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Old 08-10-2011, 10:01 PM   #1
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Float Plan

Inquiry - Do you file a Float Plan before leaving on an excursion?** KJ
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:12 PM   #2
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RE: Float Plan

Depends. Day to day stuff and just out for a short cruise, a swim, maybe dinner on the hook- no. A "journey" type trip where I am going to be out of my home waters for several days, anchoring in new places, transient at different marinas, absolutely I let family know where we will approximately be each day/night and we check in to let them know all is well.
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Old 08-10-2011, 10:16 PM   #3
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Float Plan

No, but we leave our basic itinerary with friends who are boaters and who know the area well. But we don't say we'll report in at such and such a time on such and such a day or whatever. We don't see the need for any sort of formal plan, at least not in the islands or in BC south of Port Hardy. There are lots of boats about and the radio coverage is good.

One thing I've done once and might consider doing again on a longer cruise is carry a handheld aircraft radio with us. There is lots of aircraft activity over the lower BC coast and Puget Sound and up the Inside Passage as well. If you coudn't raise the coast guard or another boat, chances ae good that not much time would go by before an aircraft flew past. Obviously you need to know the frequencies most likely to be monitored in the plane but since I fly this coast as well as boat it, I know what those are.


-- Edited by Marin on Wednesday 10th of August 2011 10:17:40 PM
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Old 08-10-2011, 11:16 PM   #4
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RE: Float Plan

When we are making offshore passages I leave a plan by e-mail or phone with someone who is familiar with boating and emergency situations.* I wil give them a window for us to check in.* If not to try and reach us.* If negative contact to phone the coast guard with the info.* We have thus far remembered to check in.* Hope I don't forget.
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Old 08-11-2011, 02:19 AM   #5
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RE: Float Plan

We log on with an organisation here called VMR - Volunteer Marine Rescue - manned by boating enthusiasts with specific coast-guard type training, and with bases at intervals right round Moreton Bay. We pay an annual subscription to it, (not much ~ $60 per year), and they keep in touch, and chase things along if we don't log off again at the time nominated, and if one gets into trouble they will come and give assistance, tow you in, whatever, as part of the cover, a bit like Sea Tow. I must admit the thing which prompted me to add solar panels some yrs ago was having to request a jump-start one time (via mobile phone or VHF) when we read a bit late, and the batts were getting a bit long in the tooth.
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Old 08-11-2011, 04:34 AM   #6
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RE: Float Plan

We leave a plan with my sister and update departures and arrivals via email.

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Old 08-11-2011, 05:05 AM   #7
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RE: Float Plan

Yes. We (Bess' job) use them every time we are away for more than a couple of nights.
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Old 08-11-2011, 10:52 AM   #8
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RE: Float Plan

Our typical float plan:* Heading north, see you this fall.* Since we usually don't know where/when/why we end up where/when/why we end up, any kind of plan with more detail would require maintenance of that plan, an effort not easily achieved in some areas.

We do contact close family from time-to-time to catch-up on happenings.* But depending on our family (or friends) to alert rescue agencies to come to our aid in some unknown area at some unknown time is not dependable, or efficient.

For immediate assistance, we have a good complement of safety equipment (including immersion suits, 406Hz EPIRB, liferaft, etc.), and we have confidence in the Coast Guard's communication system along the way.* In addition, there is frequent and regular nearby commercial traffic that can relay should we be locally isolated.

We almost always seem to make the same jumps and travel at the same times with other boats of similar speed (even if they are*not a buddy boat of ours).* We end up meeting new friends everytime we take the long cruise.

Perhaps we are being inconsiderate of those left behind who will miss out on our adventure, but there is no value in having them worry about our well being should we be unable to*keep a communication schedule for whatever the reason.
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Old 08-11-2011, 06:08 PM   #9
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Float Plan

No.* We do have*friends around the marina that we dicuss general plans with so it would be noticed if we went missing but we have never filed a formal float plan.


-- Edited by Pineapple Girl on Thursday 11th of August 2011 06:09:11 PM
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Old 08-11-2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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RE: Float Plan

I do when crossing from the Fl Panhandle to Tampa. I give Charles Culotta a call in the evening when I set out and call him again in the morning on arrival (thanks Charles!). Now I have a SPOT, so enter two or three positions during the night.
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:07 PM   #11
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RE: Float Plan

Quote:
Steve wrote:
I do when crossing from the Fl Panhandle to Tampa. I give Charles Culotta a call in the evening when I set out and call him again in the morning on arrival (thanks Charles!). Now I have a SPOT, so enter two or three positions during the night.
Steve W.
*Out of interest, how far is that?
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Old 08-11-2011, 09:10 PM   #12
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RE: Float Plan

Quote:
shrimp wrote:Steve wrote:
I do when crossing from the Fl Panhandle to Tampa. I give Charles Culotta a call in the evening when I set out and call him again in the morning on arrival (thanks Charles!). Now I have a SPOT, so enter two or three positions during the night.
Steve W.
*Out of interest, how far is that?

