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Safe Boat Operation

AIDS TO NAVIGATION

 

United States Aids to Navigation (USATONS) are the ‘road signs’ of the water and they help all boaters navigate safely from place to place. These buoys and markers are particularly useful to paddlers in identifying known hazards such as low-head dams and in marking channels that are frequently used by larger boats.

What is a Buoy?   

A buoy is a floating marker or symbol. Buoys are usually attached to the bottom of a waterway but they may also be mounted on a feature of the waterway (such as an island). They serve four main functions:  

1: To provide warnings.

2: To provide information.

3: To mark underwater hazards.

4: To provide a system for navigation.

 Buoy/Marker Shapes

The buoys and markers you encounter on the water will be one of the following two shapes:

‘Nun’: Any buoy with a pointed top. 
‘Can’: Any buoy with a flat top. 

 

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Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain
Boat in the water with people sitting aboard
Hunter with a bow in tall grass at dusk
Man on yellow ATV riding through dirt tracks
Person on snowmobile riding through snowy trail
Person paddling in white water rapids
Three individuals backpacking across a yellow, grassy plain

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LET'S WORK TOGETHER

 

Go boldly, tell your story. Campfire is building a collective of ambassadors who share a passion for the wild. If you’re an influencer, publisher or sport expert drop us a line. Let’s hook up and inspire others.

CAMPFIRE STORIES

Stay in the loop. Sign up for our newsletter
to get the latest stories from around the fire.

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