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Buoys & Buoyage

Navigation Tips

This page will be dedicated to showing my followers, buoys, lights, and day shapes. These are some basics that are important for navigation and safety at sea.

There is plenty of published documentation that you can also use to learn about all of the above... check out www.sailtrain.co.uk and RYA Publications.
All images are from trinity house and/or lovesailing.net

BUOYS & LIGHTS [IALA A]

How the hell do I rememeber the difference between Port and Starboard?!
"Is there any RED PORT LEFT?" 
Red = Port        Green = Starboard


Buoys all fall into different catergories; Lateral, Cardinal and Special.

LATERAL MARKS

The job of lateral marks is to MARK THE CHANNEL. Often set in pairs coming in and out of habour.

Starboard Lateral Mark (Channel Marker)

This is the Starboard Hand Lateral Mark
Known as Starboard Cone (Because of its shape)

Lighting Sequence;

Green Light, any sequence except 2+1.






Port Lateral Mark (Channel Marker)


This is the Port Hand Lateral Mark.
Known also as Port Can (Because of its shape)

Lighting Sequence;

Red Light, any sequence except 2+1.






CARDINAL MARKS

Cardinal marks show where the safest and deepest water is, thus avoiding any hidden dangers under the surface. They usefully use the compass in terms of name, and their lights are similar to that of a clockface - all will become clear soon!
All cardinal Marks are YELLOW and BLACK. Their top marks (the arrows) also point in the direction of the black paint on the buoy. For example, the north cardinal top mark points up, the black paint can be found at the top! (CLEVER!)

North Cardinal Mark

This is the North Cardinal Mark.
Key Features;
Top Mark - Two arrows point upwards.
Colours - Black on Top, yellow to the bottom.

Lighting Sequence;
White Light, flashing continuously (like 12 o'Clock)




East Cardinal Mark


This is the East Cardinal Mark.
Key Features;
Top Mark - Two arrows pointing away from each other.
Colours - Black - Yello - Black
Lighting Sequence;
White Light, Flashing 3 times (like 3 o'clock)


Tip to remember; Looks like an Egg - E - EAST!


South Cardinal Mark


This is the South Cardinal Mark
Key Features;
Top Mark - Two arrows pointing down.
Colours - Yellow - Black
Lighting Sequences;
White Light, 6 Short Flashes plus one long (To avoid confusion with North)

West Cardinal Mark



This is the West Cardinal Mark
Key Features;
Top Mark; Arrows pointing towards each other.
Colours; Yellow - Black - Yellow
Lighting Sequence;
White Light, 9 short flashes (Like 9 o'clock)

Tip to remember; Looks like a Wine Glass - W - West.



SPECIAL MARKS

These are the buoys that don't fit into the Lateral or Cardinal options above. They are "special" used for certain jobs to indicate to sea farers whats occuring under the surface!


Safe Water Mark
This is a safe water mark, can be found in deep water, often at the end of channels in and out of habour.
Key Features;
Red and White vertical stripes.
Top Mark - A single red ball.
Lighting Sequence;
White Light, Morse Code letter A One short, one Long. OR, Isophase (meaning, equal light / dark)

Tips to Remember; Looks like candy! SAFE like CANDY!, and for the light - the letter A is the most common letter in this name!! OR, Equal Stripes = Equal Light / Dark.

Isolated Danger Mark

This is the Isolated Danger Mark. It can be found above an "isolated danger" - something like a rock, or long standing wreck.

Key Features;
Black and Red horizontal stipes.
Top Mark - Two black balls.
Lighting Sequence;
White Light, 2 flashes.

Tips to Remember; Black and Red Stripes, Dennis the Mennace! = Danger!


New Wreck Mark

This is the New Wreck Mark. It will be placed over a vessel, where the worst has happened, if it has recently sunk to notify mariners that there is a danger. These are very few and far between. because they are only in place for a day or so before being replaced with Isolated Danger.

Key Features;
Blue and Yellow Vertical Stripes.
Top Mark - Yellow Cross.
Lighting Sequence;
Alternating Blue and Yellow Flashes.

Tips to Remember; it is the onle one of its kind!


Special Mark



This is the special Mark. They have no navigational significance. But, they do however mark off areas of water for recreational activities, or where objects at low tide may not be submerged, but are at high tide.

Key Features;
Yellow in Colour
Top Mark - Yellow Cross.

Lighting Sequence;
Yellow light, any rhythm that is NOT used by any white light!