*I have done it three times.* If my memory is correct, from Dog Island near Carabelle to Clearwater Pass is about 165 miles.* There are three or four places the crossing can be made from on the southern end.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:40 AM   #13
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RE: Float Plan

When I do a crossing or off shore trip I have a simple policy, until my boat or body washes ashore dont get excited. I carry a SPOT and try to send messages twice a day around the same times. The SPOT does not always work and on my last voyage I found it did not work in bad weather. It is important for people following me to know that **** happens! The SPOT may not transmit or after 5 or 6 days on open water it is easy to forget to hit the OK button. I don't want people to send out the Calvary just because my OK message did not get there on time.
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:52 AM   #14
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RE: Float Plan

I too have the SPOT and it worked really well crosing from Sarasaota to Belize. It emails my position to selected people all day long. Only problem I had was,I forgot to check in one mornining and about an hour later my Sister was calling the Sat. phone ,saying WHATS WRONG? DO YOU NEED THE COASTIES? BB
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Old 08-12-2011, 09:40 AM   #15
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RE: Float Plan

Out of interest, how far is that?

I usually cross from Gov't Cut just South of Apalachicola and head for Anclote Key/ River which wil take you up to Tarpon Springs (we love Greek food). On the way back we usually leave from Tampa Bay opening back to Govt Cut. I believe that is about 190 statute miles, which I use. I wait for a good weather window I've made the crossing 7 times. Two trips like glass, one very uncomfortable, the rest two footers with a three once in a while.
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:45 PM   #16
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RE: Float Plan

I*appears that fiing a float plan with the CG doesn't seem to be a common practice, even for extended excursions.*I understand that if you do your boating in relatively benign waters where help is just a cell phone away, that the question is moot, however, for those that venture offshore, say for instance, crossing the Gulf Stream, do*feel confident that your friends and/or relatives*have*enough info about your trip and your vessel to fill in the*Coast Guard if they had to?

Assuming that you could not issue a distress message of your own,*do you consider*the SPOT system*an effective alternative?*** KJ
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:17 PM   #17
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RE: Float Plan

Quote:
KJ wrote:
I*appears that fiing a float plan with the CG doesn't seem to be a common practice, even for extended excursions. ...
*I'd leave the plan (although I've never done*a boating-plan*yet although have done it for backpack trips in the wilderness)*with someone who has a personal concern for my well being.* That doesn't include the USCG (or the USFS/USPS.)* Never heard of or ever expected*the USCG or other govenment agency following up on peoples' trips unless the issue was raised by a concerned citizen.
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Old 08-13-2011, 08:29 PM   #18
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RE: Float Plan

KJ asked

"Assuming that you could not issue a distress message of your own, do you consider the SPOT system an effective alternative? KJ"

The Spot seems to be quite dependable I would not say I would use it instead of an EPRIB if I was going to the Caribbean or Central America. Whenever I have used it it has delivered the pre set message I have written to the people I have listed. It also has send help and an SOS feature which are supposed to notify law enforcement agencies of a request for help at your location. I have not use those features.
I bought it as a tool to use in my cruising blog more than a safety aid, I press a button every evening and it sends my location and a Google earth map or image of my location to a list of family and friends.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:08 PM   #19
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RE: Float Plan

Yes, When we go for more than an overnight or two, I file a float plan with family, our dockmaster, and one friend who will start the chain of communication if we don't check in at a predesignated time - which is usually a day after we "should" be back.* My float plan has planned itinerary, including marina stops.* I use as much detail as possible.* I like to share the adventure as much as I want to be able to be found if need be!!*

We hear the coast guard on the radio quite often looking for boats that haven't arrived on schedule.* Most often during the spring and fall migration seasons.
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Old 08-14-2011, 04:24 PM   #20
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RE: Float Plan

We no longer do as we use the Spot GPS message system to send daily (or when transiting, twice daily) 'check ok' messages to our list. We have two of the Spot GPS units with different 'custom' messenges and have found these very reliable in addition to our 406 EPIRB.
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