Aids to Navigation and Their Meanings
Can Buoy marks the right side of the channel Leaving a harbor. It will be Green 
and have odd numbers  on it.
Green Daymarkers are often used in shallow areas for the same purpose.

If the green marker has several pilings supporting it, it will be called a Dolphin.
Green Buoys with lights will usually be found in deeper waters. 
The light will be green. 
Larger Buoys may also have bells, horns or other sound producing devices.

Nun Buoy marks the Left side of the channel leaving the harbor. It will be red and have even numbers on it. Red Daymarkers are often used in shallow areas for the same purpose..

If the red marker has pilings supporting it, 
it will be called a dolphin. Red buoys with lights will usually be found in deeper water.
The light will be red. Larger buoys may also have bells, horns or other sound producing devices.
Preferred channel markers are a combination of red and green. 
Years ago, this marker was known as a junction marker. 

The preferred or better channel is 
usually marked by having the top color of the marker indicate the way it should be treated. 

That is, if the top color is red treat it as a red marker. Just as with red and green markers, they may be found as daymarks or floating buoys. They will have the same color light at the top color of the marker, and they may have letters, but not numbers.
The safe water marker, formerly referred 
to as the mid-channel marker, is Red and Green. If it has a light, it will be White
and it may also have a letter, but not a number displayed on it.
Special purpose markers are Yellow and 
may serve a wide range of uses.

These may include, but are not limited to, 
dredging, fish trap areas, spoil areas or 
Military excercise areas.
Range Markers are found in pairs with one higher than the other.
Range markers indicate the center line of a channel by having them lined up as you pass through the channel
They will have vertical colored panels to assist you in lining them up.
White markers and or buoys with an 
orangediamond, circle, or square can be used to provide information or regulations such as a no wake zone
or a shoal area..
As with all other aids to navigation, they should be given a wide berth to avoid possible damage to your vessel.
Some markers have no lateral significance. 

They are not designed to indicate the channel, but rather to help you know where you are.
Weather                 If you have a boating related website, and would like to exchange links,                VHF Radio
                                 please contact the webmaster at Marine-Movers.
Maptech. Add maps and charts to your website for free.
________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
Red colors, red lights, and even numbers indicate the right side of the channel as a boater enters from the open sea or heads upstream. 
Green colors, green lights and odd numbers indicate the left side of the channel as a boater proceeds from the open sea or heads upstream. 

Red and green colors and/or lights indicate the preferred (primary) channel. If green is on top, the preferred channel is to the right; if red is on top, the preferred channel is to the left. 
Nuns are cone-shaped buoys marked with red colors and even numbers.  
Cans are cylindrical-shaped buoys marked with green colors and odd numbers.  
Daymarks are permanently placed signs attached to structures such as posts in the water. Common daymarks are red triangles (equivalent to nuns) and green squares (equivalent to cans) and may also be lighted. 
Red Right Returning is a reminder of the correct course when returning from open waters or heading upstream. 
U. S. Aids to Navigation System (ATON)
Buoys and markers are the "traffic signals" that guide boat operators safely along some waterways. They also identify dangerous or controlled areas and give directions and information. As a recreational boat operator you will need to know the lateral navigation markers and non-lateral markers of the U. S. Aids to Navigation System.  
Lateral Markers

These navigation aids are used to mark the edges of safe water areas; for example, to direct travel within a channel. They use a combination of colors and numbers which may be applied to buoys or permanently placed markers.
Lighted Buoys use the lateral marker shapes, colors and numbers discussed above; in addition, they have a matching colored light.
________________________________________________________________________

While originally  intended for police boat operators, this mini-course is designed to provide all Small Boat Professionals with the basics of navigation. Divided into modules, this free, online tutorial allows the student to chip away at the subject at a comfortable and steady pace. Each module builds on the ones before it and learning is reinforced with numerous illustrations, examples, and exercises. 



The online training course provided by the United States Coast Guard Auxilliary.


________________________________________________________________________
Aids To Navigation
 

Waterway Marking Systems <> Channel Buoys

Lateral System (Federal)
The waters of the United States are marked for safe navigation by the lateral system of buoyage. This system employs a simple arrangement of colors, shapes, numbers and light characteristics to show the side on which a buoy should be passed when proceeding in a given direction. The characteristics are determined by the position of the buoy with respect to the navigable channels as the channels are entered from seaward.

The expression "red right returning" has long been used by the seafarer as a reminder that the red buoys are passed on the starboard (right) side when proceeding from the open sea into port (upstream). Likewise, green buoys are passed on the post (left) side, Conversely, when proceeding toward the sea or leaving port, red buoys are passed on the port side and green buoys on the starboard side. Red buoys are always even-numbered. Green buoys are odd-numbered. Red and white vertically stripped buoys mark the center of the channel.

Mooring to Buoys
Tying up to or hanging on to any navigation buoy (except a mooring buoy) or beacon is prohibited.

