilot
Steam inevitably replaced sail and in 1901 the steamship
Victoria was purchased, then two years later the steam
yacht Alvina arrived, replacing Hawk.
From 1925 to 1953 the Akuna
served, to be replaced in 1953 by the diesel-electric Wyuna. She was the
high speed motor launches meet the ships.
They are traditionally named after earlier vessels. The latest addition is
Akuna V. Our photo shows Alvina II and Wyuna II.
At the left of this page are photographs of the first Wyuna and a
Pilotage exemption certificate issued in 1890.
The full Port Phillip Sea Pilots Service story is at
Pilot Service Display
The history and operation of the pilot service is a feature
of the Museum including a work boat from the