Owners Manual Question--Float Plan

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Doug Patillo

Well-Known Member
Mar 21, 2001
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I am back. I've been very busy trying to get the new Tahoe Owners Manual completed and I have a question for all of you:
When you go out on your boat, do you file a float ploan?

What is your opinion about Float Plan's and how should it be approached in the owner's manual? Should I use a page and put in a Float Plan form for the owner to use or copy?
What has been your experience with Float Plans?

I greatly appreciate any and all comments about this. I am trying to include everything I can that would help the new boat owner and personally I think a float plan is a great idea. Let me know what you all think.

Thank You!
Doug Patillo
Tracker Marine
Doug -

Never even heard of such a thing...... Who knows where they're gonna end up anyway! Use to file Flight Plans while flying - but that's a whole different hobby!

Scott: I believe it is very much like that of a pilot flight plan. THis form is to be filled out as complete as possible. THen if you don't return, the form can be given to local authorities and the Coast Guard. Follow this link for a sample of the form I am referring to:


Have never actually filled one out, but I do provide my wife with the following information everytime I leave with the boat (usually tell her the night before), this was much more important (to me) when I lived in TX and fished in Galveston bay with a 14ft John boat:

Est. Time lauching
Boat Ramp (and of course lake) being used
Est. Time pulling the boat out
Est. Time pulling in the drive way.

I also carry my cell-phone and if it's too early to call when I launch, I always check in after I know her and the kids are up, and then call when I'm leaving the ramp. I also tell her if i've kept any fish for lunch/dinner or not (I still have to clean them, but she'll cook 'em up :)

I guess the value would be in a form probably more for folks who fish salt-water or major lakes (like the Great Lakes), though with the ski/jet-ski/crusing season opon us on Lake Lanier it's just as bad as any bay i've fished!

I'd probably put this as a low priority, just my .02 cents - TrepMan
I agree...a paragraph in the safety section regarding
letting someone know where and when should suffice for
pleasure boaters.....no form required....said Huck

I can see it's usefullness on larger lakes (i.e., the great lakes, and some other larger inlands lakes, and needless to say, salt water fishing) but I pretty much do the same as some of the others have mentioned; take my cellphone and give the wife all the trip info.

What you might consider is maybe adding a "trip safety tips" section (assuming you don't already have one). In this area you could add helpful tips like; leave a loved one with a map of the "general" lake area circled that you'll be in (I do this sometimes); boat ramp being used (mentioned above), etc.. You might even take a survey from the board members on stuff to add to this section.

Just my thoughts on the subject, hope it helped.

John K.
I like to do what TrepMan does. Make sure someone knows when to expect you back and carry a cell phone if possible.

Even on some small lakes, there are often coves and branches off the river that you should make mention in a note left for someone... If at the very least, simply note your GPS coordinates of all your usual fishin' holes the next chance you get. This will give search and rescue a place to start...
I think that a mention of using a float plan is a good idea. There are plenty of float plans available on the net.

ALWAYS a good idea to file some sort of a float plan. Even if you are just informing someone verbally. Remember this is for your own safety, and for the safety of your family. They are also used if there is an emergency on land and you need to be contacted while you are on the water.

If you guys need one check out this site:


Look for the float plan link....


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