NS100 Fundamentals of Naval Science Visual Navigation Aids
Types of Aids to Navigation Buoys - Floating aids to navigation. Lights - Fixed aids to navigation with distinctive light characteristics that make them identifiable at night.
On the Range Range Lights
To the right of the range. Visual Range On the Range The location of the rear range relative to the front range will indicate your relationship to the range line.
Fixed aids to navigation used in U.S. waters
Each has daymark ( or ) to denote right or left-side channel boundary
Beacons may be unlighted (daybeacons) or lighted
Types of Aids to Navigation Radio Beacon - used with a direction finding receiver, will yield an LOP.
to identify aids to navigation, both seaborne (e.g. buoys) and land-based (e.g. lighthouses)
to identify landfall or positions on inconspicuous coastlines
to indicate navigable spans under bridges
to identify offshore oil platforms and similar structures
General Buoyage Classification Lateral - Used to indicate on which side the buoy should be passed and are used to mark channels.
Cardinal System of Buoyage
Buoy Description and Purpose Can Buoy 13
Buoy Description and Purpose Nun Buoy 12
Any buoy in which a light and a sound signal are combined
Buoy Description and Purpose Buoys are painted different colors according to their purpose. Lateral Aids - Either red or green or the combination of the two. Cardinal Aids - Painted black and yellow.
Lateral Buoys either red or green, or a combination of the two. Numbered from seaward, meaning the numbers increase as you approach land.
Buoy Description and Purpose Safe Water Marks - presence of a channel. Fitted with a red ball topmark or a white light flashing MORSE ALPHA . Special Marks - Painted yellow. Isolated Danger Marks - Painted black and red.
Used to mark:
Limits of fish traps
NOAA weather buoys
Color is yellow
NOAA weather buoys are lighted and typically use a flashing 4 or 6 second yellow light
Buoyage Systems There are two buoyage systems in the world today: IALA “A” and IALA “B”. International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA)
Buoyage Systems IALA “B” memory aids: Red Right Returning Even Red Nuns have Odd Green Cans
White Red Green
Illustration Symbol and meaning F. = Fixed F.Fl. = Fixed and flashing F.Gp.Fl. = Fixed and group flashing Fl. = Flashing Gp. Fl. = Group flashing Gp. Fl. (1+2) = Composite group flashing Mo. (A) = Morse code Qk. Fl. = Quick flashing I.Qk.Fl. = Interrupted quick flashing E.Int. = Equal Interval (Isophase) Occ. =Occulting Gp.Occ. = Group occulting Gp.Occ. (2+3) = Composite group occulting
Lights and Lighted Buoys Lateral and Channel Buoys - red or green with flashing phase characteristics. U.S. Safe Water Marks - Show a white light with Morse “Alpha” ( ) with a period of about eight seconds. Fixed Lights and Lighthouses - variety of phase characteristics, lights, and colored sectors to distinguish from the background lights of the shore.
Safe Water Buoys
Preferred Channel Buoys
16 14 12 10 Mast Aids To Navigation
Using Buoys and Lights in Piloting Buoys should never be used to fix your position! Lights and Lighthouses - fixed and provide for good visual fixing both during the day and at night.