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Old 28-04-2015, 21:36   #1
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mooring buoy protocol

Hey guys, i have been a long time boater but recently acquired something large enough to sleep on. I have always wondered (and never found a straight answer from those i hang around with) what the protocol on mooring at someone else's? buoy is? I am from Vancouver, Canada and am looking at going on a few trips to visit one or two local islands. I can see from photos that there are several orange buoys planted in the mooring bays but i don't understand the protocol around tying up. If there is a name on it (in public water) is it rightfully their spot? Are these private individuals setting them or is it the government? I actually own property on one of these islands (an undeveloped acre) and would love to not have to anchor everytime I leave the boat behind for a night or two. Any input would be appreciated!
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Old 29-04-2015, 03:38   #2
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Re: mooring buoy protocol

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, jc.
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Old 29-04-2015, 05:24   #3
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Re: mooring buoy protocol

Mooring buoys are either public, or private and they are usually marked. In British Columbia the public buoys are clearly marked in areas such as Montague Harbour. Fees apply for their use, and instructions advise you to pay a fee at the Marine Park dock in the area. Private buoys vary as to markings, but should not be used because their owner may return when you may be off your boat and trouble may result.

In Washington State, private mooring buoys are subject to a permit process controlled by the Department of Natural Resources. Although, some may have been placed without permits, it is best only use public buoys to avoid any conflicts. I do not know the rules or practices for placing private buoys in B C.

I did find some information here that may lead you to more information on public buoys available for your use in B C..
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Old 29-04-2015, 06:58   #4
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Re: mooring buoy protocol

It varies, there are no standards. I once tied up to an unmarked mooring buoy and after an hour or so a guy came by and said it was his and I had to pay him to use it. I declined and left. I don't know if it actually was his or if he was trying to scam me.


Also, just because it looks like a mooring buoy, unless it's maintained by the government or a marina, you have no way of knowing how secure it is. It could just have an engine block or a bunch of cinderblocks holding it in place. A little wind or current and you and the mooring buoy could be drifting out to sea.
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