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WHAT DO ALL THE VARIOUS BUOYS TELL ME?

CARDINAL BLACK-TOP BUOYS
CARDINAL RED-TOP BUOYS

The black-top buoys and the red-top buoys are the cardinal system buoys. They take direction from the compass.

Go around the black-top buoys to the north or east side.

Go around the red-top buoys to the south or west side.

Red-top and black-top buoys have NO waypoints on their spars, but they are numbered on the Duncan Press navigation chart as well as Marine Patrol Dispatch, so you can refer to each one by waypoint if necessary to the Marine Patrol Dispatch.



LATERAL SOLID BLACK AND SOLID RED BUOYS

The solid black and solid red buoys are lateral buoys, which means they take direction according to where the land meets the water.

Always go BETWEEN the solid black and the solid red buoys .

Buoys generally (though not always) come in pairs, the black on the port (left) side going upstream and the red on the starboard (right) side. "Red Right Returning" is the mantra for lateral buoys going upstream, on the ocean and on the lakes.

On Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lakes, there are also solid pairs of buoys in the middle of the lake, like "The Sixpack" and "The Graveyard." In such cases, go between the black and the red buoys.

Solid red and solid black buoys have NO waypoints on their spars, but they are numbered on the Duncan Press navigation chart, so you can refer to each one by waypoint if necessary to the Marine Patrol Dispatch.


INFO NO-WAKE BUOYS

See that tiny orange diamond on the chart? That is a "no-wake" buoy. This means you should...

Pilot your boat no more than six miles an hour. This is the "no-wake" speed.

Your boat can go on either side of the buoy.

NO-WAKE AREAS

The yellow water on the Chart is a "no-wake" area. This means you should...

Pilot your boat no more than six miles an hour. This is the "no-wake" speed.

INFO DANGER BUOYS

The yellow triangles on the Chart mark a DANGER area. This means you should AVOID THAT AREA because of a profusion of rocks just below the surface.

INFO NUMBERED BUOYS

All the numbered buoys DO have waypoints on them. The numbered buoys are useful when you are temporarily lost. To find out where you are on the lake, look at the waypoint on the spar of the numbered buoy and then check the corresponding waypoint on the Duncan Press chart.

Numbered and Cardinal Black-top Buoys
Numbered and Cardinal Red-top Buoys

These double buoys are the cardinal buoys and their companion numbered buoys.

Go around both of them exactly as if they were black-top or red-top cardinal buoys.

Do NOT go BETWEEN the numbered buoys and the black- or red-top cardinal buoys!

The courses you take are always around the red-white (west or south) cardinal or black-white cardinal buoys (east or north), as you can see by the courses in the illustrations.

The sequence your boat should take is always COURSE, CARDINAL BUOY, NUMBERED BUOY.


Numbered and Lateral Solid Black Buoys or Red Buoys

These double buoys are the lateral buoys and their companion numbered buoys.

The courses you take are always around the red or black lateral buoy together with the numbered buoy, as you can see by the courses in the illustrations.

The sequence your boat should take is always COURSE, LATERAL BUOY, NUMBERED BUOY.


Numbered/No-Wake Buoys

Go either way around the No-Wake/Numbered Buoys.


Numbered Buoys without companions

Let the colors on the Chart decide which way to go around the Numbered Buoys:

Black-numbered for North and East

Red-numbered for South and West


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©2016, Sally Anne Fichet
Charting the New Hampshire Lakes Since 1967®
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Last modified 1 October 2016