Buoy identification - for the experts

Neeves

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IMG_0958.jpg

I assume this a port channel marker.

What is the significance of the red and green 'vanes' on the top of the buoy. Or are they simply to confuse, ignorant people like me.

The buoy is off Singapore, maybe 0.5m NM, near the container terminal, off the fancy cantilevered hotel/casino (Marina Sands) and part of a major shipping channel for large ships (like container ships). The other marks were fairly conventional; floating buoys or poles.

The original photo is hi res and this looks a bit blurry so as I could easily post.

Jonathan
 

johnalison

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We call them 'division buoys', but I don't know where we got it from. They are quite common in the channels around the Frisian Islands.
 

Neeves

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They maybe common place in places, other than Oz but...

I've never seen one in Oz and it is not a mark published by any of the Marine Bureaucracies in Oz. I assume we don't use them, in Oz. I don't recall seeing one in HK but my exposure there was 25 years ago (and for obvious reasons one tended to be able to sail in HK and not enter a channel used by monster commercial vessels following each other like ducks in a row).

I have not forgotten - I never knew :) and, as far as I know, had no reason to know.

Jonathan
 

Supertramp

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It's a "RGR" channel marker - preferred channel to starboard. One on the way into Carlingford Lough (GRG - preferred channel to port) which was my first time with one.
 

Mark-1

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I will have to join Neeves in the dunce’s corner. I’ve never seen one, afaik.

I've seen them up the Hamble and in the Stockholm Archipelago. Apart from that I don't recall seeing them, but then there's no reason to remember seeing them. I think it would be pretty excusable not to recognise one and it's not like you can leave it the wrong side.

I would be amazed if many people came to harm through not recognising one.
 

14K478

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An “obvious place to use them” might be Harwich Harbour where the dredged channel runs to one side of the small craft channel - but HHA have more sense - they use ship size red buoys for ships and boat size red buoys for boats!
 

Porthandbuoy

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Never seen a Red over Green division buoy. Plenty converging channels in the Firth of Clyde but no 'Division Buoys'. Plenty Red/White vertical stripe ones marking safe water where there's a change in direction though.
 

LittleSister

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An “obvious place to use them” might be Harwich Harbour where the dredged channel runs to one side of the small craft channel - but HHA have more sense - they use ship size red buoys for ships and boat size red buoys for boats!

They're 'usually' a single buoy of that type, marking the 'corner' where one channel splits into two, rather than a continuous parallel run such as the main and small craft channel at Harwich.

I say 'usually', but I can't specifically remember where I've come across them in real life. I've never thought of them as an obscure/rare type of buoy, and I'm surprised that so many here don't know them. Do I really only know them from diagrams in training material and the Admiralty chart key (No. 5011?). :unsure:

p.s. Having typed that, I think I may have seen one the last time I was on the water - in a canoe at Rockland St. Mary, off the River Yare in Norfolk. (The bouyage in the Broads is (almost?) all red and green lateral marks - they can't be confusing hire boaters with cardinals, etc.)
 
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14K478

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They're 'usually' a single buoy of that type, marking the 'corner' where one channel splits into two, rather than a continuous parallel run such as the main and small craft channel at Harwich.

I say 'usually', but I can't specifically remember where I've come across them in real life. I've never thought of them as an obscure/rare type of buoy, and I'm surprised that so many here don't know them. Do I really only know them from diagrams in training material and the Admiralty chart key (No. 5011?). :unsure:
You mean - where anyone with any sense would put a cardinal mark (eg Shotley Spit)?

A disadvantage of the red/green vanes is that they sit where the light has to go.

They look like a solution in search of a problem.
 

johnalison

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You mean - where anyone with any sense would put a cardinal mark (eg Shotley Spit)?

A disadvantage of the red/green vanes is that they sit where the light has to go.

They look like a solution in search of a problem.
Division buoys serve a similar purpose to cardinal marks but in complex areas can be more instinctive to read and on the whole I prefer them. It may be that our waterways are less complex and the need for division buoys in less obvious. Out of habit I tend to call the cardinal mark at the entrance to Hamford Water a division buoy, since that is what it is in effect.
 

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