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The Best Buoys and Floats for Skippers of All Stripes

Boating is the most fun when treated as a leisurely and relaxing activity, but safety is never something to be relaxed about. Even if you’re taking it easy and just enjoying the warm weather on a lake, you always have to be mindful of your surroundings. Every boat around you is doing their own thing — some people might be diving and swimming while others may be fishing. And when you factor in sudden weather changes, you realize that there are a lot of variables that can affect your boating experience.

While you can’t eliminate variables, you can at least be aware of them. Clearly visible buoys are a great way to signal to other boaters that there’s something in the water to look out for. There are many types of buoys. Some are markers, and those are used for the aforementioned situations where you want to mark something in the water. One common application is attaching a marker buoy to an anchor line. This prevents other boats from snagging the anchor line. You can also use a marker buoy to mark a spot for yourself, which is a handy technique for anglers. Small buoys are useful for kayakers as well — they can be used as markers for an anchor or even as stabilizers.

Some buoys are also used as anchors themselves. These are called mooring buoys, and can be used to keep a boat in place. Of course, in this case, you would need a heavy enough buoy for that purpose. Another great function of buoys is to be used as fenders and attached around the perimeter of your boat. Fender buoys allow you to avoid scraping the boat while docking.

Now that you know all about the different types and uses of buoys, here are some of the best buoys to buy on Amazon.

1. Polyform A Series Buoy

Polyform’s buoys are trusted by boaters of all stripes, and these buoys come in a variety of sizes to suit different functions. You can also choose between discreet and vibrant colors. These multipurpose buoys are designed to be used for marking, mooring or as fenders. These buoys are also popular among some land-dwelling subsets — the smaller ones work very well as punching bags. The price shown is for the 14.5″ x 19.5″ buoy.

Pros: Made in the US. Durable and the colors are fade-resistant. Available in various sizes and colors and can be used for various functions.

Cons: These buoys ship deflated. An inexpensive adapter tool must be bought separately to inflate them.

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2. Jezero Deep Water Float

This small float from Jezero can be used for various applications. If you’re a crab or lobster fisherman, these floats can help you find your trap. The floats have large holes through the middle, making it easy to string a line through them. Each order consists of two floats, and the floats are available in various high visibility colors. These are also popular with kayakers because they can be used as DIY stabilizers.

Pros: Affordable and versatile. Good for kayakers. Available in various colors. Includes two floats.

Cons: Floats aren’t always perfectly uniform in size.

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3. Airhead Float

This inexpensive float is very small — it’s only 5″ long, making it best suited for use with kayaks and other small boats. It can be attached to anchor lines for added visibility. It floats well, making anchor retrieval easier. Since they’re very inexpensive, it’s easy to stock up on multiple buoys for more clear marking.

Pros: Affordable. Good option for kayaking, pools, crab trabs, and other small applications.

Cons: May be too small for some applications.

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