Have you ever been guilty of taking the boat out somewhere remote without telling someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back? Most of us have. Sometimes we even felt guilty for doing so. We all know we should file a float plan before leaving the dock, but the prospect of writing out a plan on a piece of paper, or a template download from the internet, then distributing it to our trusted contacts just seems so, well… antiquated.
There is a better way. Float Plan Registry (http://floatplanregistry.com/) is a free float plan management and automatic overdue notification system for boaters.
With Float Plan Registry, you create an online profile containing your vessel, crew, and emergency contacts. With all your data stored in your secure online profile, you can create and distribute a float plan in seconds using their float plan wizard tool. When you publish your float plan, it is automatically delivered to your contacts by email. A link in the email allows your contacts to view your float plan online. Any changes you make to your float plan are immediately available to your contacts without having to redistribute the plan.
Your vessel profile contains all the relevant information about your boat needed for a float plan including vessel type (power or sail), make, model, year, color, fuel type, HIN, registration number, coastguard documentation number, home port, etc. There’s even a section to add your own detailed vessel description to highlight other unique features about your boat. You can even upload a picture of your boat. All your detailed vessel information is automatically included in any float plan you create.
Your crew list contains vital information about your crew members including name, age, and contact information. You can designate a default set of crew members you normally have aboard so that they are automatically included in your float plans.
Your contact list contains contact information for your emergency contacts – those you want your float plans and overdue notices delivered to. Here again you can define a “default” set of contacts that will automatically be included in your float plans.
Float Plan Registry’s float planning wizard allows you to create two types of checkpoints: passive checkpoints, which do not require a check-in and are simply an informational part of your itinerary, and “active” checkpoints, which are actively monitored by the system to ensure a check-in status is received. Check-in reminders are automatically emailed to you for all active (required) checkpoints that are part of a float plan. The check-in process even allows you to snooze or cancel a checkpoint! In the event that you fail to provide a check-in status for a required checkpoint, your contacts are automatically notified. Try that with your passive paper-based float plan!
Using Float Plan Registry, you can create and share online float plans in seconds. The float planning wizard will automatically include your default vessel, crew, and contacts while also allowing you to choose others from your profile while building a float plan. A guest list is also available to enter information about people aboard that are not part of your crew. When a float plan is published, your contacts are automatically notified and provide a link so they can review your plan online. Changes to your float plan, including check-in status updates and check-in comments are immediately visible to your contacts. The automatic check-in reminder system will remind you to check-in when required. And the automatic overdue notification system will automatically notify your contacts if you are considered overdue for a checkpoint. A vast improvement over the analog paper-based float plan!