Jay N wrote:
The need to file a float plan depends a great deal on where*you are boating.
We adhere to the same practice as Jay for the same reasons.* We will tell specific boating friends that we are "going to the Gulf Islands for two weeks" but other than naming some of the potential places we might visit, that's it as far as information we can provide.* Plans change, weather forces changes, and it's not worth it (or sometimes even possible) to keep updating any sort of schedule with people back home.* There's lots of boat traffic, radio coverage is very good, so it's not like we're out in the middle of the Pacific or running along some deserted coastline.
We have always filed flight plans or flight notes when flying the Passage, in SE Alaska,* and into the Coast Range and interior of BC, but the situation there is quite different from puttering about in an 8-knot boat in frequently used waters.* If the day comes when we are able to take the GB up the Passage, I doubt we will file any sort of float plan then either other than to let friends know more or less what we intend to be doing.* And we might check in by phone from time to time.* Or not.* We use the boat to get away from people, not maintain contact with them, so letting people on shore know where we are is not any sort of priority at all.
In an emergency we have VHF radios (fixed and handheld) and mobile phones.* We don't have an EPIRB as we've not so far considered it necessary for cruising the waters we've so far cruised in --- San Juans to Desolation Sound.* When we venture farther north we would probably add an EPIRB.* And I have a handheld aircraft VHF radio that I could use to contact aircraft should we be in a mountainous area with poor or no marine radio or phone communications.