to 80 tons all ensure that large vessels can dock safely or find their way into the waterways of the Elbe. The most difficult docking manoeuvres within the Hamburg shipyards’
dry or floating repair docks are safely carried out. Due to the influence of the tides on the water-level (3.6 m tidal range), ships with a maximum draft of 15.10 m (freshwater draft) can sail in on the tide
(under normal weather conditions). The changeable weather conditions, the restrictions caused by the water depth and the changing direction and strength of the currents all have a considerable influence on
manoeuvring, and on top of this, the available room for manoeuvre has not grown in relation to the size of the vessels.
It is only the Hamburg harbour pilots’ high degree of professionalism which enables them to give vessels such quality service under all conditions, while paying
strict attention to safety and pushing the limits of what is physically possible.