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How To File A Float Plan

If you are going for just a few hours on your boat, let someone know where you expect to be and when you expect to return. If you plan a longer cruise, leave a copy of a written float plan with your marina or friend. A float plan includes a description of your boat, who is on board, a description of the safety equipment you are carrying, where you expect to be, and when you expect to be there.
1. 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.).
2. When you arrive at your destination, or if your plans change, notify the person holding your float plan to avoid unnecessary worry and possible waste of search and rescue resources.

There is no special or official form that you must use for a float plan, though you may find convenient pre-printed ones available in boating supply stores and catalogs, or you can generate a customized form using the Coast Guard Float Plan: http://www.floatplancentral.org/

   Do not file the form with the Coast Guard. The Coast Guard will not accept float plans.  

The USCG Float Plan template is a flexible tool for helping you generate a customized float plan. You may use it in several different ways.    

1. You can fill in all the information needed and print the results.
2. You can fill in only the information which will not be changing, "Save" the plan on your computer as a PDF, and print the results. You can then fill in information on your customized paper forms as needed.
3. You can generate a customized form as above and then SAVE the generated template as a PDF file on your computer. You can then open your saved template any time you need a plan, type in the missing information and print your plan.
   Or, if you want to generate a new local template, you can open your PDF template, add or change the "fixed" information, "Generate" a new plan, and SAVE the new template.