Your passage planning should be done before you set
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
However, it should be updated with any relevant information as
While the navigational aspects of you trip will probably be
substance of the plan there are other consideration which should be
worthwhile having a checklist so
nothing gets overlooked.
Every year boaters find themselves in trouble because of
The following list of Passage Planning headings and prompts
will help you to
prepare for your trip.
You may not wish to
record your opinion of your crew but consideration should be given to
strengths, weaknesses, experience and skills. For instance
is prone to seasickness could become a liability in rough weather.
Have a record
any local radio frequencies and channels which might be needed and
radio is working.
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.
and drills; This
may seem obvious but a check list will hep to avoid any oversight in
excitement of casting off.
Think about what you and
the crew will need for the trip and what emergency rations including
you might need, just in case.
working out how much you will need and making sure you have sufficient
the planned trip consider if you should fill up well beforehand. If
likely to be a queue at the fuel dock on the day of departure will it
sea; Even on a
calm day the wake from a passing boat can cause anything loose to fly
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
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
They are also something you should be monitoring right up until the end
So, your plan should include a list of all the weather services
the area you intend to cruise.
A Navtext receiver can be invaluable aid especially when abroad where
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
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
estimated time of arrival will need to be monitored throughout the
Particularly important when traveling overseas, make a check list of
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
Notices to Mariners and Chart
Reviewing and updating these Noticesshould
part of your passage planning process.
The temptation when planning in advance is to create an ideal route for
While the starting point and destination can remain constant it is also
creating alternative routes to suit other possible conditions, so you
them ready in the event.
You can create and enter into your GPS
as many way-points as
However they must be clearly marked and named so there is no confusion.
And always check and recheck what you have entered even if they have
copied from a pilot book or almanac.
Make a note
You should already have factored tidal effects
into you route
However, noting the times and heights of high and low water
on you route and in an appropriate time zone will save time and
confusion if you need to alter your plans on route.
I am perfectly aware that the majority of Wooden Boat aficionados are sensible folk. However, I need to point out that I am an amateur wooden boat enthusiast simply writing in order to try to help other amateur wooden boat enthusiasts. And while I take every care to ensure that the information in DIY Wood Boat.com is correct, anyone acting on the information on this website does so at their own risk.