Lateral mark buoys

Marks the sides of well-defined, navigable channels

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Used generally to mark the sides of well-defined, navigable channels.

They are positioned in accordance with a Conventional Direction of Buoyage and they indicate the Port and Starboard hand sides of the route to be followed.

A modified lateral mark may be used at the point where a channel divides to distinguish the preferred channel - the primary route or channel - that is so designated by the competent authority.

Colour of lateral marks

They are coloured red (Port Hand Marks) and green (Starboard Hand Marks).

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A starboard side lateral mark buoy being lifted for cleaning aboard THV Galatea

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A type 2 port side lateral buoy at our yard in Harwich


Buoy services

Buoys are available for hire, contact us for more information.

Colour, shape and light

Description of Lateral Marks used in Region A (UK)

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LATERAL MARK

PORT HAND

STARBOARD HAND

Colour Red Green
Shape of buoy

Cylindrical (can), pillar or spar

Conical, pillar or spar

Top-mark (if any)

Single red cylinder (can)

Single green cone, point upward

Light (when fitted)
Colour Red Green
Rhythm Any other than Composite group flashing (2 + 1) Any other than Composite group flashing (2 + 1)

Preferred channel

At the point where a channel divides, when proceeding in the “conventional direction of buoyage,” a preferred channel may be indicated by a modified Port or Starboard lateral mark.

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LATERAL MARK

PREFERRED CHANNEL TO STARBOARD

PREFERRED CHANNEL TO PORT

Colour Red with one broad green horizontal band Green with one broad red horizontal band
Shape of buoy

Cylindrical (can), pillar or spar

Conical, pillar or spar

Top-mark (if any)

Single red cylinder (can)

Single green cone, point upward

Light (when fitted)
Colour Red Green
Rhythm Composite group flashing (2 + 1) Composite group flashing (2 + 1)