A buoy layer is a working vessel that is primarily used to lay out and haul in “buoys” (navigation signs for marking fairways and the like).
Barrel layers come in various sizes. They are often vessels with a length of around 20 metres, a width of six to seven metres and a draught of 1.30 to 1.60 metres. The regular crew is almost always small.
In addition to their main task of deploying navigation marks, buoy layers serve many different purposes: These include passenger and material transport, supervisory and control voyages, beacon setting, traffic safety tasks, obstacle recovery, assistance in accidents and sounding work for marine surveying and structures, as well as harbour and dredger sounding. To carry out these tasks, they have hydraulic cranes and winches, multibeam echosounder systems and GPS positioning.
An earlier designation of such ships is Tonnenbojer.
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