Mooring buoys are special purpose aids to navigation to moor vessels such as oil tanker in accordance with the law of Aids to Navigation in Korea. Specially, The Korea Coast Guard uses these buoys to moor its small vessels, which are 150 gross tonnage and less, when it patrols Korean coastal waters. However, many mooring buoys have problems that result from their structure and materials, and from the difficulties of managing them. From the perspective of navigators, they cause some confusion and there is some risk of collisions because of their position. From the perspective of administrators, they create too much work and overspending due to their structure and material. For the purpose of solving these and other problems, the Republic of Korea needs to develop field adaptive mooring buoys in consideration of the meteorological elements of Korean coastal waters and the vessels which use the mooring buoy.
This paper studies the development of field adaptive mooring buoys for small vessels in consideration of the meteorological elements of Korean coastal waters, the vessels which use the mooring buoys, and the recent trends of special buoys. To analyze operation states and improvements to mooring buoys, the mooring buoys of Korea Coast Guard and Korea Navy are surveyed, and so an optimized field adaptive mooring buoy is proposed. The paper also evaluates the stability of developed mooring buoy in the meteorological elements of Korean coastal waters and standardizes the field adaptive mooring buoy for small vessels. The paper will describe the advantages in terms of maritime safety and the efficient management of aids to navigation.