Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 11 Old 12-22-2016 Thread Starter
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Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

I thought I would share this video to share what happens when buoys are reported out of position. The video shows the process and work involved in repositioning a buoy.

While this isn't a strictly sailing video, it occured to me recently during the wave height thread, some people might be curious about how bouys got to where they are.

https://youtu.be/TUCNCTB2pM0
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Last edited by Arcb; 12-22-2016 at 08:34 PM.
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post #2 of 11 Old 12-23-2016
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

Here on the Southeast Coast of the US, the double whammie of both Tropical Storm Hermine and Hurricane Mathew has left dozens of tethered navigation buoys shifted in position by some considerable amounts and the siltation across bars much increased. These changes, along with the Coast Guards budgetary restraints/constraints has made transiting the Southeast coast, particularly using the ICW, much more difficult than in the past. An infamous passage on the ICW, "Hells Gate", at the confluence of the Ogeechee and Little Ogeechee Rivers at Raccoon Key, statute mile 602 in GA. is reported to be significantly silted up, with depths of less than three feet, along its eastern side, at marker #89. It was last dredged in 2009. Situated as it is, Raccoon Key acts as the stopper in a bottle, allowing for continual sand buildup on its western end. Hopefully, but doubtfully a study can be done to ascertain if any structures can be built that could possibly increase water flow thru the gate and thus lessen the silting.
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post #3 of 11 Old 12-23-2016
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

I lived right on the shore of Thunder Bay, outside of the City of Thunder Bay, for nearly 10 years. From out front porch I had a good view of a number of buoys. It was always impressive to watch the The CCG Risley come in and reset all the markers.


Some years the ice had dragged the buoys a long way off their mark. I recall one year when the Ris was late to arrive that season (bad ice year) I had to call in b/c the nearby buoy that marked a dangerous shoal was way off. Fun to hear my NOTMAR included in the roll for a while.
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

And here I thought the USCG buoys all used nuclear reactors to power four-way thrusters and azipods for actively maintaining station keeping using a differential GPS for constant active navigation.
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post #5 of 11 Old 12-23-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

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Originally Posted by MikeOReilly View Post
I lived right on the shore of Thunder Bay, outside of the City of Thunder Bay, for nearly 10 years. From out front porch I had a good view of a number of buoys.
It sounds like a nice spot. Thunder Bay has such beautiful scenery with the sleeping giant and the islands. I bet it's a really sweet spot to sail out of.

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And here I thought the USCG buoys all used nuclear reactors to power four-way thrusters and azipods for actively maintaining station keeping using a differential GPS for constant active navigation.
The bouys don't (or at least none that I have heard of) but I was reading today that their standard class of buoy tenders, the 225 footers all have automated dynamic positioning systems, accurate to with 8 feet is what the material I was reading said. It sounds like a pretty slick set up.
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post #6 of 11 Old 12-23-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

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Originally Posted by seabeau View Post
Here on the Southeast Coast of the US, the double whammie of both Tropical Storm Hermine and Hurricane Mathew has left dozens of tethered navigation buoys shifted in position by some considerable amounts and the siltation across bars much increased. These changes, along with the Coast Guards budgetary restraints/constraints has made transiting the Southeast coast, particularly using the ICW, much more difficult than in the past. An infamous passage on the ICW, "Hells Gate", at the confluence of the Ogeechee and Little Ogeechee Rivers at Raccoon Key, statute mile 602 in GA. is reported to be significantly silted up, with depths of less than three feet, along its eastern side, at marker #89. It was last dredged in 2009. Situated as it is, Raccoon Key acts as the stopper in a bottle, allowing for continual sand buildup on its western end. Hopefully, but doubtfully a study can be done to ascertain if any structures can be built that could possibly increase water flow thru the gate and thus lessen the silting.
I read a thread on here about entire sections of the ICW being closed. Sounds like a mess.
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post #7 of 11 Old 12-23-2016
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

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It sounds like a nice spot. Thunder Bay has such beautiful scenery with the sleeping giant and the islands. I bet it's a really sweet spot to sail out of.
It was indeed. I lived and sailed the Big Lake for over ten years. Then two years ago we sailed down to Lake Ontario, with plans to carry on down the St. Lawrence to Newfoundland. Life got in the way, so we’ve been in the little Big Lake for the last couple of years, but hopefully we’ll pick plans up this year.

Here’s the last time I got to see the Ris doing her Spring duties:


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post #8 of 11 Old 12-24-2016
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

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I read a thread on here about entire sections of the ICW being closed. Sounds like a mess.
Arcb: Correct, The Dismal Swamp section is closed indefinitely, I just hope that doesn't mean permanently.
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post #9 of 11 Old 12-25-2016
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

The USCG has buoy tender in the 65' size for rivers and estuaries. I watched one of these smaller tenders swap out a weathered buoy for a refurbished one from about 450' away. I was curious about how accurately they would place the new buoy.

I was maintaining sight lines as they hauled the old one--anchor and all--and then dropped a whole new set up. They planted it exactly where the old one was--certainly well within 8'. They obviously had a multidirectional thruster system to hold their position with differential GPS positioning accuracy.
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post #10 of 11 Old 12-26-2016 Thread Starter
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Re: Bouy reported out of position? How do they get back into position?

Fallard, the repeat accuracy you witnessed may not have been due to a DP system on the buoy tender.

When refurbishing bouys or swapping out bouys for winter spars a common practice is for the bouy tending crew to not lift the anchor (often a 2500+ lb stone) off the bottom at all.

They will take the slack or the "scope" out of the chain, disconnect the shackle that connects the bouy to the anchor, swap bouys, reattach the shackle and place the new bouy in the water.

The big ship in the above video doesn't have any kind of DP system on board, or even a stern thruster or double rudders, and she is capable of placing bouys with a high degree of accuracy.
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Last edited by Arcb; 12-26-2016 at 12:51 PM.
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