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Old 04-09-2011, 07:15 AM   #1
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Float Plans...

Float Plans. do you use them?* What forms do*you use?* Who do you file them with? What information is on yours?

In our short time and short cruises, I use a simple generic document and file with my home dockmaster, and Tom's Dad.* Since he is our emergency contact.* The information is usually approximate motoring times, dates, distances, intended stops and marina contacts*along the way, and all persons/dog on board.

What do* you guys do?

*
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:13 PM   #2
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RE: Float Plans...

Hey Carl!!* Thanks for answering!!* I guess I'm just a "safety" girl and want someone to know where we are when we're going to be gone longer than a day or overnight trip.* I also like to use the itinerary part as a trip planner.* Makes it easy to plan not only where we will stay, but when tides will affect us and what meals I need to provision for. Sometimes I even add vet clinics along the way incase our First Dog needs assistance.

OCD is a great characteristic for a boater or cruiser.*
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Old 04-09-2011, 09:17 PM   #3
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RE: Float Plans...

Bess, we don't do a formal "float Plan", bt when we run off shore we make sure someone knows our destination.* If we don't call them bya certain time, they are to start looking for us.
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:11 PM   #4
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RE: Float Plans...

Basic float plan communicated with our family:* May - "Heading north, see you in September".
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Old 04-09-2011, 10:17 PM   #5
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RE: Float Plans...

No, we haven't filed a float plan for years. However, we usually let several people know roughly where we will be and manage to keep in touch on way or tuther.
But no official float plan.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:18 AM   #6
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Float Plans...

Some of these answers surprise me.

Tom-


-- Edited by GonzoF1 on Sunday 10th of April 2011 06:18:41 AM
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:25 AM   #7
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RE: Float Plans...

If you are a member and use the Cruise Planning feature in Marina Life (www.marinalife.com) it creates a float plan that can be sent to an email list. Also the US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Aux have Float Plan Templates that work well.

Like many, I use the informal method of just telling a friend or family member when I go out boating and where I may go. For long or more complex cruise, I put together a formal float plan with agreed upon windows of time to check in via phone or email. I remind people monitoring our plan that boating schedules are not an exact science so there will be variance in the plan and not to panic.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:37 AM   #8
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RE: Float Plans...

Quote:
Coast Guard Dave wrote:
If you are a member and use the Cruise Planning feature in Marina Life (www.marinalife.com) it creates a float plan that can be sent to an email list. Also the US Coast Guard and Coast Guard Aux have Float Plan Templates that work well. Like many, I use the informal method of just telling a friend or family member when I go out boating and where I may go. For long or more complex cruise, I put together a formal float plan with agreed upon windows of time to check in via phone or email. I remind people monitoring our plan that boating schedules are not an exact science so there will be variance in the plan and not to panic.
*

I couldn't agree more. I was in Flotilla 2-12 Chicago, 9W, I believe it is just 12 Chicago now, and as an added bonus after performing a vessel inspection we supplied a copy of a blank float plan to the owner. As a professional mariner I believe that a float plan is a standard operating procedure for any prudent mariner. I have have been on search and rescue missions where only a fragment of information was supplied by the reporting person because there was no float plan. The chances of finding those in distress are even less without any idea of where to look for those that are missing. Safety is not expensive, it is priceless.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:38 AM   #9
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RE: Float Plans...

Wow....I figured not many people would use them...I wasn't expecting no one else would use them.*

Interesting.* I love creating them.* It's part of the cruise planning process for me.*

*

*

*
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:25 AM   #10
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Float Plans...

As an aside -- whenever I go down to work on my boat, which is the farthest slip out on one of our piers, I am sure to let the dock master know I'm out there, and about how long I plan to stay, and then stop by on my way back. Not foolproof, but I might get some help if I stumble, whack my head, or fall in..** and he might notice if my car's still in the parking lot when he heads home.






-- Edited by ARoss on Sunday 10th of April 2011 08:27:17 AM
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Old 04-10-2011, 08:40 AM   #11
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Float Plans...

For us a float plan would*not be*too useful. When we go somewhere we usually take side trips, end up somewhere else, arrive late or stay longer.

We do always keep in touch with our family daily, and tell folks at our dock we are going for X amount of time.

JohnP


-- Edited by JohnP on Sunday 10th of April 2011 08:41:27 AM
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Old 04-10-2011, 01:22 PM   #12
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Float Plans...

