The Pacific Northwest region of the United States is a particularly challenging area in which to deploy buoys. The area has significant tidal conditions on bodies of water with direct access to the Pacific Ocean. It also has a large number of smaller tributaries, estuaries, reservoirs as well as large and small rivers. They vary in depth, current, salinity and volume of vessel traffic.
A state marine agency had several criteria to satisfy as they sought out an adaptable buoy that could be deployed in multiple locations. In addition to deployment versatility, the selected buoys had to:
The state agency ordered Sealite’s SL-B700 Float Collar Buoys in two configurations: regulatory and hazard marks. The buoys marked exclusionary zones as well as providing messages to passing vessels of navigational hazards.
The unique design of the SL-B700 Float Collar Buoy features a tapered, concrete-filled bottom that provides a solid center of gravity. The design keeps the buoy upright rather than rocking back and forth in choppy water. This results in a completely self-righting buoy if knocked down in rough water, exposed to large wakes or in the event of a collision with a passing vessel.
The chain attachment point is rotationally molded into the buoy. It is in the shape of a slight fin to help the SL-B700 remain highly visible in the strong water currents. The fin also reduces drag on the buoy and mooring hardware to help keep the buoy stable and on station.
A 316 grade stainless bar connects the bottom mooring attachment point to the lifting eye, located on the top of the float collar. This internal bracing ensures even lifting and mooring stresses at major stress points for a long service life.
UV inhibitors and colored pigments are utilized during the manufacturing process. Color permeates completely through the hull and will never chip, peel or scrape off. The color will remain vibrant for years to come. Sealite’s polyethylene helps to inhibit marine growth thereby reducing frequency of service and maintenance.
The patented design of the SL-B700 allows for four buoys to be fit onto a single pallet, thereby minimizing shipping costs associated with larger float collar buoys.
Sealite’s SL-B700 allowed the state marine authority to confidently mark hazard areas and channels in a multitude of diverse locations, reduce buoy maintenance schedules, reduce the amount of required equipment to maintain multiple buoy styles, and enhance the safety of navigation to passing vessels, all while remaining on budget and ahead of their intended schedule.
“The SL-B700 has been performing better than any other buoy model or manufacturer we have on our waterways.”
— State Marine Board Official
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