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VTMountainBiker

Thoughts on placing a geocache on a buoy

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I live half of my life on a lake and want to put a geocache in one of the bouys on the lake, but I'm wondering before I put the effort in if that's allowed or if there is anything against it. It would only be a seasonal cache. Thoughts?

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I've found a couple of buoy caches. One was on a buoy placed by the homeowner on their personal buoy. The other was on a no wake zone buoy which had permission from the forest service, although that one eventually broke loose and the buoy was never replaced.

 

With permission, it's probably not an issue.

Edited by Touchstone

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I live half of my life on a lake and want to put a geocache in one of the bouys on the lake, but I'm wondering before I put the effort in if that's allowed or if there is anything against it. It would only be a seasonal cache. Thoughts?

"Seasonal" is an issue - you'd want to leave it year 'round even if few find it in winter.

 

Bouys are placed by different people or agencies in different areas and bodies of water. That's going to affect things. I'm sceptical about it being okay. That said, some near-shore bouys are marked on charts as "private.". You may be able to get permission there. I suspect there are regs/prohibitions in other cases.

 

Only seals and ospreys get special consideration for using bouys for their own purposes! :D

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Do you own the buoy?

 

If not, do you have the permission of the person or entity who owns the buoy?

 

If the answer to both is no, then don't.

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There are Harard bouys placed to make hazards in September October, and there is a cap on top that you can hang a cache on, so no one would know it's there unless your a Cacher. One of the problems is after we close our lake house up for the winter, I would have to take the cache out of the bouy. So it would be out for grabs from May-Sept. I just thought it would be really cool and hidden.

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I live half of my life on a lake and want to put a geocache in one of the bouys on the lake, but I'm wondering before I put the effort in if that's allowed or if there is anything against it. It would only be a seasonal cache. Thoughts?

"Seasonal" is an issue - you'd want to leave it year 'round even if few find it in winter.

 

Bouys are placed by different people or agencies in different areas and bodies of water. That's going to affect things. I'm sceptical about it being okay. That said, some near-shore bouys are marked on charts as "private.". You may be able to get permission there. I suspect there are regs/prohibitions in other cases.

 

Only seals and ospreys get special consideration for using bouys for their own purposes! :D

 

Bouys and mooring balls are often pulled in areas where thick ice forms in winter.

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There are Harard bouys placed to make hazards in September October, and there is a cap on top that you can hang a cache on, so no one would know it's there unless your a Cacher. One of the problems is after we close our lake house up for the winter, I would have to take the cache out of the bouy. So it would be out for grabs from May-Sept. I just thought it would be really cool and hidden.

 

Who owns them?

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There are Harard bouys placed to make hazards in September October, and there is a cap on top that you can hang a cache on, so no one would know it's there unless your a Cacher. One of the problems is after we close our lake house up for the winter, I would have to take the cache out of the bouy. So it would be out for grabs from May-Sept. I just thought it would be really cool and hidden.

 

I usually don't call out spelling mistakes (people who live in glass houses and all that) but for the sake of the non-sailors in the audience I think you mean "hazard" bouys and "mark" hazards.

Anyway, 5 months out of the year doesn't seem like a good cache.

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There are Harard bouys placed to make hazards in September October, and there is a cap on top that you can hang a cache on, so no one would know it's there unless your a Cacher. One of the problems is after we close our lake house up for the winter, I would have to take the cache out of the bouy. So it would be out for grabs from May-Sept. I just thought it would be really cool and hidden.

 

I usually don't call out spelling mistakes (people who live in glass houses and all that) but for the sake of the non-sailors in the audience I think you mean "hazard" bouys and "mark" hazards.

Anyway, 5 months out of the year doesn't seem like a good cache.

 

Seasonal caches aren't unusual. There are many caches around here that are not available in certain seasons.

 

The bigger issue is permission. Who owns the buoy?

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Sorry about the spelling of hazard (spell check sucks sometimes). I'm not really sure who owns the bouys, I assume they're owned by the state or who ever is In charge of the lake.

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I do have a private bouy, but I'm not sure I want people coming to my bouy with a boat on it. Which is why I wanted to put it on a bouy in the middle of the lake. If permission wasn't a factor, how would I go about it being a seasonal cache?

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Sorry about the spelling of hazard (spell check sucks sometimes). I'm not really sure who owns the bouys, I assume they're owned by the state or who ever is In charge of the lake.

 

Figure that out and get permission before doing anything. Tampering with a buoy on a public waterway would likely be a pretty serious fine, if not worse, where I live.

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Sorry about the spelling of hazard (spell check sucks sometimes). I'm not really sure who owns the bouys, I assume they're owned by the state or who ever is In charge of the lake.

 

Figure that out and get permission before doing anything. Tampering with a buoy on a public waterway would likely be a pretty serious fine, if not worse, where I live.

 

Agreed.

 

The "implied permission" argument won't fly, and getting express permission seems doubtful in most cases. The boating safety people are unlikely to approve attaching game-related things to navigational aids.

 

Check with Coast Guard to see who to talk with?

 

If no permission is sought, I expect trouble down the road - just as there have been blanket prohibitions against guardrail caches.

 

Good luck - it sounds fun if it works out.

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Around here, buoys could be owned privately, or the State, Army Corp of Engineers, or the Coast guard.

I've seen Coast Guard auxillary checking them on weekends in State parks.

Seems permission may be toughest, figuring who they belong to.

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If permission wasn't a factor, how would I go about it being a seasonal cache?

Communication with your Reviewer's often a good idea...

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I do have a private bouy, but I'm not sure I want people coming to my bouy with a boat on it. Which is why I wanted to put it on a bouy in the middle of the lake. If permission wasn't a factor, how would I go about it being a seasonal cache?

