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Maritime Buoyage System
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Topmarks
danger, safe water, and special. Each will be discussed briefly here. 1. Lateral marks—indicate the port and starboard hand  sides  of  channels.  Within  the  Maritime  Buoyage System there are two international buoyage regions where lateral marks differ. 2. Cardinal marks—used in conjunction with the compass, indicate that the navigable water lies to the named side of the mark. 3. Isolated danger marks—erected on, or moored directly on or over, dangers of limited size. 4. Safe water marks—used to indicate that there is  water  safe  for  navigation  all  around  the  position (examples: midchannel and fairways). 5.  Special  marks—call  attention  to  an  area  or specific  feature.  Explanation  of  special  marks  may  be found  on  the  navigational  chart  you  are  using,  in Sailing Directions, or in Coast Pilots. MEANING   OF   DISTINGUISHING   MARKS The  meaning  of  the  mark  depends  upon  one  or more of the following features: 1. By day—color, shape, and topmark 2.  By  night—light  color  and  phase  characteristics Color The colors used for lateral marks in Region A are red, green, green with one red horizontal band, and red with one green horizontal band. The colors used for lateral marks in Region B are green, red, red with one green horizontal band, and green with one red horizontal band. Shape There are five basic buoy shapes (fig. 23); can, nun, spherical, pillar, and spar. With the exception of pillar 51

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