The clarity of navigation and beacons

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In this weeks blog I would like to talk about the basics of navigation and beacons (Lateral Markers) when out on the water. As most of you know there are two main coloured buoys and beacons Green (Starboard Side) and Red (Portside) these indicate the port and starboard sides of navigable waters or channels.

Some of you, like me, may have entered unfamiliar territory in you’re boating career and stopped in a confused state or worst case scenario run aground. In this blog I would like to help refresh the minds of our readers in this recap of navigation.

Below Examples of Red & Green beacons and buoys  (Beacons are fixed & Buoys float)


 What beacon/buoy should be on what side?

When going upstream (away from the sea):

Keep red (port hand marks) on the left-hand side (to port).
Keep green (starboard hand marks) on the right-hand side (to starboard).
When going downstream (towards the sea):
Keep red (port hand marks) on the right hand side (to starboard).
Keep green (starboard hand marks) on the left-hand side (to port).

Remember there are also cardinal and special marks these are a sequence of yellow and black in colour and  indicate danger areas. These markers display a certain flash sequence for North South East & West as illustrated below.
Information in full detail can be downloaded as a PDF from MSQ website here and remember to always check current tide times and weather radar before setting off. A list of boat ramps around Australia can also be found here

Boating this Summer

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With Christmas and the end of the year festivities approaching fast, it is important to remind ourselves to be safe on the water when you are out boating this summer.

Things like checking your safety equipment, license and registration, as some of you may not have done in quite some time, are easily overlooked. Although it sounds silly, many people are fined each year for expired registrations in Australian waters. Have a look here to see what the guidelines of the Queensland Government are.

Also remember that as the Skipper, you are responsible for your crew and it is your job to make sure that everyone is safe and behaving in a responsible manner on the water.

There is a legal blood alcohol limit of 0.5 for the Skipper at all times and penalties do apply if caught drink driving, some penalties including loss of boat license & car license and large fines, so for what it’s worth, be safe this summer.

Responsible boating is crucial and guidelines to follow can be found here.

If you need to get your boat or jet ski license, or acquire the knowledge required to apply, click here.

Another quick tip if you haven’t used your boat or jet ski for some time is to simply start it and run it the night before to see if any issues arise prior to lining up at your local boat ramp and possibly getting into a sticky situation. Common things are stale fuel, flat batteries and blocked fuel filters etc so if you are having difficulties with your boat you could book a service here or your jet ski here.

Queensland Government boating safety information can be found here and provides comprehensive information about all you need to know when you are planning on a day out with your vessel.

Have a safe summer, a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!