Here in Ontario, there's a scuba cache at a wreck in Lake Ontario. It's close to shore, so it ices over. It's DEFINITELY seasonal.

 

The CO temporarily disables it each fall, then enables it again each late spring. I THINK he removes it in the fall and replaces it in the spring, although I cannot be sure about that. But since the buoys are removed, you'd need to do that with yours, since you cannot be sure the same buoy will be put in the same location, nor that the cache will remain attached as they remove and replace the buoy.

 

But yeah - that permission thing. :)

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I just flipped through the online handbook about Vermont's boat safety laws.

 

It is illegal to: "Move, displace, tamper with, damage, or destroy any navigational aid."

 

Maybe others feel differently, but to me a cool hide isn't worth the risk of getting in trouble with the state police or the Coast Guard. And I certainly wouldn't want to put other geocachers at risk of that either.

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VTMountainBiker - "I do have a private bouy, but I'm not sure I want people coming to my bouy with a boat on it. Which is why I wanted to put it on a bouy in the middle of the lake."

 

What I find really funny is you don't want anyone coming near your buoy so you want to put the cache on a buoy owned by someone else. ;-)

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I live half of my life on a lake and want to put a geocache in one of the bouys on the lake, but I'm wondering before I put the effort in if that's allowed or if there is anything against it. It would only be a seasonal cache. Thoughts?

"Seasonal" is an issue - you'd want to leave it year 'round even if few find it in winter.

 

I disagree. For a cache in a lake I'd rather see it disabled in winter if only to discourage people from trying to find it when the water is cold enough to kill someone in a matter of minutes. I know of several caches that are disabled for the season (winter) when the trail they're on is posted with "No Winter Access" signs and enabled when the trail opens up. As long as the communication is good between the CO and the reviewer, seasonal caches are quite possible.

 

 

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VTMountainBiker - "I do have a private bouy, but I'm not sure I want people coming to my bouy with a boat on it. Which is why I wanted to put it on a bouy in the middle of the lake."

 

What I find really funny is you don't want anyone coming near your buoy so you want to put the cache on a buoy owned by someone else. ;-)

 

I'm guessing that his bouy is a mooring bouy and usually has a boat tied to it. The hazard bouys he referenced above would not be used for mooring.

 

VT MtB: you could put out another mooring bouy and use that for your project. That would be a lot of effort.

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It's a piece of metal in the water. Just put a cache on it, and don't make it a bigger deal than it actually is. Be practical. You know a police boat isn't gonna come up behind you for the couple minutes you're magnetically snapping a little container to it. Stop being so afraid of everything, or you're going to have an unfulfilling life. People would love a buoy cache, so let them enjoy it!

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5 minutes ago, hohosanta said:

no permission necessary, just strap the thing on and click the submit button

Um yeah... Doesn't with that way.

 

Tampering with navigation aides is a serious offence and I wouldn't like to be on the other end of GS trying to sort out that s***storm.

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23 minutes ago, hohosanta said:

It's a piece of metal in the water. Just put a cache on it, and don't make it a bigger deal than it actually is. Be practical. You know a police boat isn't gonna come up behind you for the couple minutes you're magnetically snapping a little container to it. Stop being so afraid of everything, or you're going to have an unfulfilling life. People would love a buoy cache, so let them enjoy it!

22 minutes ago, hohosanta said:

no permission necessary, just strap the thing on and click the submit button

 

Statements like this is why I'd like to see an "UNhelpful" vote...

 

  • Upvote 1
  • Helpful 2

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Geocaches must comply with all applicable laws.  In the USA, that includes the laws administered by the US Coast Guard regarding aids to navigation.  Expect to be quizzed by your Community Volunteer Reviewer about the details.  If the buoy is privately owned, you would need to demonstrate permission from its owner.

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1 hour ago, hohosanta said:

no permission necessary, just strap the thing on and click the submit button

 

If that is your attitude towards permission, I would hope that you haven't hidden any geocaches yourself.

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3 hours ago, hohosanta said:

no permission necessary, just strap the thing on and click the submit button

 

Maybe Geocaching isn't the right hobby for you. You certainly haven't demonstrated a mien to improve the game.

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Not every buoy is a navigational aid. Some make suitable locations for 5* difficulty caches. And if we're going to call out spelling errors, how about everyone spelling buoy correctly, not "bouy."

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Permission is definitely needed from the entity that owns the buoy. Not getting permission is being irresponsible and not complying with the rules of geocaching, not to mention local laws. Of course, if you have permission to hide the cache, then go ahead.

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On 20/05/2018 at 1:40 AM, The Rat said:

Not every buoy is a navigational aid. 

 

 

Maybe not but they are all owned by someone and I doubt too many people would be happy about finding people buggering about with their buoy; be it a navigational aide, scientific equipment, aquaculture or just for securing someone's pride and joy.

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There are abandoned structures that can be found in waterways. They might have had a use once; but not for the last 50 years or so, and many people would have no idea what the use was. Use one of those; not a structure with a use or privately owned. Yes, local rules need be followed, but where I live a post out in the water used to have a bison tube attached. Not a problem; it was just local government abandoned infrastructure; used for...who knows. Basically it was in a public area, used by the public. Most people took a boat out to it, but I swam. Caches in the water can be dropped in the water, as I discovered :( while attempting to tread water, sign the log and not drop the parts, while the undercurrent pulled at me. I dropped the bison tube; never to be seen again. Fortunately I still held the log. I had to return with a new bison tube to replace it. A friend took me back there in his boat this time.

Edited by Goldenwattle
typo

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