Cardinal Buoys and Special Buoys (2022) - TP 14542


Cardinal Buoys



  • Yellow and black
  • White lights - flash characters indicated below (if equipped)
  • The points of the 2 topmark cones tell you where to find safe water
  • Topmark cones show where the black bands are placed on the buoy
  • Letterhead- no numbers
  • White retroreflective material



Flash Groups


North | East | South | West


Special Buoys


  • Shapes have no special meaning
  • May be lettered - no numbers
  • Cautionary, scientific and anchorage buoys may display a yellow "X" topmark.
  • Yellow lights - flash characters (if equiped)
  • Retroreflective material of the same colour as required markings; white buoys will display yellow material



A cautionary buoy marks dangers such as firing ranges, underwater pipelines, race courses, seaplane bases and areas where no through channel exists.



An information buoy displays information such as locality, marina, campsite, etc. inside the orange square.

Keep out


A keep out buoy marks areas your vessel may not enter.



An anchorage buoy marks the outer limits of designated anchorage areas. Consult the chart for water depth.



A hazard buoy marks random hazards such as shoals and rocks. Information is illustrated inside the orange diamond.

Scientific ( ODAS )


An ocean data acquisition system buoy collects weather and other scientific data.



A diving buoy marks an area where scuba or other such diving activity is in progress. It is not normally charted.



A mooring buoy is used for mooring or securing vessels. Be aware that when you see one, a vessel may be secured to it.



Obey the speed limits, wash restrictions, etc. illustrated inside the orange circle.



A swimming buoy marks the outer limits of swimming areas. It may not be charted.