Vessel Documentation and Safety

There’s a lot more to owning a vessel than simply getting the vessel documentation right. We know that for many, boats are a way of life. You may use them for recreation, you may use for them your job, but you always want to be as safe as possible. For many of us, we grew up on the water, so we have a clear understanding of what it takes to make boating safe and fun. However, new ways have been found to make boating even safer. If you go to our site, you’ll notice that on the bottom of our home page we tend to link to boating safety sites. In this blog, we’ll go over some new thoughts in boating safety and how they can help you to be safe no matter why you’re on the water.

Our Vessel Documentation Service on a Float Plan

The idea of what makes up a “float plan” has evolved quite a bit. In the old days, a “float plan” was simply telling someone (usually a family member) that you were going out on the water, who you were with, and when you expected to be home by. As you might imagine, while that information is important, it didn’t help a whole lot should the person out on the water go missing. Today, float plans are far more encompassing and tend to contain much more information. They can help the relevant authorities to find you and yours as quickly as possible should something happen on the water.

Float Plan Boats

To be clear, when we say “float plan” we don’t mean “a plan to keep the boat afloat.” Instead, a “float plan” is a paper that gives detailed information about the vessel that’s headed out onto the water. This information is given to someone (or multiple people) on land, so that should something happen, they can give the float plan to the relevant authorities. It’s recommended that all different kinds of vessels make use of a float plan. It’s great for the private charter boat services that are going on long trips as well as the jet skiers out to kill half an hour before dinner. They’ve been proven to be effective in finding kayakers checking out a part of the lake they’ve never seen before as well as sailors heading to a regatta. Basically, if you’re going out on the water, you can use a float plan.

Float Plan Benefits

What makes a float plan so great is that it’s a kind of safety that won’t in any way interfere with your boat trip. After all, it’s not like it’s going to weigh down your vessel, or get in the way of your party – it’s a piece of paper you’re leaving with someone on land. Of course, as with so many other kinds of safety measures, it ends up being invaluable in the case where something bad does happen. Like life jackets and other kinds of safety implements, float plans can save lives.

What Makes a Float Plan

If you go to their site,  the Department of Homeland Security does have a float plan form. It’s incredibly detailed and in PDF form. It may seem like a lot of information to fill out every time you go out on the water. If you want to make it easier, you may want to fill it out once for the information that isn’t going to change or won’t change often (the stuff at the top about the identification, propulsion, etc). Then, you can make copies. So, if you leave the parts blank that do change quite a bit (passengers, etc) then you can have a float plan that you can fill out at a moment’s notice.

Part of what makes this float plan so great is that it has a page at the end which explains what the person who’s waiting for you to come ashore can do. Of course, a float plan by itself is not enough to boat safely. You also want to make sure that you’re fully licensed to use your vessel, and that you practice safe boating at all times.

Boating safety is everyone’s responsibility. We can help you with any documentation that you may have.  We’re proud to offer our customers convenience and ease with their documentation. However, we know that there are risks associated with submitting your information online, which is why we work to make that process as safe as possible as well. If you go to our site, you’ll see that we’re constantly upgrading our security. That way, we’re always one step ahead of those who would seek to steal your information. For more about documentation, and how documentation can make for a better boating experience, give us a call at (800) 535-8570 or head to our site.