Navigation and Chart work.
Your passage planning should be done before you set off.Boat Books on-line
Working on your passage planingn at home is a fun way to anticipate the trip and it will allow you the time to really think through all the relevant aspects.
However, it should be updated with any relevant information as it becomes available.
While the navigational aspects of you trip will probably be
substance of the plan there are other consideration which should be
And it is worthwhile having a checklist so nothing gets overlooked.
This multimedia CD starts with the basics of Safety, Navigation and Passage Planning and develops the skills you will need to be a competent and effective navigator and skipper.
Every year boaters find themselves in trouble because of some overlooked or forgotten detail.
The following list of Passage Planning headings and prompts will help you to prepare for your trip.
Crew; You may not wish to record your opinion of your crew but consideration should be given to their strengths, weaknesses, experience and skills. For instance someone who is prone to seasickness could become a liability in rough weather.
Communications; Have a record any local radio frequencies and channels which might be needed and check the radio is working.
Watch keeping; Draw up a watch rota before setting off so there is no confusion later.
doesn’t have to be a formal lecture just make sure they know where they
are going, how you intend to get there, where all the safety gear etc
anything which will avoid confusion and shouting later.
Safety checks and drills; This may seem obvious but a check list will hep to avoid any oversight in the excitement of casting off.
Food; Think about what you and the crew will need for the trip and what emergency rations including water you might need, just in case.
Fuel supplies; Apart from working out how much you will need and making sure you have sufficient for the planned trip consider if you should fill up well beforehand. If there is likely to be a queue at the fuel dock on the day of departure will it upset your plans?
Stowage for sea; Even on a calm day the wake from a passing boat can cause anything loose to fly around dangerously, so make sure everything is stowed before casting off.
Is she really
suitable for the proposed trip, what if the conditions should
And are there any outstanding maintenance jobs which need sorting before setting off?
your passage planning well in advance will allow you monitor the
This will allow you to get a feel for how the weather systems are moving through.
They are also something you should be monitoring right up until the end of your passage.
So, your plan should include a list of all the weather services available in the area you intend to cruise.
A Navtext receiver can be invaluable aid especially when abroad where radio broadcasts may be difficult to interpret.
Among the factors to consider should be how wind speed, visibility and temperature will influence boat speed and comfort.
forget to factor in to your plan enough time to get onboard, get
stowed and the boat ready for departure.
This is particularly important if your navigation plan has time constraints, such as tidal gates or even just lock times to clear the harbor. It is surprising how much time can be frittered away just getting on board.
Make note of any
restrictions which might have a bearing on the time of arrival at your
If there are restrictions such as tides or lock gates then you estimated time of arrival will need to be monitored throughout the voyage.
Customs and paperwork; Particularly important when traveling overseas, make a check list of all the paperwork passports etc that you will need on arrival.
This may seem an obvious one but having a list of the charts you will need on board and having them readily available will help avoid last minute flaps.
Notices to Mariners and Chart
Reviewing and updating these Noticesshould be part of your passage planning process.
The temptation when planning in advance is to create an ideal route for ideal conditions.
While the starting point and destination can remain constant it is also worth creating alternative routes to suit other possible conditions, so you have them ready in the event.
Make a note
You should already have factored tidal effects into you route plans.
However noting the times and heights of high and low water for standard ports on you route and in an appropriate time zone will save time and possible confusion if you need to alter your plans on route.
A note should be made of the timing of any tide gate on route so that progress toward and eta can be constantly checked against your progress.
Using a Tidal Stream Atlas is an ideal way to view tidal effects over the range of a tide.
The Pilotage Plan should include a list of buoys, marks, hazards and transits and in the order in which they will appear.
These visual checks will back up and verify your course steered, the reality can often look completely different from the chart view.
If there is the remotest chance of arriving or departing in the dark the list of marks should include their light characteristics.
As well as all the obvious hard bit to avoid it is worth making note of the other hazards such as over-falls and shallows which will be a problem should you miss time the tides.
The prudent navigator should always be prepared to modify his plans.
There could be an emergency on board or just simply that the voyage is taking too long and the crew have had enough for the day.
Whatever the reason your plan should contain information on alternative ports or anchorages.
The more information you have to hand the easier it will be to make the decision to divert, especially if it is an emergency.
So make sure that you have appropriate harbor and pilotage plans.
And check if entering the harbor has any tidal or weather restrictions and what facilities are available.
It may be that the most appropriate course of action is to either return home or carry on.