Chapter 7: The Buoyage System

In 1983, Canada embraced the buoyage system, or aids come navigation, supplied internationally. This system contains port hand buoys, starboard hand buoys, cardinal buoys and special buoys.

You are watching: You see a red buoy. what should you do?

Aids come Navigation

Aids to navigating are devices (buoys) or equipment (collision regulations), that are exterior to the satisfied craft.  They are noted to help the operator the a satisfied craft identify position and also course.  They can additionally warn the operator of threats or obstructions and also advise the operator that the location of the best or desired route.

Port Hand and Starboard Hand Buoys

Port hand buoys room green and also starboard hand buoys space red. They show which side of a channel is safest to travel; accordingly, they note channelsor hazards.  Generally, environment-friendly buoys should be pass on the left side of a craft heading upstream, i.e., against the current.  Red buoysmust be kept on the appropriate side that a craft once proceeding in the upstream direction.  A basic rule is red come the right as soon as returning,or the three “R’s”: red, right, return.

In numerous places, the direction of the existing is identified by agreement or by the tide.  It is necessary to it is in thoroughly familiar withthe aids to navigation in her region.


Port Hand Buoys

Green in colour.  They have the right to be shaped as:

canssparspillars

If they do not have actually a environment-friendly light they will be level on top


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Starboard Hand Buoys

Red in colour.  They can be shaped as:

conicalsparspillars

If they do not have actually a red light they will be conical ~ above top.


Green harbor hand buoys

marks the harbor (left) next of a channel or the place of a danger and must be kept on the harbor (left) next of a satisfied craft as soon as proceeding in the upstream direction;it is coloured green;displays identification letter(s) and also odd number(s);if it carries a optimal mark, the top note is a single green cylinder;if it carries a light, the irradiate is green and also is a flashing (FI) 4 s or rapid flashing (Q) 1 s;if the buoy walk not carry a light, it has a level top.

Red starboard hand buoys

Marks the starboard (right) next of a channel or the place of a danger and also must be preserved on the starboard (right) next of a satisfied craft once proceeding in the upstream direction;is coloured red;displays to know letter(s) and also even number(s);if the carries a top mark, the top note is a single red cone, pointing upward;if it carries a light, the irradiate is red and is a flashing (F1) 4 s or quick flashing (Q) 1 s;if the buoy go not lug a light, it has a sharp top.

Bifurcation buoys

You may pass buoys v red and also green bands ~ above either side in the upstream direction.The key or wanted channel is displayed by the colour of the optimal band.For example, if a red tape is top top top, you should keep the buoys on your starboard (right) side.

Know the a port hand work beacon is a beacon that


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marks the harbor (left) next of a channel or the ar of a danger during daylight hoursit need to be kept on the harbor (left) next of a satisfied craft when proceeding upstream;it is square with a black color or green coloured square focused on a white background through a eco-friendly reflecting border .. It may screen an strange number make of white reflecting material
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marks the starboard (right) side of a channel or the place of a danger throughout daylight hours and also must be kept on the starboard (right) next of a pleasure craft when proceeding upstream;it is a red coloured triangle focused on a white background through a red mirroring border; and may display an also number made of white reflecting material

Cardinal Buoys

There are four types of cardinal buoys: north, south, west and east.  Cardinal buoys are supplied to show the direction the the safest waters. A north cardinal buoy suggests that the deepest or most safe water exist to the phibìc of the buoy.  The vessel have to travel phibìc pastthe phibìc buoy; in this way, the buoy is between the hazard and also the craft.  The same principles use to every one of the cardinal buoys.  Formore details ~ above the hazard suggested by the buoy, a nautical chart should be consulted; the buoyage system is therefore used in tandem through nauticalcharts.

There are two means to distinguish among cardinal buoys: by colour and by the form of their conical height marks. The direction that the pointindicates the form of cardinal buoy.  Accordingly, the cones on a phibìc cardinal buoy point north, and also on a south cardinal buoy, pointsouth.

