(red and green bands)
You may pass this buoy on either side when moving upstream. The colour of the top band shows which one is the main or preferred channel. For example: keep this buoy on your starboard (right) side.
Port Hand Buoy
(green can, pillar, or spar)
Keep this buoy on your port (left) side when going upstream.
Starboard Hand Buoy
(red conical, pillar, or spar)
Keep this buoy on your starboard (right) side when going upstream.
Keep the red buoys on the right side when returning home(returning from sea).
Special Purpose Buoys
A cautionary buoy marks dangers such as firing ranges, underwater pipelines, race courses, seaplane bases and areas where no through channel exists.
An anchorage buoy marks the outer limits of designated anchorage areas. Consult the chart for water depth.
A mooring buoy is used for mooring or securing vessels. Be aware that when you see one, a vessel may be secured to it.
An information buoy displays information such as locality, marina, campsite, etc. inside the orange square.
A hazard buoy marks random hazards such as shoals and rocks. Information is illustrated inside the orange diamond.
Obey the speed limits, wash restrictions, etc. illustrated inside the orange circle.
Keep out buoy
A keep out buoy marks areas your vessel may not enter.
A diving buoy marks an area where scuba or other such diving activity is in progress. It is not normally charted.
A swimming buoy marks the outer limits of swimming areas. It may not be charted.
Port Hand daybeacons
When going upstream, keep a port hand daybeacon on your port (left) side.
Starboard Hand daybeacons
When proceeding upstream, must be kept on the vessel’s starboard (right) side.
Junction daybeacons (Preferred channel to right)
This daybeacon marks a point where the channel divides and may be passed on either side. If you want to take the channel to your right, keep this daybeacon on your port (left) side.
Junction (Preferred channel to left)
This daybeacon marks a point where the channel divides and may be passed on either side. If you want to take the channel to your left, keep this daybeacon on your starboard (right) side.
- Yellow and black
- White lights – flash characters indicated below (if equipped)
- The points of the 2 topmark cones tell you where to find safe water
- Topmark cones show where the black bands are placed on the buoy
- Letterhead – no numbers
- White retroreflective material
Isolated Danger Buoy
This buoy marks an isolated danger, such as a small shoal or a wreck, that has navigable water all around it. Consult the chart to learn the size, depth, etc. of the danger.