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Waterway Markers

Regulatory Markers
A vertical diamond shape of international orange with white center indicates DANGER. The type of danger will be indicated by words or well known abbreviations in block letters inside the diamond shape.

A vertical diamond shape of international orange with a cross of the same color within it against a whiter center without qualifying explanation shall indicate a zone from which all vessels are excluded. An explanation may be placed outside of the crossed area.

A circle of international orange with a white center will indicate a control or restriction. The type of the control or restriction will be indicated by words or numerals. Well know abbreviations may be inside the circle.

A rectangle or square shape of international orange with a white center will indicate information such as direction, distances and locations. The message shall be presented within a rectangle in black letters.


SLOW SPEED MINIMUM WAKE
and SLOW DOWN MINIMUM WAKE mean the same thing.

SLOW SPEED / MINIMUM WAKE requires that all vessels be completely off plane and fully settled into the water. The vessel may then proceed at a speed which is reasonable and prudent under the existing circumstances. The purpose of this restriction is to regulate vessel speed, not the size of a vessel's wake.

How do I know if I am traveling at Idle Speed / No Wake?
The speed which you dock your vessel is Idle Speed / No Wake.

Vessel Wake is the movement of waves created by the motion of the vessel. It is the track or path that the vessel leaves behind it.

Idle Speed / No Wake is the most restrictive vessel speed. This restriction prohibits the operation of vessels at any speed greater than that speed which is necessary to maintain steerage. An example of idle speed / no wake would be a car with an automatic transmission that is placed in "drive" but is given neither gas nor brake; the engine will "idle" and the car will creep forward at a very low speed.

Idle Speed / No Wake will vary from one vessel to another depending on the particular vessel's size, shape, power system, and steering configuration. It will also vary for any given vessel depending on that vessel's load, the wind direction and speed, and the sea conditions. Generally, however, it will be between 1 and 3 miles per hour for outboard and inboard/outdrive type vessels, and between 2 and 5 miles per hour for fixed shaft/rudder vessels.

Idle Speed / No Wake is usually reserved for areas with a high risk of collision and specific locations with high probability of damage or injury from vessel wake. These areas include but are not limited to blind intersections, bridge fender systems, boat ramps, and fueling facilities.


 

 
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Definitions

Green Buoy - marks the left (port) side of a channel when entering from seaward, and must be passed by keeping the buoy on the left side.
Red Buoy - marks the right (starboard) side of a channel, when entering from seaward, and must be passed by keeping the buoy on the right side.
Port Side - Left side of vessel when coming from seaward. Colors, numbers, lights and reflectors shall be as follows: Color: Green; Number(s): odd; Lights: Flashing green; Reflector(s): Green.
Starboard Side - Right side of vessel when coming from seaward (red, right, returning). Colors, numbers, lights and reflectors shall be as follows: Color: Red; Number(s): Even; Lights: Flashing Red; Reflector(s): Red.
Buoy Shapes - (from seaward) Port buoys will be a rectangle green marker or a can type buoy. Starboard buoys will be a triangle red marker or can type buoy.

Speed Definitions
Idle Speed, No Wake - A vessel that is operating at idle speed is proceeding at the minimum speed that will maintain the steerageway of the vessel while producing no wake.
Slow Speed, Minimum Wake - A vessel that is operating at slow speed is completely off plane, has settled into the water and is proceeding without wake or with minimum wake. Slow speed also means no speed greater than that which is reasonable and prudent to avoid either intentional or negligently annoying, molesting, harassing, disturbing, colliding with, injuring or harming manatees and which comport with the duty of all persons to use due care under the circumstances.
25 MPH Maximum Speed - A vessel that is operating at a maximum speed of 25 mph and is not operating at an unsafe speed for the specific waterway conditions, does not have an elevated bow which restricts visibility and is not producing an excessive wake which unreasonably or unnecessarily endangers other vessels or natural resources of the state.

How do I know if I am traveling at Slow Speed Minimum Wake?
If your vessel is in process of coming off of plane and settling into water you are not operating at slow speed minimum wake. You must be traveling at such a speed that there is little or no wake and your vessel must be completely settled into the water.

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