Chapter 7: The Buoyage System

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

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Aids to Navigation

Aids to navigation are devices (buoys) or solution (collision regulations), that are external to the pleasure craft.  They are noted to assist the operator that a pleasure craft determine position and course.  They can furthermore warn the operator of risks or obstructions and also advise the operator that the location of the ideal or preferred route.

Port Hand and Starboard Hand Buoys

Port hand buoys room green and also starboard hand buoys room red. They present which next of a channel is safest to travel; accordingly, they note channelsor hazards.  Generally, green buoys have to be passed on the left next of a handmade heading upstream, i.e., against the current.  Red buoysmust be kept on the ideal side of a craft when proceeding in the upstream direction.  A straightforward rule is red come the right as soon as returning,or the 3 “R’s”: red, right, return.

In many places, the direction of the current is established by agreement or through the tide.  It is crucial to it is in thoroughly familiar withthe aids to navigation in her region.


Port Hand Buoys

Green in colour.  They can be shaped as:

canssparspillars

If they perform not have actually a environment-friendly light they will certainly be flat on top


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Starboard Hand Buoys

Red in colour.  They deserve to be shaped as:

conicalsparspillars

If they execute not have a red irradiate they will certainly be conical ~ above top.


Green port hand buoys

marks the port (left) next of a channel or the place of a danger and also must be maintained on the port (left) side of a pleasure craft as soon as proceeding in the upstream direction;it is coloured green;displays to know letter(s) and also odd number(s);if the carries a optimal mark, the top mark is a single green cylinder;if it carries a light, the light is green and also is a flashing (FI) 4 s or rapid flashing (Q) 1 s;if the buoy does 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 must be preserved on the starboard (right) next of a satisfied craft when proceeding in the upstream direction;is coloured red;displays identification letter(s) and even number(s);if that carries a top mark, the top mark is a solitary red cone, pointing upward;if that carries a light, the irradiate is red and also is a flashing (F1) 4 s or rapid flashing (Q) 1 s;if the buoy does not carry a light, it has a pointed top.

Bifurcation buoys

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

Know the a harbor hand work beacon is a beacon that


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marks the port (left) side of a channel or the ar of a danger throughout daylight hoursit need to be preserved on the port (left) next of a pleasure craft as soon as proceeding upstream;it is square through a black or green coloured square focused on a white background v a environment-friendly reflecting border .. The may display an odd number made of white reflecting material
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marks the starboard (right) next of a channel or the ar of a danger during daylight hours and must be kept on the starboard (right) next of a pleasure craft as soon as proceeding upstream;it is a red coloured triangle focused on a white background v a red mirroring border; and also may screen an even number made of white mirroring material

Cardinal Buoys

There room four types of cardinal buoys: north, south, west and east.  Cardinal buoys are supplied to show the direction the the the safest waters. A north cardinal buoy shows that the deepest or safest water exists to the phibìc of the buoy.  The vessel must travel phibìc pastthe phibìc buoy; in this way, the buoy is between the hazard and also the craft.  The same principles use to all of the cardinal buoys.  Formore details top top the hazard indicated by the buoy, a nautical chart need to be consulted; the buoyage system is therefore used in tandem through nauticalcharts.

There are two means to distinguish amongst cardinal buoys: by colour and also by the shape of your conical height marks. The direction of the pointindicates the kind of cardinal buoy.  Accordingly, the hat on a phibìc cardinal buoy point north, and also on a south cardinal buoy, pointsouth.

North Cardinal Buoy


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

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

Light characteristics of Cardinal Buoys

The lamp on every cardinal buoys will certainly be white in colour, (if the buoy is so equipped).  In stimulate to determine these buoys in darkness or reduced visibility, every one can be differentiated by various light speed characteristics.

The flash qualities are based upon the exact same numbering principle together an plain time clock.

The number of flashes corresponds with the place of the confront of the clock.

North buoys flash at the rate of 1 per 2nd or 60 per minute. A really quick flash can additionally be used — 10 flashes every 5 seconds.

West buoys flash in ~ the price of 9 times in 15 seconds. A really quick flash can additionally be provided — 9 flashes every 10 seconds.

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East buoys flash in ~ the rate of 3 times every 10 seconds. A very quick speed can likewise be provided — 3 flicker every 5 seconds

South buoys flash at the price of 6 time in 15 seconds adhered to by a single long flash. A an extremely quick speed can likewise be supplied — 6 flashes every 10 secs plus 1 longer flash in ~ the finish of each team to note the end of 1 flash cycle.


Special Buoys

Finally, one-of-a-kind buoys offer a selection of purposes.  They space not primarily aids to navigation, however rather carry out the watercraft operator through a host of information.  Some room cautionary buoys to note firing variety or seaplane bases, while others gather weather information, situate prohibited locations or mark designated mooring areas.  The form of the unique buoys is not significant; lock are figured out by your symbols, drawings and also colours.

