IALA System of Buoyage

Navigation Aids


They examined at the IALA conference in the November of 1980 and a proposal to connect systems worked out early of the buoyage was approved System A (red colour - the left hand of the ship) and System B (red colour - the right hand of the ship) into one system which was named IALA System. A regional principle of painting side signs in ancient systems was preserved in the IALA System A and B. Of you which accepted the colour red for side signs of the left hand they rated among 'A' region. Of you which are taking the green colour for side signs of the left hand they rated among 'B' region. In both direction of the fairway is taking regions into account from the sea (if it is differently, a special information is being printed about it).

 IALA System of Buoyage 

 Regions of marking A and B 

 Japan, Southern Korea, The Philippines 
 he ranks among Region A

There is a put information in the connection with the regional division of marking in the IALA System, on maps: IALA System (A region) or IALA System (B region).

The IALA system is predicting five kinds of signs which it is possible to take in all sorts combinations. Signs have characteristic identification elements what permits the sailor to distinguish them easily. Side signs are different in 'A Region' and 'B Region', however four remained kinds of signs are shared for both of regions.

Lateral buoys and marks are being put in harmony with accepted direction for marking the right and left page of fairway. In 'A Region' a green colour is obeying into the day and at night for marking the right side of the fairway, and for the left hand the colour red.

 Mapa - regiony

In 'B Region' applying colours is reverse: for the right side - the colour red, for left - green colour.

 Mapa - regiony

When dividing the path is speaking at the fairway about accepted direction of marking, direction of the main path is being pointed out with the modified lateral buoys for the recommendation then, he is turning the main fairway which way.


Modified Lateral Buoys and Marks for 'A Region'

 Zmodyfikowane znaki boczne 
 dla Regioniu A


Modified Lateral Buoys and Marks for 'B Region'

 Zmodyfikowane znaki boczne 
 dla Regioniu B


Cardinal Buoys are pointing that the deepest water is appearing on the page of the name for the sign. They are being put in direction the midnight, the noon, the east or the west from danger. Cardinal buoys usually have the columned or bar shape (poles). They are always painted into horizontal yellow and black belts but their highest signs (two cones) are always black. The arrangement of cones is a sign of situating the black belt in the highest sign (of belts).

  • cones with tops up: black belt above yellow
  • cones with tops into the bottom: black belt under yellow
  • cones with bases to oneself: black belt above and under the yellow strip
  • cones with tops to oneself: black belt, it and under him yellow belts

 Znaki kardynalne

Cardinal buoys are equipped with the white lighting about the special rhythm. They are basic rhythms of shining: flashing (Q)or fast flashing (VQ). The blinking lighting was defined as the light about 60 or 50 flashes per the minute. Fast flashing - 120 or 100 flashes per the minute.

Characterizations of lights in quadrants are the following:

  • N quadrant: VQ or Q continuous.
  • E quadrant: VQ(3) or Q(3) which the blackout is coming after.
  • S quadrant: VQ(6) or Q(6) which the long spinner is coming directly after
    and after it blackout.
  • W quadrant: VQ(9) or Q(9) which the blackout is coming after.

Number of flashes 3, 6 and 9 in quadrants E, S and W he is facilitating the identification of the cardinal buoys since remembered numbers are forming a relationship with situating kinds of directional marker 3, 6 and 9 on the dial of the clock. Long spinner lasting not briefly than 2 seconds directly after VQ (6) or Q (6) is characteristic of the 'S' quadrant.
An attention is being returned that there are still two buoys, which the white light is obeying on, however the rhythm of this light is clearly different and it isn't possible to confuse him with the rhythm of the white light accepted for cardinal buoys.

Marks indicating Isolated dangers



Marks indicating Isolated dangers are being put directly above small obstacles which water is navigable around. They have the columned, bar or free shape different but not colliding with lateral buoys. They have the black colour with horizontal red belts. Two black spheres placed vertically are a highest sign. White flash group Fl(2) is being taken by the light, for two flashes in the group.


Marks indicating Safe water are pointing that water is navigable around the sign but they don't mean danger.  Znaki bezpiecznej wody These marks can be taken for marking the fairway for the axis or as signs giving a clue. They have appearance completely different from signs pointing danger out. They have the spherical shape, the columned or bar and red spherical highest sign. They are these are only painted signs into vertical belts (red and white). If there is an installed lighting it has the white colour and his rhythm can be: izophase, the stopped, long spinner or the letter Morse'a 'A'.


Special Buoys and Marks aren't making the navigational help. Pointing the special area or the object out is setting them which are informing maps or different right documents and nautical publications of. Additional characters are being painted yellow, they have the highest sign in the shape of lying cross (X) painted on yellow. Light if is installed it is also of yellow colour. Since a possibility of mistaking the yellow colour exists during the weak visibility with white, yellow lights of additional characters cannot have the rhythm adopted for white lights. The shape of additional characters cannot collide with shapes of navigational marks, namely if they used additional characters for marking the left hand of the fairway then they must have the shape cylinder, rather than conical. Additional characters can have letters painted also or numbers.

 Znaki specjalne


New danger. A special attention is being returned, that 'new danger' which isn't still pronounced in nautical documents perhaps to be pointed out by the sign duplicating in all details identical with the fundamental sign. The duplicating sign should stand so a long way until the information about new danger is announced in the way being enough. Sign of 'new danger' perhaps to be equipped with Racon sending the 'D' letter according to the code Morse'a.


The text is in the preliminary translation.
I am apologizing for mistakes in the text and I am asking for understanding.






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