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Figure 4-17. Aids to navigation as they appear on the western rivets of the United States
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Quartermaster 1 & C - Military manual for the Quartermaster rate
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Characteristics of Aids To Navigation, Continued - 14220_133
Characteristics of Aids To Navigation Characteristics The  characteristics  of  ATONs  include  such  things  as  color,  light rhythms,  cycle,  number,  and  sound  signal.  In  the  pages  that  follow, we’ll  discuss  these  characteristics  as  they  apply  to  the  buoyage  system used  in  the  United  States. Solid Colors During  daylight  hours,  the  color  of  an  aid  to  navigation  tells  you  which side  of  a  channel  the  aid  marks,  regardless  of  whether  the  aid  is  a  buoy, light,  or  daybeacon.  At  night,  the  color  of  a  lighted  aid  serves  the  same purpose.  Only  ATONs  with  green  or  red  lights  have  lateral  significance. When  proceeding  in  the  conventional  direction  of  buoyage  in  IALA region  B,  you  may  see  the  following  ATONs: Green  buoys  (and  lights  and  daybeacons  with  square-shaped   green daymarks)  mark  the  port  side  of  a  channel  when  returning  from  seaward. Green  buoys  will  only  have  green  lights. Red  buoys  (and  lights  and  daybeacons  with  triangular-shaped    red daymarks)  mark  the  starboard  side  of  a  channel  when  returning  from seaward.  This  is  the  "red  right  returning"  rule  you  may  have  heard  of. Red  buoys  will  only  have  red  lights. Striped  Buoys Green  and  red  (or  red  and  green)  horizontally  striped  buoys (daymarks  for  daybeacons  and  lights)  are  called  preferred-channel marks.  These  aids  are  used  to  mark  junctions  (the  point  where  a channel  divides  when  proceeding  seaward)  or  bifurcations  (the  point where  the  channel  divides  when  proceeding  from  seaward).  They  may also  be  used  to  mark  wrecks  or  obstructions  that  may  be  passed  on either  side.  Here  is  how  they  are  used  in  our  buoyage  system: If  the  topmost  band  is  green,  keep  the  buoy  to  port  to  follow  the preferred  channel. If  the  aid  is  a  light  or  daybeacon  and  the  topmost  band  is  green,  the daymarks will be square-shaped  and  the  light  color  will  be  green regardless  of  the  type. If  the  topmost  band  is  red,  keep  the  buoy  to  starboard  to  follow  the preferred  channel. If  the  aid  is  a  light  or  daybeacon  and  the  topmost  band  is  red,  the daymarks will be triangular-shaped  and  the  light  color  will  be  red regardless  of  the  type. 4-34

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