Cardinal Aids to Navigation / Cardinal Buoys

2016

Cardinal Buoys

North Cardinal Buoy VK at Fulford Reef (Photo from the Captain Alec Provan collection. )

The Canadian Aids To Navigation System states that "Cardinal aids may be in the form of either buoys or fixed aids. However, their predominant use is in the form of buoys in the Canadian system."

Cardinal Buoys are yellow and black. They usually carry white lights. The black topmark cones point to the black portion(s) of the buoy. They have lettered designations – no numbers. They carry white retroreflective material. They carry two conical topmarks and the direction of points have significance.

A north cardinal aid indicates that the safest water exists to the north. A north cardinal buoy is coloured black and yellow in approximately equal areas above the waterline, the top half of the buoy being black and the lower half being yellow. It displays identification letter(s) and if it carries a light, the light is white and is a quick flashing (Q)1s or very quick flashing (VQ)5s light, and if it carries a topmark, the topmark is two black cones, one above the other, pointing upward.

An east cardinal aid indicates that the safest water exists to the east. An east cardinal buoy is coloured black with one broad yellow horizontal band. It displays identification letter(s) and if it carries a light, the light is white and is a group quick flashing three Q(3)10s or a group very quick flashing three VQ(3)5s light, and if it carries a topmark, the topmark is two black cones, one above the other, base to base.

Cardinal Buoys

East Cardinal Buoy PB (Photo from the John MacFarlane collection. )

Cardinal Buoys

East Cardinal Buoy PJ (Photo from the collection. )

A south cardinal aid indicates that the safest water exists to the south. It is coloured with yellow on the top half and black on the lower half. It displays unique identification letters. It can be spar shaped although other shapes may be employed. If it carries a top mark it will display two black cones - one above the other with both points downward. It will carry white reflective material. If it is lit it displays a white light and exhibits a group of six plus long flashes or a group of very quick flashing six plus long flashes.

A west cardinal aid indicates that the safest water exists to the west. It is coloured with yellow and a black horizontal band midway between the top and the water level. It displays unique identification letters. It can be spar shaped although other shapes may be employed. If it carries a top mark it will display two black cones, one above the other, point to point. It will carry white reflective material. If it is lit it displays a white light in nine (15s) quick flashing groups or a group of nine very quick flashing (10s).



New Nauticapedia Book Just Published!

Volume Four in series

The Nauticapedia List of British Columbia's Floating Heritage Volume Four

Book — British Columbia's Floating Heritage
For more information …

Site News: Feb 26th, 2017

Databases have been updated and are now holding 49,563 vessel histories (with 3964 images) and 57,418 mariner biographies (with 3346 images).


© 2002-2017