Boating Safety – Navigational Aids

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 12,784
    Don’t get lost! Learn how to chart your course in your watercraft.

    Chris Edmonston: Hi! My name is Chris Edmonston with BoatUS Foundation. I am talking with you today about boating safety. Right now we are out on the water. So let's take a look at some of the things you are going to see out on the water like navigation aids.

    Most people are used to going down the roads and seeing streets signs. Navigation aids are designed to give you an information by the way they look, their shape, their color whether they have lights on them or not, and knowing what all of these things mean will help you determine where you are on a map or on a chart and help you get back to where you need to be.

    The first thing we want to talk about are lateral marks. They are red or green in color and they are numbered. Red marks are triangular and have even numbers on them. Green marks are squared, have odd numbers on them and on the left side of the water waves if you are going upstream.

    So right now we are tied up to a mooring ball. These are white balls with a blue horizontal stripe on them. They can also have a white light. These are the only buoys to which you may legally tie your boat. Regulatory marks give you specific information on what to do when you see them. And a regulatory mark with a circle around it shows that you're entering a controlled area such as a speed or no wake zone.

    So how do you use these marks? These marks can help you just by themselves, but to get the most out of them, you need to use a nautical map which is called a chart. All the marks you see on the water are also on the map. When you see a buoy on the water, simply find it on the map or the chart to know exactly where you are. It's a great way for you to keep track of your progress and in an emergency knowing where you are can make the difference between an inconvenience and a tragedy.

    So now let's go out and hit water the and see what nav aids are out there that we can find and while we are out there, we are also going to take a moment of talk about operating under the influence.