Search Cardinal marks Cardinal Marks are used in conjunction with the compass to indicate the direction from the mark in which the deepest navigable water lies, to draw attention to a bend, junction or fork in a channel, or to mark the end of a shoal Above Left to Right : North, East, South and West Cardinal Type 2 Solar Buoys Mariners will be safe if they pass north of a north mark, south of a south mark, east of an east mark and west of a west mark. Cardinal Marks are also used for permanent wreck marking whereby North, East, South and West Cardinal buoys are placed around the wreck. At night, the lights of Cardinal Marks are programmed with distinct identifying characters; as an aide memoire they can be considered to flash in accordance with positions on a clock face whereby an East Cardinal flashes three times, a South Cardinal six times but with an added long flash to make it more distinctive and a West Cardinal nine times. The buoy illustration shows Type 2 configurations of buoys.

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Shape: Can, pillar or spar. Topmark when fitted : Single red can. Retroreflector: Red band or square. Shape: Conical, pillar or spar. Topmark when fitted : Single green cone point upward. Retroreflector: Green band or triangle. Preferred channel to port Colour: Green with one broad red horizontal band. Retroreflector: Green band or square. Topmark when fitted : Single red cone point upward. Retroreflector: Red band or traingle. Shape: Can. Topmark when fitted : Single green can.

Preferred channel to port Colour: Red with one broad green horizontal band. Retroreflector: Red band or triangle. Cardinal Marks A cardinal mark is a sea mark a buoy or other floating or fixed structure used in maritime pilotage to indicate the position of a hazard and the direction of safe water.

Cardinal marks indicate the direction of safety as a cardinal compass direction north, east, south or west relative to the mark. This makes them meaningful regardless of the direction or position of the approaching vessel, in contrast to the perhaps better-known lateral mark system. The marker is also sometimes known as a Fairway Buoy.


IALA Maritime Buoyage System - Navigation Buoys and Channel Markers

Shape: Can, pillar or spar. Topmark when fitted : Single red can. Retroreflector: Red band or square. Shape: Conical, pillar or spar. Topmark when fitted : Single green cone point upward.


Cardinal mark

A cardinal mark may be used to accomplish the following: Indicate that the deepest water is an area on the named side of the mark Indicate the safe side on which to pass a danger Draw attention to a feature in a channel, such as a bend, junction, branch, or end of a shoal Draw attention to a new danger such as a grounded ship. Other uses: Sometimes a Cardinal Mark can be used instead of a Special mark to indicate a spoil ground, or an outfall pipe for example. Mnemonics[ edit ] The north and south topmarks are self-explanatory both cones pointing up, or both pointing down. Remembering the east and west marks can be more of a problem. The topmarks for east and west "follow the Sun"—the top cone points in the direction in which the Sun appears to move rising for an east mark or setting for a west mark , while the bottom cone points in the direction in which its reflection on the ocean surface appears to move.


Cardinal marks

What do lateral markers indicate? This aid to navigation is the method of buoys and other lateral markers which identify features such as channels or obstructions. Marking the sides of shallow, winding channels was required early on in sailing. The original system were markers comprising of sticks, tree branches or floating barrels, but a more sophisticated aid to navigation was needed when larger vessels required access to inland ports. The IALA maritime buoyage system, where the marker colour coding scheme of red for port left and green for starboard right was implemented worldwide. These different lateral buoyage systems operate successfully and confusion only arises when sailing from one system into a country using the other, or where there is neither system. Where two tides meet, the IALA maritime buoyage system changes direction at a determined point, and this is marked on charts.

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