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Serving the Welfare of Mariners for over 275 Years 

The Boston Marine Society has been instrumental in improving navigation and mariner welfare since its origin in 1742. The Society's operation has been continuous starting before American independence and remains the oldest association of its kind in the world.


Over the centuries, the Boston Marine Society has delivered the leadership to achieve significant accomplishments in maritime safety.  Charting of regional waters, the construction of lighthouses and placement of buoys and markers has often been accomplished with the advice of the Society.


Supporting Maritime Education Society members supported the Massachusetts Nautical School which is now Massachusetts Maritime Academy.  In addition to many members graduating from the Academy the Society continues to support the Academy through sponsorships and scholarships,

The Society to this day plays an influential role in appointing pilots in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Beginning in 1791 and continuing through the present, the Society through its Trustees is vested with the authority to appoint Pilot Commissioners, who in turn appoint Boston Harbor pilots. 


The Boston Marine Society is authorized by Massachusetts General Law 103 and specifically mandated under Title 995 of Code of Massachusetts Regulation 201 to... "formulate rules and regulations for pilotage,  The regulation also requires Commissioners (appointed of Society members) to grant Commissions as Pilots to determine the competency as well as to enforce the laws and regulations for pilotage.

Society members continue to play active roles in collaborating with the industry and Coast Guard through the Boston Port Operators' Group and Harbor Safety Committee.

Today, into its third century of activity, the Boston Marine Society has remained true to the original charter. Distressed mariners and their families continue to receive support from the "Box," and the safety of navigation remains an active concern. 

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