Cautionary Buoy


they mark an area where mariners space to it is in warned of dangers such as firing ranges, gyeongju courses, seaplane bases, underwater frameworks or areas where no safe with channel exists and also of traffic separations.they are coloured yellowthey display screen identification lettersif that carries a top note it shall it is in a single yellow ‘X’ shapeif it carries a light, the irradiate shall be yellow and flash once every 4 seconds
it is used to indicate locations which room favourablefor overnight anchoring • they are yellow in colourthey usually have actually an anchor symbol clearly visibleif it carries a irradiate the irradiate is yellow and it will certainly flash when every 4 seconds.
used come moor or certain vesselsit is the just buoy the you might legally tie your vessel tousually discovered in designated anchorage areaswhen in decreased visibility, be conscious that other vessels may be present and also tied up
it is offered to note an area whereby boating is restrictedit is coloured whiteit has an orange, open-faced one on two opposite sides and two orange horizontal bands, one above and one below the circlea black number or symbol inside the orange circle shows the nature the the restriction.if the carries a light is shall be yellow and also flash as soon as every 4 seconds
it is a buoy which marks random hazards such together rocks and also shoalsit is white in colourit has an orange diamond on 2 opposite sides and also two orange horizontal bands, one over and one listed below the diamond symbolsif it carries a irradiate the irradiate is yellow and flashes as soon as every 4 seconds
it display screens information of attention to boaters.  The message can either be presented using lettering or symbols.it is white in colourit deserve to be differentiated by the orange open-faced square symbol on the opposite sides and the two horizontal bands, one over and one below the square.if the carries a irradiate it shall be yellow and it will certainly flash once every 4 seconds
it is provided to mark the perimeter that a swimming areait is white in colourif it carries a light, the irradiate is yellow and it will flash once every 4 seconds.
it is supplied to note an area whereby scuba or other such diving task is in progressit is coloured white and it carries a red flag not much less than 50 centimetres square v a white diagonal stripe expanding from the reminder of the hoist to the bottom the the flyif that carries a light the light shall be yellow and flash when every 4 seconds

Particular treatment must it is in taken when boating in waters where there room divers. A vessel involved in diving must display a blue and also white flag (International code A Flag, watch left). A red and white flag brought on a buoy is offered to mark locations where diving is in progress, return divers might stray native the borders of the significant areas.

Be sure you recognize what the ‘diver down’ flags watch like. If you watch either flag, keep well clear of the vessel and diving site, and move at slow-moving speed.

Keep out Buoy


A save out buoy clues an area in which watercrafts are prohibitedit is white in colourit has actually an orange diamond include an orange cross on two opposite sides and two orange horizontal bands...one above and one listed below the diamond symbolsif it carries a irradiate the irradiate is yellow...flashing as soon as every 4 seconds.

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


An s data acquisition system  buoy collection  meteorological and also other clinical data

Fairway Buoy


usually found at the gates to channels or offered to mark the center of a channelit might be pass on one of two people side however should be preserved on the port (left) next of her vessel when proceeding in either direction
it is offered to mark an isolated hazard in waters which space otherwise navigable.it is generally moored directly on or over the dangerit is supplied to mark a big rock, shoal or sunken ship

In enhancement to the above mentioned one-of-a-kind buoys, girlfriend could additionally encounter post command indicators or warning signs.  These can be offered to relay a hold of information or administer warnings of unavoidable danger. Some of these are:

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

It can not be stressed enough that every time you encounter a authorize or buoy you have to reference her nautical charts to ensure the you correctly interpret the information.

The Nautical Chart

The Different varieties of Chart

A straightforward visit come a map keep will conveniently convince you of the vast range of assets available. Outdoor enthusiasts can uncover topographical maps for hill excursions, or guide maps come lakes and also rivers to setup their canoe expeditions.

Naturally, travelers can plan their trips v a land, traveler or roadway map, and farmers can see the limits of their fields on a farm yard map.  For boaters, the nautical graph is critical tool.

Main features of a Nautical Chart

Nautical charts carry out information top top waterways.  They give beneficial information to boaters, especially on water depth, the form of bottom, the kind of shoreline, existing direction, coastal altitude, quickly identifiable landmarks and also aids to navigation.

The Canadian Hydrographic service publishes every nautical charts.  For satisfied craft, big scale maps (i.e., extending a small portion of the region) are frequently the many useful because of all the detail they contain.

To understand which regional chart is most suitable for your activity, consult the Nautical graph Catalogue.  This catalogue is a big map reflecting the area extended by each obtainable chart.  For info on how to achieve charts, call the Canadian Hydrographic Service.

Importance that the Nautical chart to Boaters

Charts provide a organize of info to boaters the only comprehensive knowledge and experience of the waterway might replace.


Using a nautical chart makes the boaters job in a rescue situation easier in plenty of ways.  It:

identifies a beginning siteshows the finest route in light of currents, rapids, obstacles, etc.shows the ar of waterwayallows for an evaluate of distancesshows ar on the water.

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

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Topographical maps are maps the the land locations depicting natural and also artificial features of the land, including elevation contours, shoreline, rocks, soil features above water, and cultural features:

They are intended mainly for the usage of the basic public ~ above the land;They are released by natural Resources Canada and also some provincial authorities;3 lock are sometimes used as soon as navigational maps (charts) room not available, however they usually carry out not depict: underwater hazards, maritime aids to navigation, channels, anchorage areas etc.

Other navigation Aids

A magnetic compass deserve to be provided to assist the operator that a pleasure craft discover directions.  It must be remembered however that a magnetic compass is affected by the proximity of metallic and/or electrical devices.  In stimulate to avoid false information, make certain that the compass is mounted in an area cost-free of magnetic and also electrical interference.