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Regulatory Buoys

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Regulatory How-To's

Navigation Aids: Buoys and Markers

Navigation Aids: Buoys and Markers

This Boat-Ed safety course video talks about navigation aids such as lateral markers, regulatory markers and buoys. ... read more

Buoys and markers are the traffic signs of the waterways. These navigation aids also identify dangerous or restricted areas. They give directions and information.

On the water, you'll encounter two types of marking systems. Regulatory markers tell you how to behave. They're enforced by law. Lateral markers mark safe water areas.

Regulatory markers use simple shapes to help you understand their meaning even from a distance. A diamond shape with a cross means keep out. You'll see these around areas where boats are not allowed, such as swimmer areas or industrial sites. A circle marks the controlled area, such as a no wake zone. An open diamond means danger, such as a shallow area (rocks or stumps).

Lateral markers are special channel buoys. They define the lateral system of navigation on inland water waste. Red right returning is a phrase used in the situation. It means the red markers, whether they are buoys or lights will always be on your right when you return to port or head up stream. If you're travelling downstream or leaving port, green will be on your right.

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