Buoys and beacons

These are the road signs on the water.

The meaning of each navigational buoy, or beacon, is found in its shape, symbol on the top (topmark) and its colours. 

Channel Markers

These show well-established channels and indicate port (left) and starboard (right) sides of the channels. One of the following maybe used; Lateral Marks (Red or Green)

Port Mark

A red can shape. At night, a red flashing light may be shown.

Starboard Mark

A green conical shape. At night, a green flashing light may be shown.

Coming In

Upon entering harbour the red port mark should be kept on the boat’s port (left) side and the green mark on the boat’s starboard (right) side.

Going Out

When leaving harbour the red port mark should be kept on the boat’s starboard (right) side and the green mark on the boat’s port (left) side.

Water Ski Access

Black and orange bands.

Reserved Areas

Black and white bands.

Cardinal Marks

Yellow and Black

Each indicates where there is deep water close to a danger and they show this relative to the compass. i.e. deep water is to the North of a North Cardinal Mark, to the East of an East Cardinal Mark.

Isolated Danger

Red and Black

Indicates an isolated danger, such as a submerged rock and so tells you not to pass too close. Coloured black with one or more horizontal red bands. If lit at night, it shows a group of two white flashes. The top mark has two black spheres.

Special Marks

Yellow

Indicates a special area and that you should beware. Coloured yellow. If lit at night, it shows a flashing yellow light. The top mark is a single yellow cross. Check your chart to identify what is special in that area.

Underwater Cable Marks

These are indicated by a white triangle on the foreshore. When in pairs, they indicate the direction of the cable. Do not anchor near these cables. The skipper of a boat that damages a cable will be held responsible, with fines up to $100,000.