North Cardinal Buoy


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A phibìc cardinal buoy is located so that the the safest water exists to the north of itIt is coloured black and yellowThe top fifty percent is painted black color indicating that it is a phibìc buoy...the lower fifty percent is painted yellowIf this buoy walk not carry a light, it will certainly be spar shapedIf it carries a optimal mark...they will both point upwards to suggest north
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A south cardinal buoy shows that the most safe water exists to the south of it.It is coloured black and yellowThe black color is positioned top top the bottom indicating that it is pointing south...the upper part is painted yellowIf this buoy walk not bring a light, it will certainly be spar shapedIf the carries a optimal mark...they will certainly both suggest downward to indicate south
An eastern cardinal buoy is located to indicate that the the safest water exists to the east of itIt is coloured black and also yellowthe black color is positioned on the top and also the bottom v the yellow section in the center to indicate that the is an east buoyIf this buoy walk not bring a light, the shall be spar shapedIf it carries a optimal mark...they will suggest in opposite direction to suggest that that is an eastern buoy
A west cardinal buoy is located to suggest that the most safe water exist to the west that it.It is coloured black and yellowThe black color is positioned in the center to show that the is a west buoy...the yellow is positioned top and bottom.If this buoy go not carry a light, it form be spar shapedIf the carries a height mark...they will suggest in towards each various other to show that that is a west buoy

As with any type of buoy...when encountered you should refer to her Nautical Charts for certain information.

Light qualities of Cardinal Buoys

The lights on every cardinal buoys will certainly be white in colour, (if the buoy is so equipped).  In stimulate to identify these buoys in darkness or decreased visibility, every one deserve to be identified by different light speed characteristics.

The flash features are based on the very same numbering principle together an simple time clock.

The variety of flashes synchronizes with the place of the confront of the clock.

North buoys flash at the price of 1 per second or 60 every minute. A an extremely quick speed can also be used — 10 flicker every 5 seconds.

West buoys flash at the price of 9 times in 15 seconds. A very quick speed can also be provided — 9 flashes every 10 seconds.

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East buoys flash at the price of 3 time every 10 seconds. A really quick speed can likewise be used — 3 flicker every 5 seconds

South buoys flash at the rate of 6 times in 15 seconds adhered to by a single long flash. A an extremely quick flash can also be provided — 6 flashes every 10 secs plus 1 much longer flash at the end of each group to note the finish of 1 flash cycle.


Special Buoys

Finally, one-of-a-kind buoys serve a variety of purposes.  They room not mostly aids come navigation, however rather provide the watercraft operator with a organize of information.  Some room cautionary buoys to note firing selection or seaplane bases, while rather gather weather information, find prohibited areas or mark designated mooring areas.  The form of the special buoys is no significant; castle are identified by your symbols, drawings and colours.

Cautionary Buoy


they note an area whereby mariners space to be warned of threats such as firing ranges, gyeongju courses, seaplane bases, underwater frameworks or locations where no safe with channel exists and of web traffic separations.they are coloured yellowthey display identification lettersif the carries a top note it shall be a single yellow ‘X’ shapeif that carries a light, the irradiate shall it is in yellow and flash once every 4 seconds
it is provided to indicate areas which space favourablefor overnight anchoring • they are yellow in colourthey usually have actually an anchor symbol plainly visibleif that carries a light the irradiate is yellow and it will flash once every 4 seconds.
used come moor or secure vesselsit is the only buoy the you may legally tie her vessel tousually found in designated anchorage areaswhen in lessened visibility, be aware that various other vessels might be present and tied up
it is supplied to note an area whereby boating is restrictedit is coloured whiteit has an orange, open-faced circle on two opposite sides and also two orange horizontal bands, one over and one below the circlea black number or symbol within the orange circle indicates the nature that the restriction.if the carries a irradiate is shall it is in yellow and flash as soon as every 4 seconds
it is a buoy i m sorry marks random perils such as rocks and also shoalsit is white in colourit has an orange diamond on two opposite sides and also two orange horizontal bands, one above and one listed below the diamond symbolsif the carries a irradiate the light is yellow and also flashes as soon as every 4 seconds
it display screens information of interest to boaters.  The message have the right to either be displayed using lettering or symbols.it is white in colourit have the right to be distinguished by the orange open-faced square symbol on the contrary sides and also the 2 horizontal bands, one above and one listed below the square.if it carries a light it shall it is in yellow and it will certainly flash as soon as every 4 seconds
it is provided to note the perimeter the a swim areait is white in colourif that carries a light, the irradiate is yellow and also it will flash once every 4 seconds.
it is offered to mark an area wherein scuba or various other such diving task is in progressit is coloured white and also it carries a red flag not much less than 50 centimetres square through a white diagonal stripe prolonging from the tip of the hoist come the bottom that the flyif that carries a irradiate the light shall be yellow and flash once every 4 seconds

Particular treatment must be taken when boating in waters where there room divers. A vessel engaged in diving must screen a blue and also white flag (International password A Flag, watch left). A red and white flag brought on a buoy is used to mark locations where diving is in progress, back divers may stray from the limits of the significant areas.

