Boaters may take for granted the fact that buoys are large, color-coded, and numbered. Up until the mid-1800s, buoys were generally privately owned and often too small to be effective. Congress began regulating buoys in 1848 and tasked the U.S. Coast Guard to their management and upkeep.
During the 1950s, a small group of retired warships out of Portland became known as the “Buoy Snatchers” for all the work they did to place new buoys. Often weeks of preparation and perfect weather were required to properly set a buoy, but the results were worth it. Today all boaters can appreciate the safety provided by today’s buoy standards.