What Is a Float Plan?

Before heading out on a boat trip, it’s always wise to leave a float plan with someone you trust to notify the proper authorities if you don’t return at the planned time. This is especially important for longer trips. A float plan, such as the sample shown here, provides information about where and when you are boating. Your float plan should contain the following information.

  • Names and a description of/information about yourself and any passengers
  • Vessel information: size, type, color, engine, etc.
  • A list of the safety equipment carried on board
  • Your planned departure date, return date, destination, proposed route, and planned stops

Float Plan Template

Download a copy of the float plan and pre-departure checklist.

Filing a Float Plan

Having a float plan can save your life. You never know when you could run into bad weather or another emergency. A float plan in the right hands—a family member, a friend, or a local marina or dock—can ensure a safe return.

If you don’t submit a float plan, you should at the very least inform family, friends, and the marina where you plan to boat and how long you expect to be out. This will allow them to send for help if you do not arrive back when you are supposed to.