• Kim Burke

16/ A buoy harness prototype!

Updated: May 4, 2020

Sadly still no word from Richard, despite my persistence. I will continue to pursue of course, but also am trying to get in contact with other individuals in the meantime so that my project does not sit still. My next contact will be Gus Young whom his a pilot for the Tug boats for Faslane Naval base in Helensburgh !

In the meantime, I have been developing a prototype of a reflective harness for a buoy! The thought began as fishermen Mario had expressed that they had tried to use reflective tape on the buoys to allow the to see the buoys. However it occurred to me that this could be a method for all water users to see the buoy in the water.

First sketches of ideas seen below:

Using webbing from an old set of car roof-racks, I began to map out a possible harness for the buoy. The aim for the prototype - to allow water users to see it better in the water with the aid of a reflective tape. I am aware that this concept is not touching all of the bases I initially wanted it to. (e.g. reflective tape will only be effective in the evening and the issue of the buoys visibility in the day time still stands).

Overall the harness was successful. Using the white strap through the base of the buoy to support and secure the harness improved the prototype massively. My next prototype will develop the harness. Thickening the straps to improve reflectiveness and perhaps eliminating the horizontal middle strap as it may not be necessary.

Second prototype of harness seen below:

Overall the harness was a better design for the buoy, however the reflective tape struggled under the tension and began to split. My sewing skills on this one suffered too as the thickness of the straps tested the sewing machines limits!

Could I possibly implement lighting into the harness also?

The overarching question still remains:

Will improving the visibility of the buoy will prevent water users from damaging equipment?

  • Will ferries be able to manoeuvre to avoid the buoy gif it is in there path?

  • Will they have enough time to manoeuvre? Are they allowed to change course?

My next post will be answering all of the above questions from some skippers!

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