How To Read Channel Markers & Buoys (Boating Navigation Tip)
By: Joseph Simonds on January 23, 2020
You’ve probably noticed the different color channel markers out on the water…
But do you know what they all mean?
In this video, we’ve got Capt. Mark “Hollywood” Johnson from FloridaKeysFunFishing.com to help educate us on what all of these markers mean.
- Some fun phrases to help you remember what each marker means
- Why the markers have different colors, shapes, and numbers
- How a good pair of polarized sunglasses can help you safely navigate through shallow water
Let’s dive in!
Understanding Channel Markers [VIDEO]
Everybody knows that markers are either red or green, but there are also two other identifying factors of these markers:
- Red markers are always even-numbered and triangles
- Green markers are always odd-numbered and squares
Here are some fun phrases to help you remember what each marker means:
“Red Right Return”
This is the most important phrase and it means that whenever you’re heading from sea to your home port, the red marker will be on your right side.
This is true if there’s a red and a green marker, or if there’s only a red marker.
“Red & green, stay in between”
If you see red and green markers, they mark the channel, so stay in between them.
One thing to note here is that local and private channels don’t always follow these same rules, but if you’re in waters controlled by the United States Coast Guard, this is how they set things up.
Tips For Navigating Clear, Shallow Water
If you’re in clear, shallow water, a good pair of polarized sunglasses will go a long way towards helping you navigate safely.
They’ll help you see depth and bottom structure, which, in addition to the channel markers, can help you navigate.
Here are some phrases to help you:
“Blue, blue, run on through”
If you’re in shallow water and you see blue, that means it’s deeper water and you’re usually good to go.
“Green, green, nice and clean”
If you’re in shallow water and you see green, that also means it’s likely deeper water and you’re usually good to go.
“Brown, brown, run aground”
If you see brown, that means it’s likely muddy bottom or there’s grass or oyster bars, so the water will be shallow and you may run aground.
Next time you’re out on the water, remembering these tips will help you navigate safely.
If you’re in the Keys and you want to book a trip with Capt. Johnson’s fleet, you can do so at FloridaKeysFunFishing.com.
Have any questions about boat navigation?
Let us know in the comments below!
And if you know someone who needs to memorize these phrases, please TAG or SHARE this with them!
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