Floats that warn of hazards such as rocks or shallow ground, to help ships maneuver through unfamiliar harbors.

Related Terms


A vessel restricted by its ability to maneuver by the nature of its work or its deep draft


A vessel which through exceptional circumstances is unable to maneuver as required by the COLREGs


A permanently anchored vessel performing the functions of a lighthouse, typically in a location where construction of the latter is impractical. These have largely been replaced by buoys or, as construction techniques have improved, actual lighthouses.


A system of aids to navigation in which characteristics of buoys and beacons indicate the sides of the channel or route relative to a conventional direction of buoyage (usually upstream).


a shipping corridors marked by buoys which separate incoming from outgoing vessels.


A buoy having a boat-shaped body. Light-floats are usually unmanned and are used instead of smaller lighted buoys in waters where strong currents are experienced


A system of buoys. One in which the buoys are assigned shape, color, and number distinction in accordance with location relative to the nearest obstruction is called a cardinal system. One in which buoys are assigned shape, color, and number distinction as a means of indicating navigable waters is called a lateral system.


A vessel designed for, and engaged in, servicing aids to navigation, particularly buoys


1. The part of a body of water deep enough for navigation through an area otherwise not suitable. It is usually marked by a single or double line of buoys and sometimes by ranges. 2. The deepest part of a stream, bay, or strait, through which the main current flows. 3. A name given to certain large straits, such as the English Channel. 4. A hollow bed through which water may run. 5. A band of radio frequencies within which a radio station must maintain its modulated carrier frequency to prevent interference with stations on adjacent channels. Also called FREQUENCY CHANNEL.


A radar reflector consisting of three mutually perpendicular flat reflecting surfaces designed to return incident electro- magnetic radiation toward its source. The reflector is used to render objects such as buoys and sailboats more conspicuous to radar observations. Since maximum effectiveness is obtained when the incident beam coincides with the axis of symmetry of the reflector, clusters of reflectors are sometimes used to insure that the object will be a good reflector in all directions. Also called TRIHEDRAL REFLECTOR.

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