Whilst travelling along the coast of Maine it is quite common to see old lobster buoys hung up outside houses. There is something appealing about the aged ones that you see, the variety of colours is what appeals to me along with the imperfections.
In gift shops in some of the towns you come across hand decorated painted buoys offered as household ornaments, these just do not do it for me !
Their main purpose is to be tied to the rope that is then attached to the lobster pot when it is dropped into the sea. The buoy, as like other buoys floats on the surface and each fisherman generally has their own colour buoys to identify their lobster pots. The modern buoys are now made out of plastic.