Easily Build a Float Plan

Woman in blue shirt and pfd kayaking. People will know where to look for her if she is late because she made a float plan.

This Float Plan webpage and the resources it uses  are provided by the Tampa Power Squadron a local chapter of the United States Power Squadrons. Our mission is to promote boater education and safety. While we provide this tool, we do not accept any responsibility for its proper use. That like everything related to a vessel is the responsibility of the vessels master.

What is a Float Plan?

 A float plan contains a description of your boat, who is on board, a list of the safety equipment you are carrying, and where you expect to be and when. The Float Plan serves the purpose of letting the person you left it with know when they should expect you back and when you would want them to notify the authorities if you are late. This plan is not just for big expensive boats. Coast Guard statistics are clear that any size boat can have a bad situation arise.

The statistics from the USCG for the year 2018 make it clear that smaller boats make up a large percent of vessels that can come to grief.

  • Less than 16 feet – 1537
  • 16 feet to <26 feet – 2521
  • 26 feet to <40 feet – 784

Using our template allows you to save the information that doesn’t change so you only have to enter it once. On subsequent visits you can just update the specific voyage information as well as optionally updating any other fields you feel appropriate. Do not attempt to file the form with the United States Coast Guard. The Coast Guard does not accept float plans. Instead give careful thought about who you will leave it with and their ability to perform any notifications to the United States Coast Guard or other local authorities in the event they are called upon to do so.

Instruct the person holding the float plan to notify the Coast Guard or other appropriate agency if you do not return within a reasonable time after your scheduled arrival (taking into account weather, etc.). When you arrive at your destination, or if your plans change, notify the person holding the plan to avoid unnecessary worry and possible waste of search and rescue resources. Depending on your situation you could update your plan on this site then email it to the holder of the plan after you download it.

How do I use the float plan template.

If you want to take a tour of the site you can login to the demo account. using the login demo with the password test and feel free to explore. If you like what you see you can register for a live account and begin using the site. Note that any inactive sessions are logged out after 1 hour and will require you to log back in.

Step one is to register for an account. There is no cost associated with using this site. It is provided by the Tampa Power Squadron as a service to the boating community. Once you register you should receive an email to verify that you are not an automated scanner with ill designs. Use the link provided in the email to complete your registration. Once you confirm with via the sent email you can login and you can enter your basic information that should not change such as your vessels information and your essential information.

Once that information is saved you can then enter your trip specifics and download the form and give it to some responsible person who would be the one to contact the authorities if you do not return by the time which you set on the form.

Going forward you can login and just update the information you previously entered to generate and download a new plan without having to redo any of your basic information.

As time goes on, we will continue to add functionality to the site to enhance its capabilities and usability.

Image of pdf float plan sample
Sample Float Plan PDF
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