Yes we have a float plan. It involves keeping the shiny side up and the waterline visible.

No, we don't file it with the Coast Guard. When I am cruising, I try not to have a plan other than what I feel like that morning.

If I were making a serious crossing of many days, I would definitely file my plan with several interested parties including the Coast Guard.


-- Edited by Carey on Sunday 10th of April 2011 01:23:53 PM
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Old 04-10-2011, 02:31 PM   #13
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RE: Float Plans...

When we are making a passage of 30 miles or more, we file a Trip Report with Coastguard via VHF. This is*usual practice here in NZ - but not compulsory. When we've reached our destination, we call again to close the TR.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:55 PM   #14
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Float Plans...

Quote:
Old Stone wrote:
Just how far does one have to look to find an easy chair on a beach ??????
*Carl, this is BYOC (bring your own chair).* This chair was custom built for best ergonomic fit.* It will also fit on a pedestal mount for a helm chair on Moonstruck as well as can be used for dock sitting.

BTW, did you notice the view had changed.* This is about as exciting as it gets!

*



-- Edited by Moonstruck on Sunday 10th of April 2011 06:56:45 PM


-- Edited by Moonstruck on Sunday 10th of April 2011 07:01:24 PM
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:59 PM   #15
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RE: Float Plans...

One hard and fast rule on my float plan is to never file it with a beneficiary of my life insurace or estate.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:12 PM   #16
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Float Plans...

Quote:
Moonstruck wrote:
One hard and fast rule on my float plan is to never file it with a beneficiary of my life insurace or estate.
*You should NEVER advise a beneficiary they will benefit from your*death.*

*


-- Edited by markpierce on Sunday 10th of April 2011 07:12:47 PM
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:36 PM   #17
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RE: Float Plans...

We are just now getting to where we can start doing some trips. We typically just let family know our approximate travel plans and stay in touch with them.
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Old 04-11-2011, 03:53 PM   #18
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RE: Float Plans...

The down side of giving people a float plan is, you're telling them your house will be empty from XXX through XXX. You better watch who you tell.

We tell the folks at the marina but it's just casual. There's nothing formal and nothing is written down. We have friends we tell but family is too far away.
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Old 04-11-2011, 05:28 PM   #19
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RE: Float Plans...

The need to file a float plan depends a great deal on where*you are boating.

It has been suggested that filing one is a safety consideration, that telling someone of your exact location/plans will help*in any rescue situation, and that you shouldn't tell everyone because of personal/home security issues.

Where we cruise (Puget Sound, BC and SE Alaska), there are an almost unlimited number of potential places to spend the night.* We often do not know in the morning (and sometimes later)*where we will end up that night.* Maybe the choice is influenced by weather conditions, the need for provisioning, the availability of local seafood, and the direction that buddy boats or new boating friends are heading, etc.

For rescue location needs, we have*DSC VHF radios and a 406 EPIRB.* For personal safety, we have SOLAS quality flares, a suitable life raft,*and other life saving and overboard retrieval gear.* We boat with others so we are very seldom alone.

In much of this area, we cannot call to update or end a float plan as cell phone coverage is lacking.* We do check in with family from time-to-time, and the family is referenced with the EPIRB registration.

Having a neighbor pick-up newspapers and mail is a big home security advantage.
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:42 PM   #20
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RE: Float Plans...

We file a float plan with at least one NON-stranger (usually my dad and maybe my sister) we also file one with the dockmaster at our home port. If that's a "security risk" it sure beats me how. Everyone in our marina knows we are not in our home. Everyone we meet along the way knows we are not at home and to be honest, the only time we have ever been a crime victim, we were on our boat when it got robbed!

From Day 1, we have read in every manual and in every boating safety brochure to file a float plan so people know where you will be or where to expect you. If we anchor out or do something off the beaten path, we'll tell someone OR it will be on the float plan that we may improvise. The float plan has more than just the 'when and where' of our trip. It has the radio MMSI number, the boat document number, the dog's name, whether we have a dinghy, what provisions we have, a description of the boat, and TONS of other details that will fill a LOT of holes and answer many of the questions that search parties or authorities may have if we go missing.

It's my opinion that there is no compelling reason not to fill out one for week-long, or weekend, trips. As I have been told here more than once: There are some things that you should do because you should never skimp on safety. Always with the premise that it's some form of "cheap insurance". Well, this is one of those things that's not only cheap, but FREE!
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