Aids to Navigation
In recent years, modification to certain aids to navigation located on coastal and inland waters have been completed. These changes apply to aids used in both the lateral and state waterway marking systems. See charts that follow:

----- Port-hand buoys are painted green, with green fixed or flashing lights.
----- Starboard-hand buoys are painted red, with red fixed or flashing lights.
----- Safe water buoys, also called midchannel or fairway buoys, and approach buoys are painted with red and white vertical stripes, with flashing lights.
----- Preferred channel, or junction buoys, are painted with red and green horizontal bands, with flashing lights.
----- Special marks (traffic separation, anchorage areas, dredging, fish net areas, etc.) are painted yellow. If lighted, the light may be fixed or flashing.


Uniform State Waterway Marking System
________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________

NAVIGATION CHART NOTES


SCALES & SOURCES

Large Scale: the fraction is larger (ie: 1/100,000); a closer view 

Small Scale: the fraction is smaller (ie: 1/500,000); shows more area 

Chart Sources:  

NOS - Great Lakes and coastal waters of US 

DMAHTC - high seas and foreign water 

CORPS of ENGINEERS - major inland rivers, canals, lakes 

COLORS:

Gold = land areas on NOS charts 

White = water 

Blue = shallow water areas 

Green = submerged water areas that uncover (tidal) 

Magenta = lighted buoys, red buoys, caution and danger symbols, compass roses 

Black = most symbols and printed information 

Gray = land areas on DMAHTC 

LETTERING

Vertical objects dry at high water, not affected by movement of water 

Leaning/Slanting features in water, underwater, or floating; not depth figures 


CHART DATUM

Mean Low Water = average of all lowest water levels for 19 years---blue tint out to depth contour that is considered a danger contour for majority of marine traffic expected to use the chart 

Mean High Water = Line shoreline---datum used for vertical clearances of bridges 

Low Water Line = single row of dots, other contours represented by a series of dots or dots and dashes (see Chart No. 1) 

Range Lines = solid over navigated portion, dashed where it should not be followed 


CHART TYPES

Smallest scale = long stretches of coastline, open ocean between ports 

General = more limited area of coast, coastwise navigation, within sight of land 

Coast Chart = close-in coastwise navigation, entering and leaving harbors 

Harbor = largest scale, most detailed, navigation within harbors 

Small-craft Chart = compact, small-size, folded, public marine facilities available 


Signals For Restricted Visibility

Horn;       Bell;          Gong;              

Long ------(four to six sec.);        Short -(one sec.)

SIGNAL: HORN EVERY TWO MINUTES (Underway)  1 Long -----

SIGNAL: BELL  EVERY MINUTE  (Anchored or Aground)   

Underway (Rule 35a) 5 sec At Anchor (Rule 35g INT) (Rule 35f INL)) 

Underway but stopped (Rule 35b) 2 Long -----  ----- 

At Anchor (optional) (Rule 35g INT (Rule 35f INL) 1 short - 1 Long ----- 1 short -

 


Not under command
Restricted in ability to manuever*
Sailing
Fishing*
Towing or pushing
Constrained by draft** (Rule 35c&d INT) and (Rule 35c INL) 
HORN 1 Long - 2 Short


At anchor: vessel greater than 100 Meters (Rule 35g INT) and (Rule 35f INL) 
Bell 5 sec.forward
Gong 5 sec. aft 


No Signal Required:
Vessels less than 12 Meters (Rule 35i INT) and (Rule 35h INL) Each
But must have sounding device at hand 


Each Aground: (Rule 35h INT) and (Rule 35g INL) 
3 BELLS EACH
1 BELL 5 sec.
3 BELLS EACH


Pilot Vessel (Rule 35j) and (Rule 35h INL) HORN 5 SHORT - - - - -
Aground, vessel greater than 100 Meters (Rule 35h INT) and (Rule 35g INL) 
5 sec. 3 BELLS EACH, 1 BELL 5 SEC., 3 BELLS EACH
1 GONG 5 SEC. AFT.


A towed vessel if manned (immediately after towing vessel signal) (Rule 35e INT)        
(Rule 35d INL)  Inland Waters Only: HORN 1 LONG -----, 4 SHORT - - - -


First three signals above are not required for vessels anchored in a special anchorage area designated by the Secretary for:
1) Vessels less than 20 Meters,
2) Barges, canal boats, scows or other non-descript craft (Rule 35j INL) 



INT = International Waters
INL = Inland Waters
* Underway or at anchor--Inland Waters
** International Waters Only 
_____________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
_____________________________________________________________________________
______________________________________________________________________________
Federal Channel Marking System (Lateral System As Seen Entering From Seaward)
Inland Navigation Rules Of The Road
________________________________________________________________________
http://www.boat-transport-movers.com
Back To Top
Back To Top
Back To Top
Back To Top
Back To Top
Back To Top
________________________________________________________________________
A Free online navigation course. A Great deal of useful information about navigation.

One of the best resources to be found anywhere.  Click Here