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What is the Area Between a Red and a Green Buoy

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what is the area between a red and a green buoy

It’s not just getting some fun and excitement that should be your primary focus when boating.

If you want the adventure to go as enjoyable, memorable and trouble-free as possible.

Then maintaining your safety at all times should be an indispensable part of the leisurely activity, too.

Wondering what that area between a red and green buoy means?

Keep on reading this article to find out the answer.

Don’t forget to repost this afterwards especially if you have family and friends who also love boating!

Safety Comes First

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First things first: regardless of how much experience you have when it comes to boating.

It’s still a good idea for you to first review boating safety rules and practices before deciding to leave the dock.

Definitely, you should have all of the safety essentials.

Being prepared at all times, be it when boating or engaging in any other leisure pursuit.

Can spell the difference between life and death!

No matter if you’re a seasoned boater or have never boated in the past.

Accidents may still happen and it may strike when you least expect it.

Needless to say, it pays to be ready to spring into action when your safety or that of someone else’s becomes compromised.

Be sure to check the following:

  • Life jackets
  • VHF radio
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Flares
  • First aid kit
  • Sound producing devices

With the right preparation, you and the ones you care about can stay as safe as possible while boating.

Lateral Markers Mark the Spot

Unfortunately, it’s not enough that you have on your boat just about everything you will need just in case an accident out there in the water happens.

It’s also a must for you to be extremely familiar with the various traffic signs of the water: markers and buoys.

When heading upstream or towards the open waters as well as going back to the channel.

You will surely encounter navigational markers in the form of buoys.

Actually, you will spot them in a couple of colors: red and green.

Yes, red and green buoys are just like your typical road traffics signs.

No, they do not tell you to stop and proceed respectively.

There are actually many different buoys that you may encounter when boating if truth be told.

Knowing what each of them signifies is a definite must if you want your boating to go as smooth-sailing as possible.

However, we will only focus on what’s referred to as lateral buoys and also what being in the area between them means.

Colors and Numbers

When encountering lateral markers in the form of buoys.

There are a handful of things that you will observe: they come in different colors and shapes, as well as have varying numbers painted on them.

Lateral buoys come in red and green only.

For the sake of those who are into nighttime boating or fail to return to the dock before the sun has set.

Buoys also display flashing lights when lit.

A red lateral buoy has a red-colored flashing light and a green lateral buoy has a green-colored flashing light.

By the way, out there you may also spot buoys painted in both colors.

They are sometimes referred to as “junction buoys” and we will discuss them briefly in a few.

More often than not, lateral buoys come in different shapes.

A red buoy is usually in the shape of a cone.

While a green buoy is usually in the shape of a can.

Their shapes are based on the recommendations of the International Association of Marine Aids to Navigation and Lighthouse Authorities (IALA).

There’s also a number painted on every lateral buoy.

The number basically goes up the further you head upstream or towards the open waters, and goes down the closer you get to the dock.

All About the Position

Here’s one of the most important things you need to know about lateral markers and your safety out there in the sea.

When boating, see to it that you are always in between red and green buoys.

For as long as you can see one on both sides of yours, you can breathe a sigh of relief and enjoy your boating.

These lateral buoys are there for a reason, and that is to help guide you safely whether you are headed upstream or towards the open waters or returning to the dock.

So how are red- and green-colored buoys used for your safe navigation when boating?

By taking note of their positioning in relation to your boat!

As a general rule of thumb, a green buoy should be on the starboard side (right) and a red buoy should be on the port side (left).

When traveling upstream or towards the open water, and then a green buoy should be on the port side and a red buoy should be on the starboard side when going back to the channel or dock.

Confused? Just remember “red, right, returning” — if the red buoy is on your right, then you’re returning to the dock.

Seeing Double

Just like what’s mentioned earlier in this article.

There are lateral markers out there that come in the form of buoys with two colors.

The top half comes in one color and the bottom half comes in another.

This type of buoy is what’s known as a “junction buoy” and it is placed right where a channel splits in two.

Basically, the meaning of the colors in terms of their positioning (starboard or port side) remains the same.

If green is the one on top and the buoy is on your starboard side, it only means that you are headed towards your preferred channel.

But if red is the one on top and the buoy is on your starboard side.

You are going back to where the channel has split.

Here’s a quick tip: just focus on the color on top.

So in a nutshell: you are safe for as long as you stay at all times in the area between a red and green buoy. Happy boating!

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