Be certain you know what the ‘diver down’ flags look like. If you view either flag, store well clear of the vessel and diving site, and move at sluggish speed.

Keep out Buoy


A save out buoy clues an area in which watercrafts are prohibitedit is white in colourit has an orange diamond containing an orange overcome on two opposite sides and also two orange horizontal bands...one over and one listed below the diamond symbolsif it carries a light the irradiate is yellow...flashing when every 4 seconds.

Scientific Buoys (O.D.A.S.)


An ocean data acquisition device  buoy collects  meteorological and other clinical data

Fairway Buoy


usually uncovered at the entrances to channels or offered to mark the facility of a channelit might be happen on either side however should be maintained on the port (left) next of your vessel as soon as proceeding in one of two people direction
it is offered to note an isolated hazard in waters which room otherwise navigable.it is usually moored straight on or over the dangerit is offered to mark a big rock, shoal or sunken ship

In addition to the above mentioned one-of-a-kind buoys, girlfriend could likewise encounter posted command signs or warning signs.  These can be used to relay a hold of info or provide warnings of impending danger. Several of these are:

no wake up zonesno anchorage area signsspeed limit zone signslow head dam hazard signsoverhead or underwater power line hazard signspipe line perils signs

It can not be stressed sufficient that every time you conference a sign or buoy you should reference your nautical charts come ensure that you correctly analyze the information.

The Nautical Chart

The Different species of Chart

A simple visit come a map keep will easily convince you of the vast variety of commodities available. Outdoor enthusiasts can find topographical maps for mountain excursions, or guide maps come lakes and rivers to plan their canoe expeditions.

Naturally, travelers can setup their trips v a land, traveler or road map, and farmers have the right to see the limits of their fields on a farm yard map.  For boaters, the nautical chart is critical tool.

Main attributes of a Nautical Chart

Nautical charts administer information ~ above waterways.  They give advantageous information come boaters, specifically on water depth, the kind of bottom, the form of shoreline, current direction, coastal altitude, quickly identifiable landmarks and also aids come navigation.

The Canadian Hydrographic organization publishes all nautical charts.  For pleasure craft, huge scale maps (i.e., spanning a small section of the region) are often the many useful since of every the information they contain.

To understand which regional chart is most ideal for her activity, above the Nautical chart Catalogue.  This catalogue is a big map showing the area covered by each accessible chart.  For information on just how to attain charts, contact the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

Importance that the Nautical chart to Boaters

Charts carry out a hold of info to boaters the only comprehensive knowledge and also experience that the waterway might replace.


Using a nautical chart provides the boaters task in a rescue instance easier in numerous ways.  It:

identifies a start siteshows the finest route in irradiate of currents, rapids, obstacles, etc.shows the ar of waterwayallows for an assessment of distancesshows location on the water.

On receiving a distress call, the time may not seem ideal to very closely study a nautical chart. However, if the graph is available, the knowledge gained could mean the difference in between locating and successfully helping out at a water accident or a tragedy.

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Topographical maps are maps the the land areas depicting natural and artificial features of the land, including elevation contours, shoreline, rocks, floor features over water, and social features:

They are intended mostly for the use of the general public ~ above the land;They are released by herbal Resources Canada and also some provincial authorities;3 castle are occasionally used when navigational maps (charts) are not available, but they usually do not depict: underwater hazards, maritime aids come navigation, channels, anchorage locations etc.

Other navigation Aids

A magnetic compass can be offered to aid the operator that a pleasure craft uncover directions.  It have to be remembered however that a magnetic compass is influenced by the proximity that metallic and/or electrical devices.  In stimulate to stop false information, make details that the compass is an installed in an area free of magnetic and electrical interference.