ChannelPilot Case Study: USA
Case Studies»ChannelPilot Case Study: USA

Matagorda Bay Pilots  

28 23 00 N 96 17 00 W  


The Situation:

A four-member group piloting ocean-going vessels in one of the narrowest channels in the United States.   Vessels up to 760’ in length and 110’ in beam transit a 200’ wide ship channel running 23 nautical miles from the Gulf of Mexico to Point Comfort, Texas.

The Requirements:

  • Durable, yet lightweight.
  • Independent of Ships Equipment
  • Reliability
  • Accuracy with differential correction
  • Accurate ROT with vessel predictors
  • AIS capability
  • Easily interfaced with various types of iPad PPU software by WiFi.
  • Set-up time of less than 5 minutes
  • Financially feasible for a small pilot group.

The Solution:

After talking with several manufactures and pilot associations we quickly realized an accurate and lightweight system was not going to be financially feasible for our small pilot group.  Enter ChannelPilot. After a Navicom Dynamic’s press release about ChannelPilot we investigated the opportunity of a demo unit.


After an easy and detailed dialogue with Navicom about our pilot group, we received a demo ChannelPilot for testing. The unit, used with an iPad and third party PPU software was easy to set up and get running. I was AMAZED with the accuracy of positioning and the Rate of Turn Data.   Not only was the accuracy great, the PRICE was spot on!  It is a fraction of the cost of other differential equipped PPU’s. I liked it so much; I purchased the demo from Navicom as I didn’t want to wait for a new one to be shipped.


Quick setup.  In most instances I have the unit up and running with my PPU software in about three minutes.  This is critical when boarding vessels in the strong currents at our entrance.  The unit needs to be set up quickly so your focus can be maneuvering the vessel into the channel.

Pilots have the ability to run the ChannelPilot with their favorite PPU software.   This versatility is key, as a pilot needs to be comfortable with the software they use.

As a Pilot, I don’t rely solely on any single aid to navigation. It is important for me to maneuver the vessel as pilots always have in the past, with my eyes looking outside at the mast and horizon, not down.  The ChannelPilot has become an important addition to aids of navigation available to me on any vessel.   This unit, combined with my visual reference, the radars and fathometer make my situational awareness much better.

A Satisfied Customer – Captain David Adrian