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Official Definition


Structure of the plan


How it works


Creating a master copy


Preparing your plan


Filing your plan


Changing your plan


Using social media


Closing your plan


Glossary of terms

  "I just bought my first boat (at age 62) and was looking for a soft copy of a Float Plan.  I found the one on your site and I really liked the content, format and the Boating Emergency Guide."  
  Colorado, USA  


Home > About the Float Plan

About the Float Plan

The USCG Float Plan is a state-of-the-art lifesaving device that is used by search and rescue personnel to assist in reducing the search area in order to locate you in the shortest amount of time possible. It is also the first and only float plan that guides and directs the holder of your float plan on what to do via the exclusive Boating Emergency Guide.

Why prepare a Float Plan?

Vessel in distress

Alan Hanson of Tacoma had to scramble to minimize the danger and damage after two masts on his sailboat 'Patience' broke in high winds and icy rain. (Dean J. Koepfler/staff photographer; Stacia Glenn, staff writer, story "Storm dismantles his beloved Patience: My error" published Jan. 20, 2012; The (Tecoma) News Tribune, WA)

The answer is simple... there are just too many facts that need to be accurately remembered and ultimately conveyed in an emergency situation. Without a float plan you are counting on someone else, a friend, neighbor, or family member to remember detailed information that rescue personnel need in order to find you. Information that can make a difference in the outcome.

Who should prepare a float plan?

Don't think for a minute that this is a device only for those with big expensive boats. The USCG Float Plan is equally effective for the owner of a 10 foot kayak or flat-bottom skiff as it is for a 48-foot express cruiser, or a 90 foot sport-fishing vessel or luxury yacht. So, what kind of boaters prepare float plans?

Typically, the Skipper of the vessel is the individual who prepares the Float Plan. However, any member of the crew can be assigned the preparation and filing duty. If you are a crew member, coordinate the preparation and filing of the Float Plan with your Skipper.

Keeping up-to-date

Float Plan Central periodically updates the USCG Float Plan to reflect the latest improvements in both boating safety and search and rescue practices and technology.  Consequently, every time you download a copy of the USCG Float Plan, you are assured of getting the most up-to-date lifesaving device available.

Safety is simple when you have a plan™
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