Floats and Buoys come in a wide range of sizes, shapes, colors, buoyancies, and materials. Some frequently asked questions are:
How much buoyancy (flotation) is needed for each float/buoy? There are several factors to consider:
- If the float/buoy is primarily used as a visual marker, then most any float/ buoy will stay visible on the surface of still or placid water.
- If the float/buoy is used in tidal currents, more buoyancy is needed. The stronger the tide or current the more buoyancy is required
- If the float/buoy is used to float an object off the bottom of the body of water, a general rule of thumb is to use twice as much buoyancy as the weight of the object to be floated. In fast moving currents or strong tides, three times the buoyancy as the weight of the object may be needed.
How large of a hole in the float/buoy is needed for the rope to go through?
The inside diameter of the hole in the float/buoy must be at least 1/8 inch (but 3/16 or 1/4 inch larger is best) than the outside diameter of the rope in order for the rope to slide through the buoy.
Is a grommet (reinforced center hole) needed due to excessive chafing (rubbing) of the rope?
- If the float/buoy is used in moving water (currents, tides, etc.), is not tied to the rope, and is free to slide up and down the rope, a grommet may be needed for PVC or EVA floats. ABS floats do not need grommets.
- If the float/buoy is tied to the rope and cannot slide or move around, or if the float/buoy is used in still or slow-moving water, a grommet is not normally needed.
Which material is best for me? PVC, EVA, or ABS?
Generally speaking, if your float/buoy will remain on the surface of the water (i.e. marker buoys) or will be submerged no deeper than 30 yards (90 feet), then PVC, EVA, or ABS will work. If the floats are submerged from 90 feet to 550 feet, then EVA or ABS will work best. If 600 feet or deeper then ABS is needed.
Generally speaking, PVC is the least expensive, EVA is mid-range priced, and ABS is the most expensive.
Is the shape of the float important?
The shape of the float/buoy can be important in certain circumstances. Tapered, football shaped, and oval floats have less water resistance than other shapes.
How visible does the float/buoy need to be?
The importance of visibility is determined by the use of the float/buoy. Marker buoys need to be visible and are offered in a variety of colors. For floats that are submerged (such as those used on sinking gill nets), high-visibility floats are often not desired.
Are there any regulations dictating the size or color of the float/buoy to be used?
Yes, in certain applications. For instance, a state governmental agency in North Carolina requires different color buoys for commercial fishing nets than it does for recreational fishing nets. Check with your local law enforcement agency for regulations in your area.
Does Fitec have floats and buoys in stock?
Fitec stocks 52 different sizes, colors, shapes and materials of floats/buoys for immediate shipment. We offer nearly 200 other sizes of floats/buoys that we can special order, if needed. All of our floats are packaged in strong cartons that stack well on top of each other and can be shipped by UPS, FedEx, or Parcel Post.