Homemade Buoys


Homemade buoys are used for a variety of purposes including diver-down markers, wreck markers, fishing, lobster pots and hazard markers. Different uses call for different levels of durability, color and visibility; heights above water; mass; and shapes. Most buoys are simple to construct and moor. Some specialty buoys may require a little more work to meet the demands of the situation for which the buoy is used.

Temporary Markers

  • Temporary markers for fishing “trot” lines in relatively calm waters are often simply a brick, old polyethylene ski rope and a plastic bleach bottle. They're ugly, but they work. To mark a wreck or reef you've found on your fishing sonar, tie one end of heavy 100-pound fish line to the handle of a plastic bottle. Attach an anchor weight to the other end. Wrap the bottle with the line. When you toss it overboard, the weight will unroll the line from the bottle. When it stops unreeling, tie the bottle off. When you pull in the buoys, roll the line around the bottle and stow bottle and anchor out of the way in the boat. For a lighter, less visible quick position marker, get a soft drink bottle with a pronounced ridge around the neck. Tie a cord tightly under the neck ridge, then wrap 20 or 30 feet of line around it and tie the end to an anchor weight. The ridge prevents tangling as the line unrolls.

Diver and Ski Buoys

  • Swim “noodles” are versatile and useful tools around water, especially the ones with the hollow centers. To make a brightly colored diver-down or water-ski buoy, cut a noodle into whatever length you need. To measure, shove a short piece of pipe into one end to weight it down. Drop the noodle into the water, and cut off the noodle at the height above water you want. Drill a hole in the pipe, and attach light polyethylene ski line to the bottom and to the anchor weight.at the other end. To ensure the pipe doesn't pull out of the noodle, get a flat plastic or metal disk and put it on the top of the noodle. Drill a hole in the center, and run a cord through it. Tie it off with a knot in the top, run the cord through the noodle and the pipe, and put another disk or washer on the end of the pipe. Pull the cord tight, and tie it off, so the top and bottom disks make a sandwich of the noodle and pipe.


  • For a secure anchor, use a short length of steel rebar sharpened at one end for an anchor. Get a welder to make up a bunch of these. Bend or weld an eye to the unsharpened end, and attach a cloth streamer. The streamer will cause the rebar to sink vertically and stab into the bottom, making a more secure anchor.for floats being used as temporary navigation or ski-course markers. Another way is to cut the top off a plastic bottle, put a bit of chain partly into the bottle and pour concrete into the bottle.The chain acts as the connector, the bottle protects your boat from scratching by the concrete.

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