Lobster Pot Buoys

Lobster Pot Buoys

Lobstermen in Maine, USA  & Nova Scotia, Canada have been catching lobsters for centuries. 

They were plentiful, so plentiful that during a time in the early 1800s catching lobsters was done by gathering them by hand along the shoreline before traps started to be used around the mid-1800s. 

Can you imagine being able to gather them along the shore? 

So what are lobster pot buoys?

Lobster pot buoys are a type of float that is attached to a cane pot/trap in order for lobstermen to be able to identify their traps which have been set on the ocean floor. 

The buoy is attached to the trap and it floats on top of the water enabling the lobstermen to locate his pot/s easily.

To identify their buoys the lobstermen have their own colour scheme. 

This is required by law and many mark the buoys with their initials or names, and also license numbers. No two lobstermen can have the same colour scheme, pattern or numbers.

Today lobster pot buoys are made of a hard flotation foam and bought at marine supply stores.


Fifty years ago, they were made of wood and had to be turned round on a lathe to give them their shape. Earlier buoys were carved by hand using a hatchet from squared off pieces of wood. 

Here at Coastal Vintage we source the original wooden style of lobster pot buoy so they can be treasured as a decor piece. 

Over the many years that we have been importing these directly from Maine, they have been highly sort after and as you can see customers style these in their homes. 

As soon as we receive a shipment, they sell out in a matter of a few hours and soon they will be almost impossible to find as they are so highly treasured. 

Below Em from Palm House Keppel Sands has styled her floats on the side of her home and incorporated a couple of old lobster pot buoys in with floats she has found on the beach. 

And Gulf Coast Agricultural Co. have them styled in their fabulous outdoor space.  


These wonderful old floats from the US are getting harder and harder to source. 

So we have created a range of custom made floats inspired by the shapes and colours of the originals. Here is the range that we have available. 

Shop the look www.coastalvintage.com.au


Historical image credit: https://penobscotmarinemuseum.org/pbho-1/fisheries...

Lobster shack photo: Tiffany Mizzell Photography