What is a Danbuoy ?
A danbuoy is a piece of safety equipment designed for the purpose of marking a boat/yacht's location and therefore the approximate location of the casualty when the skipper, a member of crew or a passenger falls overboard.
The basic attributes required for a Danbuoy are: Readiness for deployment at a moment's notice - normally stowed with a quick release mounting at the stern. Manageable weight and dimensions for disengaging and throwing overboard in a hurry. Visible from a distance - normally fitted with a bright coloured, light weight flag at least 2 metres above sea level during daylight hours and a suitable light fitted for night time passage. Similar drift rate and direction compared with a casualty in the water - a lifebuoy (danbuoy) drogue can be fitted to slow the rate of drift.
Danbuoy design characteristics are aimed at marking the position of a man overboard at the time of the incident, to facilitate the yacht/boat turning around and finding it's way back to the casualty in the water.
Therefore, a danbuoy needs to be ready to deploy at a moment's notice: All component parts need to be assembled. Any telecopic sections need to be extended. The completely assembled danbuoy needs to be immediately accessible at the stern with a quick release mechanism. The automatic light facility (if fitted) needs to be enabled. The Drogue needs to be attached and ready to operate effectively on deployment.
The danbuoy can also be attached to a horseshoe lifebuoy or other man overboard flotation device via a long floating rope to increase the size of the target area in the water. N.B. this will only be advantageous if the rope is stowed effectively, ready to deploy without any loops or tangles.
Danbuoy designs are generally long and thin (small diameter rod) with a flag and possibly a light attached to the top, a float somewhere near the middle to make them buoyant and a lead weight at the bottom to make them stay upright. The section above sea level needs to be as thin and light as possible to ensure that the danbuoy remains visible (doesn't lie flat) in windy, wavy conditions.
There are 3 Different Types of Danbuoys:
- Fixed or Semi Fixed - manufactured from a single GRP rod or pole (or two rods which fix together to make one) - generally not available with a light so only for daytime use.
- Telescopic - manufactured from two or three tapered sections that are stored inside one another and can be pulled out to make one long pole - convenient for stowage.
- Inflatable - similar concept to an inflatable lifejacket or horseshoe lifebuoy, charged with a CO2 gas bottle - fitted with a drogue but still susceptible to getting blown away downwind far from the casualty.
Jimmy Green Marine offer a range of danbuoys and danbuoy accessories for inshore, coastal and offshore sailing:
- Jimmy Green Fixed and Telescopic Danbuoys, produced in house by the Jimmy Green Manufacturing Team
- Seago Telescopic and Inflatable Danbuoys
- Jonbuoy Inflatable Danbuoys
- Danbuoy Accessories including holders, flags, lights and replacement parts for Jimmy Green Danbuoys