IALA buoyage system provides six types of marks: Cardinal marks are used in conjunction with the compass to indicate where the mariner may . IALA maritime buoyage system has helped to overcome these difficulties to a. different regions IALA have created a worldwide buoyage system. Region A Cardinal Marks: indicate the position of a hazard and the direction of safe water. the use of either Cardinal marks or Lateral marks but . Within the Maritime Buoyage System there are six types of marks, which may be used alone or in.

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This makes them meaningful regardless of the direction or position of the approaching vessel, in contrast to the perhaps better-known lateral mark system.

A single red sphere topmark will be carried, whenever practicable, by a pillar or spar buoy used as a Safe Water mark. Black band below yellow band. Black and yellow horizontal bands are used to colour a Cardinal mark. Post a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published. Learning buoyage is one of the fundamental steps towards learning marine navigation.

You can identify a north cardinal mark from its topmark of two cones, apex upwards. Why do some cargo ships have more than one set of load lines marked, i. Some countries favoured lateral marks which showed either the port or starboard side of routes. They mark safe water using the cardinal points of the compass.

An explanation of the IALA maritime buoyage system

The boundaries of the buoyage regions were also decided and illustrated on a mqrks annexed to the rules. It shows safe water.

Cardinal marks indicate safe water with reference to the cardinal points of a compass.


The reason for this was practicality in implementation around the world. The whole cycle takes three seconds. There are many apps and programs buoage help you to learn online. However, due to changes in navigation practices and patterns, as well as innovations and technological developments, some enhancements to the MBS were needed.

The red colour of the light, ties in with the red colour of the buoy itself.

One Mariner’s: IALA Maritime Buoyage System

Types of Marks The system provides five types of marks which may be used in any combination: The light is a white light, flashing 9 times. If they are showing a channel within a channel, they may carry a port or starboard shape.

General Direction of buoyage- In other areas, a direction determined by the buoyage authorities, following a clockwise direction around continental land masses, given in Sailing Directions, and, if necessary, indicated on charts by a symbol see Diagram.

Subject to strike and lockout clause. Region A is shown in green, and Region B is in red. The top mark is two black spheres. Spoil ground marks; d. Position On a chart, the position of a danger is the center of the symbol or sounding indicating it: This single set of rules allows Lighthouse Authorities the choice of using red to port or red to starboard, on a regional basis; the two regions being known as Region A and Region B. Thus, the IALA Maritime Buoyage System will continue to help all Mariners, navigating anywhere in the world, to fix their position and avoid dangers without fear of ambiguity, now and for the years to come.

IALA B starboard lateral marks and lights are coloured red. The light is a white light, flashing 3 times. At the end of World War II many countries found their aids to navigation destroyed and the process of restoration had to be undertaken urgently. For example, it could not show a flashing yellow light as it could be confused with a north cardinal.


Notice that topmark is not used on a buoy that is subjected to ripping by movements of ice. Topmark pointing down means black below yellow. When lighted, a cardinal mark exhibits a white light; its characteristics are based on a group of quick or very quick flashes which distinguish it as a Cardinal mark and indicate its quadrant. Light When lighted, a white flashing light showing a group of two flashes is used to denote an Isolated Danger mark.

The nearest approach to international agreement on a unified system of buoyage was reached at Geneva in There is clear water to the east of the mark.

Cardinal marks are used in conjunction with the compass to buojage where the mariner may find the best navigable water. A preferred channel to starboard buoy looks the same as a port lateral mark, just with the addition of a green stripe.

What should the master look for when they join, and what should be his priorities? Today, the world is split into these two distinct buoyage regions.

IALA Maritime Buoyage System

Skip to main content Skip to footer. To remain in the preferred channel, you treat it like a port lateral mark and leave it on your port side when following the direction of buoyage.

It marifime be blue for one second, off for 0. What general precautions should be taken against stowaways boarding in port? Cardinal marks warn of hazards to be avoided such as shallows or rocks.