Using a float plan is a very simple yet very effective way of increasing your level of protection out on the water. If you have never filled out a float plan and think it's complicated, think again! Once your float plan procedure has been set into place, actually filling it out and employing it is quick and easy.
What Is A Float Plan?
Mariners crossing large bodies of water know the value of a good float plan and would never leave home without filing one. A float plan is a document that describes essential information about your trip; a description of your vessel, where you are going, when you will return, and the protocol to follow in the event of an emergency.
A Float Plan ensures that if there is an unexpected incident or accident and break in communication, action will be taken to find you soon after you do not arrive at the specified time and place.
Creating Your Float Plan System
Most of the work that goes into a float plan is the initial setup. You can start by finding a Float Plan Guardian(s)
that will take part in the system. In many cases, family and friends will be a natural choice because they obviously care about your safety. After finding someone reliable to accept your trip float plans, put together a document that includes the following:
- a detailed description of your boat
- a list of safety equipment, electronics, and radio equipment on board
- emergency contacts and phone numbers (Coast Guard, marine assistance service providers, family/friends)
- room for itinerary information including destination, place of departure, departure time, stopover points, and destination arrival dates
- a description of the passengers on board (age, medical conditions, etc.)
Note that this information can be written in a number of ways, such as digital forms or very simple paper forms.