B.C. Marina's and Anchorages

Anchorline

Buoy System

Did you know that the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is mandated, though not obligated, to provide aids to navigation? It is up to the Aids to Navigation program to provide fixed, floating and electronic aids in order to ensure the safety of mariners, and to promote and facilitate the expeditious movement of maritime traffic. Aids to navigation are established in duly charted Canadian waters when justified by the volume of traffic and rate of threats.

 

Lateral buoys indicate safe routes by marking the left and right sides of the deepest water. There are four main types of lateral buoys: port-hand buoys, starboard-hand buoys, port junction buoys and starboard junction buoys.

 

Note: Floating Buoys are held in place by cables and/or chains which are attached to anchors.

 

There are 3 basic types of floating buoys:

 

          - Lighted Buoys

          - Spar Buoys

          - Can Buoys

 

Special Buoys

Special Buoys
Description: Shapes have no significance
May be lettered - No numbers
Cautionary, scientific and anchorage buoys may display a yellow 'X' topmark
Yellow lights - Flash characteristics (if equipped)
Retroreflective material of the same colour as required markings. White buoys will display yellow material.

 

Anchorage Buoy

An anchorage buoy marks the perimeter of designated anchorage areas; consult a chart for water depth.

Cautionary Buoy

A cautionary buoy marks dangers such as firing ranges, underwater pipelines, race courses, seaplane bases and areas where no through channel exists.

Control Buoy

A control buoy indicates speed limits, wash restrictions, etc.; obey the restrictions illustrated within the orange circle.

Hazard Buoy

A hazard buoy marks random hazards such as shoals and rocks. Information concerning the hazard is illustrated within the orange diamond.

Information Buoy

An information buoy displays information such as locality, marina, campsite, etc.; Be guided by the information illustrated within the orange square.

Keep-Out Buoy

A keep out buoy marks areas in which boats are prohibited.

Mooring Buoy

A mooring buoy is used for mooring or securing vessels; be aware that a vessel may be secured to such a buoy (but never to a navigational buoy).

Scientific (ODAS) Buoy

An Ocean Data Acquisition System buoy collects meteorological and other scientific data.

Swimming Buoy

A swimming buoy marks the perimeter of swimming areas. May not be charted.

 

Cardinal Buoys

A cardinal buoy indicates that the safest water exists to the direction it indicates

(ex: a north cardinal buoy indicates that the safest water exists to the north)

Description:
Yellow and black
White lights - Flash characters indicated below (if equipped)
Two conical topmarks direction of points have significance
Black topmark cone point to the black portion(s) of the buoy
Lettered - No numbers
White retroreflective material

Canadian Aids to Navigation Systems

Lateral Buoys

Port (green can)
Keep this buoy on your port (left) side when proceeding in the upstream direction.

Bifurcation (red and green bands)
You may pass this buoy on either side when proceeding in the upstream direction, but the main or preferred channel is indicated by the colour of the topmost band. For example: Keep this buoy (pictured) on your starboard (right) side.

Starboard (red)
Keep this buoy on your starboard (right) side when proceeding in the upstream direction.

Port Hand Daybeacon

When proceeding upstream, keep this beacon on the vessel's port (left) side.

Starboard Hand Daybeacon

When proceeding upstream, keep this beacon on the vessel's starboard (right) side.

Junction (preferred channel to the right)

Marks a point where the channel divides and may be passed on either side. If the preferred channel is desired, beacon should be kept on the vessel's port (left) side.

Junction (preferred channel to the left)

Marks a point where the channel divides and may be passed on either side. If the preferred channel is desired, beacon should be kept on the vessel's starboard (right) side.

Fairway Buoy

This buoy indicates safe water. Used to mark land-falls, channel entrances or channel centres. It may be passed on either side but should be kept to the port (left) side when proceeding in either direction.

Isolated Danger Buoy

An isolated danger buoy is moored on, or above, an isolated danger that has navigable water all around it. Consult the chart for information concerning the danger, (dimensions, depth, etc). May be used to mark natural dangers such as small shoals or obstructions such as wrecks.

 

 

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