San Diego's Knight & Carver YachtCenter recently hosted the re-launch party for Pilot, a vintage 1914 Pilot-boat. More than 200 members of the San Diego Maritime Museum, plus supporters, friends and civic leaders attended the invitation-only ceremony. The event was held on the docks of Knight & Carver, located along San Diego Bay, several miles south of the Coronado Bridge.
"We're extremely proud to have been selected to host this historic event," said Sampson A. Brown, chief executive officer of Knight & Carver. "Through the years, it has been our honor to work closely with the Maritime Museum in providing regular maintenance, repairs and enhancements at various times for each of its three current vessels - the tallship 'Star of India,' ferryboat 'Berkeley' and steam yacht 'Medea.'"
The 52-ft. Pilot will officially join the museum's fleet and is scheduled to begin hosting school groups on educational voyages around San Diego Bay early this summer. In that capacity, she will serve San Diego as a floating goodwill
ambassador and will continue her distinction as the oldest active pilot-boat in the United States.
Pilot began her service as San Diego's first enclosed auxiliary pilot-boat more than 80 years ago, escorting large commercial vessels into and out of San Diego harbor. Remarkably, the durable workboat never required more than two days off for repairs during that span. The vessel recently underwent a three-year, $300,000 restoration after being officially retired from service in 1999.
Ray Ashley, executive director of the Maritime Museum, presided over the ceremony, which was highlighted by a traditional champagne christening.