Float Plans; a Boater’s Note
April 5, 2019

A float plan is like leaving a note on the kitchen counter for your babysitter; it’s the boater’s version of a list of instructions on how to heat dinner, or a proposed plan for the day. A float plan is a safety precaution that you should prepare if you’re going to be out on the water for a while. Completing a plan before going out on the boat and leaving it with a reliable person is an important step to take, should they need to contact the Coast Guard or other rescue services.

Boating Magazine’s article “How to File a Float Plan: Help Others Help You” outlines what a float plan should consist of, and how to create one. While it’s never pleasant to consider an accident or any other negative incident that may happen out on the water, it’s a beneficial practice for boaters and can help secure the safety of many. Some of the tips the article proposes for your float plan include:

  • Who’s going and where they’re going
  • A description of the boat
  • When they plan to return, and if it’s past a certain time they should contact officials
  • Ages and any health issues of all passengers
  • Cellphone numbers
  • Planned route and activities
  • Identification numbers for the vessel’s EPIRB and/or any personal locator beacons (PLBs)

This boating season, you want to have some peace of mind when out on the water. If something were to ever happen to them, or a loved one, it’s good to keep a “float plan” available. Be prepared this season – it’s better to be safe than sorry!