A float plan is a document that contains an accurate outline of your water excursion, covering the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, and WHEN of your outing.
There are several key components to a float plan, including:
- Full name(s)
- Mobile phone number(s): be sure to fully charge your phone.
- Marine radio (VHF) channel: be sure to fully charge your radio.
- Emergency contact(s): name and mobile number
- Itinerary: The intended route, including any planned stops and the expected length of each leg of the trip:
- The estimated departure and arrival times.
- The estimated duration of the voyage.
- The expected launch and destination locations.
- Description: type of small craft(s), color, and length; personal clothing description, especially colors.
- Vehicle: license plate number, model, and color.
- Emergency: Indicate how long to wait until your float plan guardians should notify the authorities; provide local and USCG authority contacts.
Choose two responsible adults to be the guardians of your float plan. Also, print it out and leave it on the dashboard of your vehicle.
If you deviate from your float plan, do so only for safety reasons. Know and respect your own limitations, experience level, and fitness.