About the Study Guide

You are looking at a preview of what’s in the timed Boat Pennsylvania Course. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pennsylvania Boater Education Certificate.

Learn More Register for the Course

File a Float Plan

Before going out on a boat or PWC, it is always a good idea to tell someone where you are going and ask them to take action if you fail to return on time.

Float Plans for Short Outings

For shorter daytime outings on the water, at a minimum you should:

  • Contact a responsible person before you go out and tell him or her where you will be boating and when you plan to return.
  • Give your contact the phone number for local authorities in case you fail to return when expected.
  • Contact this person again when you return or if you decide to extend your time out on the water.
Float Plans for Extended Outings
Example of a Float Plan

For extended outings on the water, leave a float plan with a relative or friend, or at least a local marina. You should leave a float plan that:

  • Describes the vessel, including its registration number, length, make, horsepower, and engine type.
  • Includes the description and license plate of the tow vehicle and trailer.
  • Gives the number of passengers, their names and addresses, and a contact in case of emergency.
  • States where you are going, the detailed route, your planned departure time, and your expected return time. Include the location of all stopping points, dates, and times.
  • Gives the phone number for local authorities in case you fail to return when expected. If boating on waters under U.S. Coast Guard jurisdiction, give the phone number of the U.S. Coast Guard.

Click here to download a PDF example float plan.