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Anytime you take to the water, it’s a very good idea to make sure that you have a float plan put together.

What is the purpose of filing a float plan?

In the worst of circumstances, it can potentially save your life and give your loved ones closure, and in the best of cases, it’s a sound practice for boating safety.

Even if you want to file a float plan, you may not know what types of things you should include.

Keep reading if you would like to learn why you should file a float plan and what information should be included in a float plan.

It’s not a difficult process, but it could be invaluable in a pinch.

What is the purpose of filing a float plan?

Float plans are filed for your protection, and your family will thank you for them. 

Before you can really understand the importance of a float plan, you must first understand what a float plan is.

The name gives away the definition. In short, a float plan is a travel plan for when you are on the water.

A good float plan will let your friends and family members know where you will be, who will be aboard your boat, and the path of your trip. 

If something bad happens on the water, your float plan will be the first place that your loved ones and authorities will begin looking for you and your boat.

So, it’s very important to have a detailed float plan.

If your own safety is not a good enough reason for you to file a float plan, consider your friends and family members.

Anytime you are traveling, it’s a good idea to keep them updated with your situation for safety purposes.

If you have ever been on the other end of the situation, don’t you find it comforting to know where your loved one will be until they return?

If you are on an extended trip, and you do not return home when expected, your loved ones will have a go-to resource to double check your itinerary.

Or, if they are worried about a storm that may cross your path, they can refer to your float plan to see whether their fears are well-founded.

What if you do not report to the waypoint at the expected time?

Your loved ones or the party that you are meeting can check your last stop to get an update about your whereabouts.

When it comes to boating, you must keep safety as your first priority.

A float plan allows you to keep your loved ones as well as anyone else connected to your trip up to date about your travel plans.

Filing a float plan can save people a lot of time, heartache, and worry. 

This task is not very difficult, but it could make a big difference in your life and the lives of those you care about.

Simply print out a short document, fill out the necessary information, and leave it with a trusted friend or family member. 

Tell you rather loved ones who will have the float plan so that they can communicate in case of an emergency.

So, always practice safety and file a float plan, no matter how safe you feel with your journey.

What information should be included in a float plan?

The information included in your float plan should tell the story of your trip.

Always include basic information such as your name, address, phone number, phone numbers to reach your loved ones, etc.

Also include a general description of your boat as well as any relevant license or registration numbers. 

Make sure to note the dimensions of your boat as well as the engine specifications.

In addition, describe the safety equipment aboard. If you own the boat, you can make a detailed list of safety information on your ship and copy it to subsequent float plans, provided that you maintain the equipment.

Always be sure that you have plenty of safety equipment for your crew and passengers.

Following this information, describe the journey that you will take. 

Be sure to include the dates of your departure and return as well as any additional stops. 

If you expect to arrive at a specific waypoint by a certain day or time, include that in the float plan.

Detail the route you will take. Even though this may be the most time consuming part of the float plan, it’s very important to include.

Also include any specifics about your journey that may be noteworthy for those tracking your trip’s process.

Finally, make sure that your crew and passengers are included in your float plan. 

Record the same data that you recorded about yourself for each passenger aboard.

Make sure that everyone’s name is spelled correctly, and double check phone numbers before you depart.

There is always time for safety! Here’s a template that you can use the next time you need to file a float plan.

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