A float plan should contain what information? That’s a good question for all boat owners and operators and we’re glad you asked. Anytime you’re out on the water, whether it’s for recreation or business, it’s important to keep safety at the forefront of your mind. A float plan is a safety document that you should submit before you take your vessel out. Not only does it provide details about your boating trip, but it also keeps other boaters on the water safe. So what should your float plan include? Keep reading to find out.
Basic Information to Include
Your float plan should definitely include your basic contact information and data about your boat. This is ideal for identification purposes, should you run into trouble out on the water. Important details to include are your name, as well as your boat’s name and hull identification number. You’ll also want to provide information about the boat’s type, registration number, and identifying characteristics. Your vessel’s dimensions are also important – length, color, hull type, as well as what kind of communication equipment you have on board. You can also list the channels or frequencies you use if you’d like. Include how often you will provide updates on your departure and arrival time, routes, destination points and any stops you plan to make along the way.
Where Does Your Float Plan Go?
The best person to hold your float plan is someone who will remain on land and whom you trust. This should be someone who is able and willing to monitor your activity and take action if you don’t check in or return as scheduled. This should also be someone who is able to contact the authorities, should the need arise.
What To Do Before You Leave
A flat plan is a great safety step you can take before you go boating, but it’s not the only thing you should do before you leave. It’s also imperative that you check for the right safety equipment on board. That includes personal flotation devices for all passengers, fire prevention and mitigation tools, and first aid kits. Check to be sure all of this equipment is in good working order before you hit the water.
Common Mistakes to Avoid
The most common mistake to avoid making is to prepare your float plan and then forget to leave it with a responsible party on shore. If you’re going to take the time and effort to create the plan, be sure you follow through with it. Another mistake to avoid making is to forget to update that responsible party if you make changes to your boating itinerary, including stops, routes, etc. Finally, don’t be afraid to be as specific as possible when you describe the details of your boat on your float plan.
Now that you know the answer to “a float plan should contain what information,” you can be prepared to go boating in the safest way possible. If you need further assistance with preparing your float plan, contact the Vessel Registrar Center for answers to all of your questions.