Navigational Guidelines

Brazos Santiago Pilots Association

Port of Brownsville Abbreviated Navigation Guidelines

Revised Ed. 4 April 29, 2014

Current Maximum Draft 40 feet (12.192 meters)

Maximum Dimensions for vessels under their own power.

Length: 850 ft. (259 meters) Length over all

Beam: 135 ft. (41.1 meters)

Draft: 40 ft. (12.192 meters)

Vessels with a length over 850 ft. or with a beam over 135 ft. will be examined on a case by case basis.

Vessels with a length over 800 ft. and/or beam greater than 115 ft. may require an additional outside tug, if two 3000 horsepower tugs are not available .This to be examined on a case by case basis.

Rigs under tow to AMFELS: Maximum Beam 250 ft.(76.20 meters). Rigs with a beam of 250 ft. must have a draft of 25 ft.(7.6 meters) or less. Draft over 25 ft. to be examined on a case by case basis. Rigs are to be towed by ocean going model bow tugs( No OSVs) of adequate horsepower.

Inbound/Outbound Draft Guidelines

Draft less than 34 Ft (10.35m): No Restrictions

Draft 34 ft.(10.35m) to less than 38 ft.(11.58m): Vessel enters channel on slack water or ebb current.

Draft 38 ft.(11.58M) to 39.5ft.(12.04M): Vessel enters channel on High water slack current.

Transit times for inbound/outbound vessels are calculated for the current at buoys #4 & #5 Brazos Santiago Pass. For vessels that fall within the draft guidelines , Transit letters will be given to the Harbormaster and Agent.

Turning Basin Draft Guidelines

Draft less than 35 ft.(10.67m): No restrictions

Draft 35 ft(10.67m) to less than 36 ft(10.97m): Enter basin during times of positive height of tide

Draft 36 ft(10.97m) to 37 ft(11.27m): Enter basin during High water only.

Vessels over 37 ft(11.27m) will not be permitted to enter the turning basin.

These abbreviated guidelines are intended as a quick reference. If you have any questions please feel free to contact the association.

Contact Us


Our mission is to use our expertise in ship handling, gained over the last century, and combine it with the latest in electronic navigational tools to make each vessels transit as safe and efficient as possible.

We will represent the State of Texas and protect her pristine and ecologically sensitive marine habitats by providing guidance and developing safe maritime practices.

We will be a bridge connecting people, companies, governmental agencies and international commerce to Texas.

We will work in coordination with our port partners to create a vibrant commercial port where international commerce can grow and Texas companies can succeed.

Not sure which pilot solution fits you needs?