Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation

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See the techniques as simple and easy to use. They require no complicated mathematics or high level craft skills or any form of special skill. Put these techniques into practice - every procedure contributes to making a safe and seamanlike passage. You can also practice beforehand to gain confidence in using them. Alastair Buchan. Electronic navigation systems are extremely reliable but when they do fail onboard repair at sea is rarely possible.

Retroreflective Material Most minor AtoN buoys and beacons are fitted with retroreflective material to increase their visibility at night. While this material does not produce light on its own, when illuminated by a light source searchlight , it reflects the light back towards the operator with great intensity. In most cases, the color of the reflective material panel is the same as the surface it covers red on red, green on green. Daybeacons are outlined with retroreflective material and will be identified with numbers or letters made of the same color as the beacon see 0.

Exceptions are found on some aids. Red buoys and beacons with triangular shaped red dayboards mark the starboard side of a channel when returning from seaward. This is the red, right, returning rule. AtoN displaying these characteristics are kept to starboard when returning from seaward. Safe Water Marks Green buoys and beacons with square shaped green dayboards mark the port side of a channel when returning from seaward. Red and green, or green and red, horizontally banded buoys and beacons are called preferred-channel marks. They are used to indicate a channel junction or bifurcation point where a channel divides or where two tributaries meet.

Pencil Paper & Stars - The Handbook of Traditional & Emergency Navigation

They may also mark wrecks or obstructions and may be passed on either side. When returning from sea, and the topmost band is: 01 Green: keep the aid to port to follow the preferred channel. Safe water marks are buoys with alternating red and white vertical stripes, and beacons with red and white vertically striped dayboards Figure They also mark a mid-channel, fairway, channel approach points and the In and Out channels of a Traffic Separation Scheme.

See buoy N in Figure If lighted, they will display a white light with the characteristic Morse Code A. Safe water buoys lighted or not should be fitted with a red sphere as a visually distinctive top mark. Safe water marks are not laterally significant. Figure Safe-Water Mark A. They are used to mark isolated dangers wrecks or obstructions which have navigable water all around. Isolated danger marks display a white light with a group-flashing characteristic; and are fitted with a visually distinctive topmark, consisting of two black spheres, one above the other Figure This buoy marking system is not used in the Western River System.

Marking Outside Normal Channels Yellow buoys and beacons are called special marks. When lighted, special marks will display a yellow light with a Fixed F or Flashing Fl characteristic. Special marks may also be used to mark the center of the traffic separation scheme. Information and regulatory buoys and beacons indicate various warnings or regulatory matters.

They are colored with white and orange shapes Figure They will only display a white light and may display any light rhythm except quick flashing. Beacons with no lateral significance may be used to supplement lateral AtoN outside normal routes and channels. Daymarks for these aids are diamond shaped and will either be red and white, green and white, or black and white Figure Buoys A.

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Identification Markings Buoys are floating AtoN anchored at a given position to provide easy identification by mariners. The significance of an unlighted buoy can be determined by its shape. These shapes are only laterally significant when associated with laterally significant colors such as green or red. Buoys are useful AtoN, but should never be relied upon exclusively for navigation. When a buoy is watching properly, it is marking its charted position on Station and properly displaying all other distinguishing characteristics.

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Heavy storms, collisions with ships, and severe ice conditions may move a buoy off Station. Heavy storms may also shift the shoal a buoy marks into the channel. It is important to remember, even heavily anchored buoys fail. Beacons A. Beacon Types Beacons are fixed AtoN structures attached directly to the earth s surface. The design, construction, and characteristics of these beacons depend on their location and relationship to other AtoN in the area. Strictly defined, a beacon is any fixed unlighted AtoN daybeacon or minor light lighted AtoN of relatively low candlepower. The following types of beacons are used in the U.

Lighted Beacons Minor Lights Daybeacons are unlighted fixed structures fitted with a dayboard for daytime identification.

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To increase their visibility in darkness, dayboards are fitted with retroreflective material. Daybeacons are built on different types of structures: 01 Single pile with a dayboard on the top.

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Just as daybeacons are sometimes substituted for unlighted buoys, lighted beacons are substituted for lighted buoys. Their structures are similar to daybeacons Figure Lighted beacons are used with other lateral aids buoys marking a channel, river, or harbor. In most instances, the lights have similar candlepower to those lights on buoys in the same area. They can also be used to mark isolated dangers. Features Major lights display a light of moderate to high candlepower. Major light structures, lighthouses for instance, enclose, protect, and house their signaling devices.

In their surroundings, major light structures have visually distinctive appearances. Determining whether a light is major, or minor, depends upon its candlepower and the luminous range of the light. A light s category may change if fitted with a higher or lower candlepower light. Major lights rarely have lateral significance and fall into two broad categories. They are used as coastal or seacoast lights and are often referred to as primary AtoN.

They mark headlands and landfalls and are designed to assist vessels during coastal navigation or when approaching from seaward. They are also used as Inland Major Lights and are found in bays, sounds, large rivers, and coastal approaches. As an inland major light, they serve a variety of functions: 01 Obstruction mark. Besides the main signal light, additional features found on some major lights help provide more detailed information concerning the surrounding area colored light sectors or provide a secondary light source should the primary lantern fail.

Sector Lights A. Emergency Lights Sector lights are sectors of color that are displayed on lantern covers of certain lighthouses to indicate danger bearings. Sector bearings are true bearings and are expressed as bearings from the vessel towards the light. A red sector indicates a vessel would be in danger of running aground on rocks or shoals while in the sector.

Red sectors may be only a few degrees in width when marking an isolated obstruction Figure Reduced intensity emergency lights are displayed if the primary lights are extinguished. They may or may not have the same characteristics as the primary lights. The characteristics of emergency lights are listed in Column 8 of the Light List Figure Figure Sector Light A.

Light Towers Light towers replaced lightships and are located in deepwater to mark shoals and heavily traveled sea lanes. The foundation or legs of these towers are fixed to the bottom. They are equipped with signals comparable to major lights.


Ranges Ranges are pairs of beacons located to define a line down the center of a channel or harbor entrance. They are usually lighted and arranged so that one mark is behind and higher than the other mark. When both markers of the range are in line, a vessel s position is along a known LOP. Ranges are located on specially built structures, existing AtoN structures, or structures such as buildings or piers. Ranges are found in entrance channels to harbors, piers, or successive straight reaches. Range marks are located so that when viewed from the channel the upper mark is above, and a considerable distance beyond, the lower mark.

If the two marks are vertically aligned, the upper mark is seen to the left of the lower mark, the upper mark is to the right of the lower mark, Then the upper rear mark appearing directly above the lower front mark, the vessel is in the center of the channel Figure The limits of a range can be determined only by checking the chart. They show the fairway or reach of the channel marked by the range. This area will be marked by a leading line solid line on the chart. At the turn, the range will be marked by a dotted line Figure Figure Using Range Lights Range Characteristics A. Directional Lights Ranges are considered to be non-lateral AtoN. Some ranges have rectangular daymarks that are striped in various colors Figure Most are lit 24 hours per day and may display either red, green, or white lights or combinations of the same. The Light List should be consulted for the light characteristics and color combinations displayed on the daymarks.

Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation
Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation
Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation
Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation
Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation
Pencil, Paper and Stars: The Handbook of Traditional and Emergency Navigation

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